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May 19, 2017

Young Nelson entrepreneur takes competition project to next level

After winning The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Company of the Year title, Where's Woolly has become a full-time job for James Perham.


Up to the end of last year, James Perham wanted to join the Royal New Zealand Navy. 

In a complete turn about, his full time job is now being the marketing director of his own company.

Perham, 18, was one of the five Nelson College students who entered the business idea, a "Where's Woolly" book, in The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise competition last year.

Together with Duncan Murray, Braydon Drummond, Alistair King and Ben Higgins, he won the The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Company of the Year title.

"I was dead set about going to the navy, I had it all exactly planned out," Perham said.

"But after the national awards and winning company of the year, that's when I was kind of realised I actually really enjoyed doing this."

He said after winning the award, the business had gone from just a project to a fulltime job.

"You work horrible hours that are way too long, I don't know what a weekend is and all those things. [But] it's kind of cool, creating something from scratch, to becoming an international success."

Perham said they had sold more than 2500 copies of the book in 28 different countries around the world, and it had been translated into Mandarin and Te Reo. 

He said only him and Allistair, who was now studying in Dunedin, had continued with the book, setting up a business under the name Where's Woolly Productions. 


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