Here is a written recap of my chat with Nick Candy:
Xenia Tchoumitcheva: You sold many flats with only a hole in the ground, how did you do it?
Nick Candy: Property is about location – in this case, you have views of the park and Knightsbridge: Sloane Street, Harrods and Harvey Nichols, and the best possible product.
Xenia: How do you respond to the criticism towards the luxury market
Nick Candy: (…) The British psyche is jealous towards success and aspiration. My brother and I started with 6’000 pounds – if we can do it, many other people can do it.
Xenia: What are the skill set that a young entrepreneur getting into the property industry today has to have?
Nick Candy: Today you need a lot more cash than before. Choose the right location, and a property where you can value. And thirdly: think outside the box – don’t be afraid of spending more to get more.
Xenia: More is more. What is real luxury to you?
Nick Candy: Luxury to me is time. I’m short of it.
Xenia: How would you describe your interior design style?
Nick Candy: They describe us as “Candy&Candy bling”. I don’t think we are bling, plus me and my brother are both married now – our design taste has changed. The quality of the products and the small things that add that air of luxury.
Xenia: Could the strong attention of the press on you and your wife Holly Valance harm your business? Or has it actually helped promoting it?
Nick Candy: Neither, we tried to stay out of the paparazzi limelight. My wife Holly Valance is very well connect and also interested in design, we travel the world and choose bits and pieces together.
Xenia: How international is your client base?
Nick Candy: Let’s make a comparison. 70-80% of NYC’s clients are usually Americans who have made money in sectors like oil or the automative industry, and the rest is international. In London it’s the opposite, 80-90% are international. People come to London for many reasons: to educate children, for their own security, as a safe haven, heritage and cultural beauty. With One Hyde Park we have offered a unique product that existed already in other big cities but had never been done before in London.
Xenia: What’s the biggest competitor to London?
Nick Candy: Nyc, as a financial and property capital of the world. But also, Shanghai, Honk Kong and Singapore. London needs to focus more on improving service. Even just being able to drive to a restaurant and throw your keys to a valley parking, make a significant difference.