A MAN who left school at 16 after hating the classroom and failing exams now runs a multi-million pound empire.
Joel Rémy Parkes was uninspired at school – but the determined young lad had dreams of becoming a pilot so took on a sales job to fund himself.
The hard-working teen, who was raised by a single mum, took a shine to the industry and harnessed this talent to create his own business – rather than selling those of others.
He told The Sun Online: "I didn't go to uni as I didn't do great at school.
"I wanted to be a pilot and my sister just one day suggested that I get a job in sales to pay for this.
"Through these jobs I got to work with successful brands and when you're surrounded by people like that you get inspired and you're like 'maybe I can do this'."
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When Joel became a dad, he realised just how messy meal times can be with a baby or toddler.
Food and drinks were dropped and spilled everywhere, with entire bowlfuls often being chucked to the floor.
"We had just had my son and the plastic bowls and plates he was using just allowed the food to go everywhere," the 42-year-old explained.
This sparked what became a multi-million pound idea, plastic-free kids' crockery that sticks to any surface it's put on.
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The savvy entrepreneur kick started his vision in 2016 and now the brand Bamboo Bamboo has amassed an impressive £4million networth.
Fulfiment by Amazon is responsible for about 70 per cent of Joel's sales.
The scheme handles storing, packing and shipping the products which means the dad-of-four can keep his team smaller.
"Most of the success has just been through word of mouth," he added.
"Now the business is successful, I can now carve the sort of future I'd like to have."
Joel urged others who may be struggling with their education not to give up or "be afraid to do things differently".
"I was never good at maths, but now I've gotten myself into a position where I can just hire someone who's good at maths for me," he added.
The businessman encouraged youngsters to stay positive and "learn through experiences" when you can.
"I think everybody learns differently and I wasn't one that was good at learning in a classroom and I also couldn't repeat it in an exam," he said.
LOOKING TO THE FUTURE
The humble entrepreneur has plans to continue growing his empire and branch out into products for the teenage market.
His main priority will be keeping stock environmentally friendly and plastic-free.
In an interview with the Mirror he said: "When you are buying products for your child, things that they have to put in their mouths, you want it to be as organic and natural as possible.
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“It made sense to not only think about the children today, but the world they’re going to inherit in the next 20 or 30 years."
The planet-conscious businessman said he hopes to create a legacy that his kids can be proud of – not one they will be fishing out of the ocean in years to come.
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