LBA. Hi Paul, thanks for sparing the time to talk with us, I know Tamara is away at the moment, how are you managing without her?
PK. I´m coping!! Tamara is involved in both businesses so there is more work when she is away. Having said that, I think that at the moment, as she is in Kiev with one metre of snow, she has more than enough to contend with. We work well together; it is very much a dual enterprise.
Paul & Tamara Kelly
LBA. You moved to the island about 18 months ago, how are you finding things in general and with the businesses?
PK. I arrived here in September 2011 and Tamara arrived about 6 months later as she was still working in the UK. We first visited Lanzarote in July 2011, fell in love with the island and returned to our home in Cheltenham and made the decision to sell our property and move to Lanzarote. We bought 3 businesses here, Rent Aventura, a bike & scooter rental and excursion business, Real Relax, which has circa 60 leather massage chairs in about 35 hotels and complexes around the island and a jewellery business. Unfortunately due to time restraints we were unable to fully manage the jewellery business so decided to close the outlet.
We actually still have a large stock of jewellery if anyone has the space and is interested in it. It is always difficult when buying a business as the vendor can often understandably paint an over-positive picture. However I can honestly say what I was told financially has been true. I’ve not noticed any major fall off which is pleasing in these difficult economic times, and while there has maybe not been much growth no appreciable fall off. One just has to work the business hard with promotions & special offers but above all be nice to your customers.
LBA. The businesses are quite a change to your previous career?
PK. Yes, I did a law degree but went into journalism and then owned and ran a PR and Advertising agency for many years in Ireland. I then moved to Dubai where I spent 5 enjoyable years running a Pan-Gulf PR consultancy. I returned to the UK and started a company that built mobile phone networks globally. I had about 120 consultants based around the world, and I was constantly on airplanes Monday to Friday travelling every corner of the world. I had that business for 10 years and sold it in 2006, having grown tired of the constant travelling. I then spent a number of years doing interim marketing management consultancy. We were tired of the weather and living in the UK and as mentioned we came to Lanzarote on holiday, fell in love with it and within 3 months we were living here with our three businesses set up.
LBA. You have lived and spent time in other countries, how does Lanzarote compare to those?
PK. Luckily I had lived in Dubai where they have a version of manana that’s not quite as long winded as life speed in Lanzarote, but settling for me was easy as it was not difficult to learn to slow down again. I think Tamara has found the transition more challenging as she was used to city life.
The island has so much to offer, and we were totally blown away by the north of the island following the exceptional rain fall we had in December. It’s turned into a glorious paradise of nature and flowers, simply stunning. The island is normally black and white so it’s been fascinating to watch the black turning into magnificent colours of red, blues and yellows. I consider myself to be extremely lucky to have been taken to some fascinating and secret places on the island by that island explorer David Penney and it is really an island full of continuing surprises.
LBA. Hobbies, you obviously enjoy cycling any other interests?
PK. Golf, but unfortunately I have not played on the island yet. I have been playing in the UK and other Canary islands but have not been fortunate to play here, which is something I hope to rectify shortly. I also enjoy walking, Tamara and I both enjoy walking by the ocean it’s a wonderful feeling and we are lucky to have the opportunity to do it every day.
LBA. Any words of wisdom for anyone planning to move to the island?
PK. I think it could be difficult to start a new business from scratch. I bought 3 established existing businesses and did a full due diligence on them before committing myself. A due diligence is an absolute must if taking on any business. The good thing about being here is the stress free life we have, it’s peaceful and easy to enjoy. The one thing that really amazes me is how time flies. I have no sense of boredom and enjoy stress free working.
LBA. Favourite places on the island?
PK. Mirador del Rio, Famara beach and El Risco restaurant there – amazing Tapas and then Lago Mar, we just love that restaurant and have brought all our visitors there.
LBA. Any new plans, ideas?
PK. The answer is yes, he says with a smile, so let’s watch this space!
LBA. Thanks Paul, now can I have a go on a scooter, please.
If anyone is interested in buying the Jewellery stock that Paul has to sell or if they would like to sell it on a profitable commission basis then please contact Paul (0034) 689 770 423