27 / 02 / 2019 / Tagged: News

Exclusive Business and Northern Insight February 2019 lunch event

Michael Owen 50odd

Our February lunch speaker is a brave man. With the clock ticking towards his 50th birthday he re-wrote his life script and made the decision to live his life differently. Why, because in his words “You are not late for anything”.

From 1998 to 2013 Michael was responsible for the running of several highly successful design agencies, onebestway, Dunn & Dusted, Angelfysh and the brand consultancy Violet Bick. He enjoyed business success, was the recipient of many awards and financially secure so why walk away?

Why? Because he wanted to bring freshness, simplicity and purpose to his life, and build a business that was founded on those elements.

Inspiration for the fresh new idea came by chance on a grey day, sitting inside watching a sea of dark umbrellas make their way down the street a solitary red umbrella stood out, everyone’s eye was drawn to it, following it down the street.

This prompted research into the colour red and the psychology behind it. The findings showed that of all the colours, red has the longest wavelength, the eye will always see red first.

So if you wear red you are seen first – this was the inspiration for Always Wear Red. Building the brand has been focussed on how the colour can make you feel as the wearer, the statement it makes about you as a person and the confidence it gives you.

It was important to Michael to deliver the best possible products; he has kept the range small, focussing on a few items made by skilled craftsmen in the very best way. The price point is at the high end of the market but that positions the products as desirable and is representative of the ethical practices that are so important in the production process.

Michael had his doubts, he started the company and then stepped away from it but ultimately he went back to it, trusting his own judgement and desire to do something he wanted to do. This takes courage and conviction.

Turning 50 has been a pivotal moment for Michael, he has made changes to make the most of the months he has left out of the 1000 months we are given, a statistic that appeared in his presentation and made us all think a little!

His blog “ – The Diary of a Man That Stopped Waiting” has a daily story and will do for the next years; perhaps this is a way of connecting Michael to the promises he has made himself?

The closing slides from Michael were a great summary for his presentation:

  • You are not late for anything
  • Don’t find excuses – find a way

It was an inspiring presentation, thank you Michael, we think you may see more people wearing red!

Read the blog –

Find your confidence –


The psychology of red:

Women more attracted to men in red

American Psychological Association, 2010

What that ‘red dress’ symbolises: The psychology of fashion.

Sheconomics, 2013.

All About the Colour RED

Sensational Color. 2013

The best way to attract a man? Wear RED: Colour enhances a woman’s sex appeal and makes her more approachable.

The Mail Online, 2014.

The Strange Social Science of the Colour Red

TIME, 2014

Images from Always Wear Red 

Next Newcastle event – Monday 25th March – Speaker,  Dr Joanna Berry Associate Professor Entrepreneurship – Durham University

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