We present the second in our series on Smart People – people we like and admire doing progressive entrepreneurial things in the creative, artistic or business fields in London.
Meet Patrick McCrae, the Managing Director of Works in Print, the London-based office art rental company which gives businesses access to an unrivalled catalogue of artists.
What was the path that led you to starting your own business?
I come from a family of artists and entrepreneurs so have dually seen how hard and exciting it can be to make it as an artist and an entrepreneur. One element that was a founding principle of my company, however, was fair pay: to pay artists fairly. We pay all our artists to exhibit their work in our clients offices.
Give us your elevator pitch – what is it you make/do and why is it great?
The company sits on the precipice of the art and the business world, allowing companies to access the very best artistic talent in all the regions we work.
What is the best and worst decision you’ve made to date?
The best decision was to start this company, it’s completely changed the trajectory of my life, almost certainly for the better. The worst decision I’ve made probably shouldn’t be published on a lovely blog like this!
What’s the best bit of your business you’re most proud of?
My team. It is so hard to find and recruit people share your vision, enthusiasm and are genuinely fun to work with, but I have found the very best!
How do you make your business grow?
Focus and relationships.
There’s a fine line between busy and being effective. We have clear goals and ethos which everyone is signed up to and constantly works towards. We have key messages that underpin everything we do, like treating artists fairly.
Relationships are vital. We are nothing unless we continue to work well and impress our clients.
Is London good for business?
London is great for business, there’s so much opportunity here, both local and international.
Favourite fun spot in London?
I love London when it’s quiet, it’s so rare to see the capital resting. So the city at the weekend, the West End early in the morning or Shoreditch during the day.
Places in London you like to eat?
Plum and Spilt Milk at the Great Northern Hotel is currently my favourite restaurant! Everything about it is perfect. I would recommend Chutney Mary on St James’ if you love awesome Indian food.
Tell us about a London postcode close to your heart.
WC2N. The Coliseum. So many wonderful memories there inside and waiting at the stage door!
What tickles you culturally?
Well obviously contemporary art! But that aside, the piano. I used to play and have such a big love for the instrument.
What’s your favourite piece of the Foxhall Collection and why?
The Steel Blue Wren Raincoat I’m wearing, it’s obviously beautiful but it’s great to be able to have a piece that works both casually and formally. I find I have to almost jump between wardrobes for work and play: this transcends.
A piece of advice for anyone considering starting up their own venture?