Funky role model who encourages kids to be different

Furniture Designer. When he started out, Finn Stone's family, friends and teachers all poured cold water on the north London school-leaver's plans to become a designer. The prospects looked bleak as his grades were only enough to secure a place on an HND course in ceramics at a provincial polytechnic. But 10 years later, with shows in New York and London and a contract to manufacture colourful polyethylene ball chairs for Conran shops, Stone is well on the way to international acclaim. His greatest satisfaction is in challenging pupils to succeed. "I'm a different sort of role model from the teacher in his tweed jacket. I go in funky and down to earth - wearing designer labels and trainers.

"To be honest, kids are more interested in their mobile phones than in business. But I throw their questions back at them. I ask them, 'Why are you doing what you're doing?' 'What are you good at?' and 'Do you know what you really want to do?' I encourage kids to be different. If you try to be original, then people put brick walls in your way. It comes down to finding out who you are. Nothing's impossible!"

www.finnstone.com

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