Spotlight – James Mansell from Panda Creative Ltd

photo of james mansell from panda design
Photo: James Mansell from Panda Design based in Sompting

Our series shines a light on different professions behind the local businesses that you know and love.

LTA: What inspired you to start your own business?

Opportunity. I had worked for the company for five years as senior designer and the boss told me one day that he was looking at selling the company. I discussed everything with Vickie (my wife) and we both agreed that it was too good an opportunity to ignore… nine years later we are still going strong.

LTA: What is the best thing about what you do?

Variety. Every project and customer need is different. Whether it’s a business card or a 200 page book, every job is different.

LTA: What is your favourite thing about Lancing?

Strangers saying ‘hello’. After living in Brighton and Hove all my life it was quite odd moving here that suddenly strangers say ‘hello’ or ‘good morning’. The first time was a few days after we moved in and were going to do some work in the front garden and an elderly couple walked past with their dog and wished us a cheery good morning, it took me a bit by surprise.

LTA: What pearl of wisdom would you impart to anyone wanting to set up their own business?

Give yourself time. Running a business is all new and exciting and everyone thinks they are going to be the next Alan Sugar. Working from 6am to 11pm will not achieve this. Give yourself time and space to enjoy yourself… work should be fun too right?

LTA: Name one thing on your bucket list 

To go to Heinz Field and see the Pittsburgh Steelers (NFL/American Football) play a league game, and win!   Having played the game for a few years when I was younger, I’ve been a Steeler fan for 36 years.

LTA: What does your perfect breakfast look like?

Turkish.   A proper Turkish Village Breakfast is a feast to end all feasts.  It usually consists of over 12 dishes from eggs and spicy sausage to molasses and various breads and preserves all served with steaming hot floral Turkish tea and freshly pressed fruit juices.

LTA: Name a favourite album, film, book or TV show and tell us what it does for you

Book: The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England: A Handbook for Visitors to the Fourteenth Century by Ian Mortimer.  This fabulous book is written as if you have a time machine and are transported back in time.  Cleverly descriptive in it’s writing you can almost smell, feel and hear your surroundings as you are taken on a journey through Medicine and illness, food, community, crime and punishment and many other scenarios.

LTA: Which season is your favourite – explain

Summer. Because it’s warm and sunny… no further explanation needed.

LTA: What do you buy loads more of than other people, and why? 

Trainers. But specifically Adidas Originals like Gazelle, Spezial, Hamburg and Munchen.  I have approximately 50+ pairs.

LTA: What are your ‘go to’ local businesses?

Butchers.  A nod to Stuart at Dave Brown & Son in the High Street.

LTA: What do you get up to in your spare time?

I game (PS4) although I’m not very good, I like to read, I love cooking and just generally try to relax ready for the next day.

LTA: What’s your guilty pleasure?

I genuinely don’t have a guilty pleasure.

LTA: What’s your favourite way to start the day?

Coffee… strong coffee!

LTA: If you were stranded on a desert island, what three things could you not do without?

1. Vickie, my beloved wife of 25 years

2. Mr Chunk, our barmy French Bulldog

3. My phone. I’m not someone to sit on my phone 24/7 but it truly is my mobile office. I have apps that allow me to make basic designs on the hoof. It’s great to be productive while sitting on the train!

LTA: What plans do you have for the future?

We would love to buy a house in Turkey. We have been visiting every year since 2007 and have so many wonderful friends out there who are more like family to us.  Owning a home would be the icing on the cake.

Learn more about Panda Creative Ltd please follow this link

Author: Editor

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