Mark Wilman

Director, Where Saints Go Ltd

I have had what you might call a colourful life. I left school with zero qualifications and started out working as a labourer. Through hard graft and networking within this industry, I was able to become an Apprentice Joiner – this undoubtedly gave me a fantastic skillset for DIY, but ultimately I knew I wanted something else.

Making the move into professional photography, I trained as a Studio Photographer with the large Manchester-based company Carlton Communication. During this time I got to grips with 10 x 8 film photography, which, as you can imagine, was a lot different to what we are able to do today with the likes of photoshop. This ultimately led to becoming an advertising photographer with my own studio, working with major agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi, BDH and McCann Erikson. The entrepreneurial itch still wasn’t satiated though, and from there I began exporting wallpaper to Russia, which soon transformed into importing furniture from all over the world. This culminated in Villpac, a successful investment property interiors company based in Spain & Portugal, with a 7 million euro turnover. Then, the financial crisis hit.

I lost everything. Moved back to the UK, a short living period living back at my mums, to me I had hit the bottom.  I had to start again from scratch. hard work and believe can get you a long way.

Taking advantage of the (hard) lessons learned, I turned to the world of e-commerce. With a small investment of £7K from my partner Tracey, we were able to establish Where Saints Go in 2015. I had to quickly find my feet in the world of online retail, starting out by selling on Amazon, eBay, Etsy and our own website. Today, 85% of all sales are made via the website, which is something we are hugely proud of.

I’m here to help you navigate the tumultuous terrain of starting your own business in ecommerce, along with how to overcome the difficulties posed by Dyslexia and ADHD in the process – both of which I also have.

In my opinion, the image is everything, so in order to be a bit different, we deliberately don’t portray our products on a traditional white backdrop, opting for a darker set instead.