Hoxton digital entrepreneur Jamie Bolding on building multi-million-pound media powerhouse Jungle Creations from scratch
- Credit: Forbes and Levon Bliss
Hoxton entrepreneur Jamie Bolding tells the Gazette how he created his multi-million-pound media powerhouse Jungle Creations from just one Facebook page.
Jamie Bolding’s first foray into entrepreneurship was selling his unwanted Christmas presents on eBay and Amazon, aged 13.
Despite his mum being “pretty furious” about it, he was chuffed to get the cheques through the post.
“I’m not a materialistic guy but the feeling I could generate my own income was super exciting,” the 26-year-old told the Gazette.
He moved from Guildford where he grew up to study business at Manchester Uni – but didn’t really go there to study. Instead he wanted to network and meet like-minded people who wanted to start businesses.
He started a couple of his own to promote events in the city, one of which – “Smash Uni” – “was pretty cringe, really”.
As part of that he played around with social media, building Facebook pages and growing an audience.
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The businesses failed, so he went off travelling around the world.
But three years ago he moved to Hackney to live near Tech City, and resurrected one of those Facebook pages. He built his website Viral Thread (VT) off the back of it.
Some of the videos he curated actually did go viral, and within nine months his audience grew from zero to a million.
“I would build the audience by curating videos and use that audience to drive them towards my website where I would be writing articles,” said Jamie, who lives in Hoxton – which he thinks is “vibrant and cool”.
“It was a one-man job. It was very hectic.”
VT is now one of his 16 social channels covering topics from beauty to food, parenting, make up, fitness and animals, with 50million followers between them and a multi-million pound turnover. Jamie says Jungle Creations, which oversees them all, generates up to five billion views a month.
What’s more, he’s just been named one of the 30 brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers in Europe by American business magazine Forbes.
“I kind of am quite ambitious,” said Jamie. “It’s a bit of a curse. I’m never really happy to be honest.
“I always want to do more. It’s really small in comparison in to where I want us to be in two, three or four years’ time.”