Podcast 29: N26’s Brexit, cat jumpers and the glorification of failure

Jamie and Mat are reunited after a short break. They discuss the challenges of running a family business, challenger bank N26’s exit from the UK and look at a small business making mementos from dead pets.

12 February 2020

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Show notes

Jamie and Mat have both been out in France on a company retreat taking a break from office life.


Rushden based shoe firm, DB Shoes, run by two generations of identical twins turns 100

  • The business was initially set up by a pair of identical twins in 1920: Jack and Bill Denton
  • In 1990, Jack's grandsons David and Charles Denton (also identical twins) took over the business and helped protect its future
  • This year, the business turned 100

Challenger bank N26 has closed 200,000 UK accounts

  • They cited not having enough time to put group structure in place prior to Brexit as their reason for pulling out of the UK
  • According to N26: “The timings and framework outlined in the EU withdrawal agreement mean that the company will in due course be unable to operate in the UK with its European banking licence.”
  • They appear to be focusing more on their primary market – Germany – where they are based

Business spotlight: 9 Lives Twine

The business that lets you keep your pet forever.

  • Theresa Furrer spins your old pet fur into jumpers, scarves and hats so that you can continue to enjoy their soft fur after they pass away
  • She works 60 hours a week by popular demand
  • A lifelong knitter, she didn't want to continue using sheep wool because of the sustainability issues associated. So, she appealed for cat and dog fur so that she could continue making her fur jumpers
  • She also runs a business called Close By Me Jewellery that takes the ashes of pets or loved ones, turns them into a resin and then sets them in gold or silver jewellery

According to Theresa: "The poodle is the worst dog to spin. If I can get this poodle [done], I can do anything."

Check out the New York Times article here

Brilliant or Bonkers?

"Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently."

– Henry Ford

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Jamie Maddison has written for a range of publications including Lonely Planet, Geographical, Diplomat, and Hidden Europe.

Article updated on: 25 March 2020

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