Clownfish might have a small namesake.
But it was born from big dreams.
Here’s how our founder, Matt, came to start Clownfish back in 2009.
Finding a spark
Matt’s entrepreneurial journey started at 14 (not that he knew it).
Whilst his school friends were starting to party, Matt was in his room pretending to be a radio DJ (broadcasting to his family) or a TV host (mocking up game shows in the living room)!
It wasn’t so much the hosting that he loved; it was rigging up the technology to bring fun and entertainment to life.
Early on, he figured out playing with computers, sound systems and stage lights was his ‘happy place’.
He kept it a little quiet to the outside world – it wasn’t the coolest hobby – but he was genuinely content in his own geeky world.
With a daily paper round, he funded some low-grade speakers and disco lights – his first business investment.
Finding a gap
When his parents’ friends started hosting their 40th birthday parties, Matt realised they needed help with the bits they didn’t understand. The technical things. Lights for the garden. Speakers for music. Projectors to show their family photos.
Matt understood this stuff, so he helped. And then he realised that his parents weren’t the only ones that needed help. There was a business in this.
Matt’s best friend, Johnny, had similar nerdy interests. When they weren’t at school, they were busy setting up discos, sound systems and lighting for local parties.
They decided to form M&J Stage Productions Ltd, with the strapline ‘Making the world a louder and brighter place.’ Frustratingly, HSBC wouldn’t give them a bank account as they weren’t yet 16, so the responsibility for that fell to Matt’s parents.
When school finished, Johnny left for university. M&J Productions had only been a hobby for Johnny, but for Matt it was a golden opportunity.
He really had no idea what he was signing himself up for – but he knew he wanted to create an industry-leading brand, doing something he was good at, with people that he loved. As a kid, he’d watched his dad do the same and that inspired him.
On 1st April 2009, when Matt was just 18, Clownfish was born.