Oliver Dall - How your weirdness can be your most valuable asset

Oliver is the Harry Potter obsessive behind Oliver’s Brighton, the award-winning Wizarding Shop. Still in his 20’s Oliver has managed to create a magical environment that JK herself would be proud of. His story is also fairly magical. He started out selling mobile phones and then became an estate agent. When he set off for a trade-show in China he did so expecting to find the next big technology. It didn’t work out that way. Sitting in a bar wondering why he thought it was such a good idea to come all this way looking for ideas he stopped thinking about his next big step and picked up his favourite Harry Potter book. Then it hit him.

Oliver was our first ever guest. Neil happened to go into Oliver's store and was so enamoured with both the store and proprietor, he asked if we could meet. LifeDoneDifferent.ly was born. Oliver talked to us about:  
  • Selling plums outside his parents house
  • How school really wasn't entertaining enough for him
  • The benefits of having supportive, positive parents and positive friends
  • At 16 why he ditched the idea of college for a job selling phones for O2
  • His experience of going from a terrible manager to a fantastic manager as a Trainee Estate Agent
  • His need to stand out and be independent
  • His spells travelling around the world 
  • The difference between Portsmouth and Brighton (one of these places is cool with chapless pants)
  • His period living in a cupboard
  • Learning to mix with different sorts of people
  • His period working hard because he wanted to make money so he could do his own thing
  • Getting on the property ladder and becoming a landlord
  • Spotting the opportunities that present themselves versus being lucky
  • His spell doing turtle voices at the Sea Life Centre
  • His first spell as an Polaroid entrepreneur touring the pubs of Brighton
  • Brands employing Ollie's services as an alternative photo booth
  • Fuji Film employing Ollie's services to travel around Europe's Festivals 
  • Him losing his independence 
  • Heading back to Asia looking for inspiration
  • A spell in a hairy pod in Guangzhou, China looking for a Virtual Reality product ideas
  • Disappointment and demoralisation in a lonely sweaty teenage Chinese gaming bar
  • Picking up 'The Chamber of Secrets' and realising that wizardry was his thing
  • Evolving his wizardry ideas and settling on a store
  • Getting advice from Warner Bros. about setting up Oliver's Brighton
  • Finding Gene, the builder who shared his vision for creating a truly unique space
  • Finding the cabinet to display his wands and adopting a Netherland Dwarf Rabbit 
  • The nerves, disappointment and ultimate joy of opening day 
  • What it takes to garner over a thousand 5 star reviews for a shop
  • Winning start-up of the year at the Brighton & Hove Business Awards 
  • Not worrying about / enjoying being a bit weird 
  • The importance of stepping outside his comfort zone 
  • Finding the drive and energy to do it his way 

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