From peace keeper to piece maker
In 2012 Oli, our founder and Master Piece Maker, had the pleasure of being on the front line as the world came together to enjoy the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. As part of a special police unit set up to oversee the construction site from initial clearance through to legacy, Oli literally saw the pieces coming together.
During the experience he also began to collect (and swap) pin badges produced to commemorate Olympic-related events, locations and teams. This provided him with an enduring memory — each piece bearing a story and, collectively, creating meaning aligned with his identity.
After the Olympics he continued to work in the police for a short time but the Games’ rich diversity had ignited in him a wanderlust that he couldn’t ignore. In 2014 he took a career break to travel and volunteer abroad. Free from the material constraints afforded by a reliable job, and humbled by the outlook of those who found happiness in a far simpler way of life, he reflected at length on the meaning in his own. Returning to the UK at the end of 2015 he was truly honest with himself and decided to take action.
His missing piece
expression through creativity
pursuit of inner peace
Leaving a secure career behind him and relocating to Yorkshire, OIi found himself very much at home in a part of the UK with natural beauty that reminds him of Colombia; the place he considers his spiritual home. Halifax, the industrial town in West Yorkshire where we have our base, is also home to The Piece Hall, a spectacular building and one of the UK’s last remaining former cloth trading halls. Not surprisingly, it is also home to two of our piece brokers.
In September 2016 Oli started a Master’s degree in Enterprise at The University of Leeds. Inspired by Yorkshire, and invigorated by the decision to follow his heart, the new found passion he displayed led to the award of startup funding from the university’s student business support team, Spark. We greatly value our continued relationship with Spark, The University of Leeds and the many other enterprising connections they have enabled.
— PIECE making since March 2017 —
In January 2019 Oli presented about the Piece it Together journey to an audience of Fashion and Enterprise students at The University of Leeds.