He spent years frequenting the plush haunts of Chelsea, earning a living and a reputation from his partying.
But Spencer Matthews has revealed how after spending his twenties in jobs ‘I didn’t love to fund my lifestyle’ he has turned his passion into a global business.
The ex Made In Chelsea star, who is estimated to have a personal wealth of £2.9 million, founded his low-alcohol spirits business CleanCo in 2019, after ditching alcohol following the birth of his son.
Entrepreneur: Spencer Matthews has revealed how after spending his twenties in jobs ‘I didn’t love to fund my lifestyle’ he has turned his passion into a global business
Last year Spencer, 34, raised £7million of investment for the brand, which is now selling in 40 stars in the US as well as online and in UK shops.
He’s not a complete novice in the world of business, having worked as a city trader before finding fame at £50 a day on E4’s series Made In Chelsea back in 2011.
Then there’s the small matter of the family business. His father David Matthews is a former door-to-door salesman, turned race car driver, turned hotelier with an estimated net worth of $2.6 billion. Spencer is a shareholder in his parent’s a-list hotel, Eden Rock in the Caribbean.
Spencer recalls in an exclusive chat with MailOnline that he spent his twenties trying to fund the lifestyle his privileged background has afforded him.
‘I spent a lot of time working professionally in jobs that I didn’t perhaps love, working pay cheque to pay cheque to live and to fund my lifestyle,’ he recalls.
As well as feeling unfulfilled in his work, Spencer realised he had an ‘unsustainable relationship with alcohol’ during those heady years of partying and TV fame.
‘I found it difficult in my later twenties to live up to my full potential. I’ve always been ambitious. I realised my relationship with alcohol was hindering my chances of becoming that person whoever that might be,’ he admits.
He decided to quit drinking in 2018, becoming in his words ‘sober curious’, after the birth of his first child with wife Vogue Williams.
Then after being offered a non alcoholic gin and tonic at a party, he had the brainwave which would transform his career trajectory.
‘From having the idea to trying to turn it into the business there was not time at all, within a week,’ he says. ‘I can’t tell you how impatient I was with it, I was crazy with it. I knew immediately that I had to do this and I needed to do it.’
Calling himself ‘impulsive, ambitious and at times arrogant’,’ Spencer admits that his newfound passion for work has affected home life with Vogue and their three children, Theodore, four, Gigi, two and Otto, six months.
He confesses: ‘I’m an obsessive kind of person, I became obsessed with this and I think it was unattractive to begin with.’
‘I was so tied up with this business and myself that you forget certain really important things, like spending time with your kids when you have a spare hour.’
‘I completely love my kids and my family but I did get very much sucked into this. At one stage I was on calls at 1am, 2am and 3am every night. Of course it means that your mood is just affected and you’re not quite the same person.’
Family: Spencer decided to quit drinking in 2018, becoming in his words ‘sober curious’, after the birth of his first child with wife Vogue Williams, which sparked his business idea
‘You need support, particularly from your wife and family,’ he adds. ‘My wife is my best friend, we see each other every day. She has her own career, she does not need me or need this to go well.’
And he admits he has a security blanket: ‘Vogue’s wildly independent. I’m lucky in that regard, I’m not risking her or my family’s future if I fail. She is successful in her own right which is of course helpful to me, it takes some of the pressure off.’
Spencer is choosing to embrace his ambitious nature, pointing out ‘I think confidence is a good trait, not to be mistaken with arrogance. There’s a fine line between the two.’
‘Starting a side hustle or a business without raw passion is really difficult. People need to buy into you, your idea and what you believe you can achieve.’
Juggling act: Calling himself ‘impulsive, ambitious and at times arrogant’,’ Spencer admits that his newfound passion for work has affected home life with Vogue and their three children
‘I would far rather fail at a wild goal than achieve an easy goal but in business you have to strike the middle ground.’
Spencer is now passing on his business secrets, fronting a campaign to empower would-be entrepreneurs to take the leap and kick off the business ideas they’ve always dreamed of.
The #MuscleUpYourSideHustle project will be supporting 10,000 people to set up cash generating side hustles in the next 12 months.
The campaign, from Osome (who provide small businesses with financial management and accountancy tools) is giving away free information and advice packs to anyone in the UK interested in setting up their own business.