Brian Smith's Pop-ettes

Exeter graduate shortlisted for enterprise awards

Brian Smith (PGCE, 2005), has recently had his business Pop-ettes Ltd. recognised in the prestigious Lloyds Bank 2014 Enterprise Awards. He was shortlisted for the London and South East Region alongside nine other innovative local businesses. 

The idea for his Pop-ettes, which are a collection of innovative and fun, origami animal characters, came after working with young children in Seoul, South Korea, in 2002.

“I was making little Pikachu characters out of paper with the children and they really loved making their own,” he said. “I realised that there was a market out there for new, original characters.”

Over the following years he refined his design until, in 2011, he published his first book The World of Popagami which was voted into the Independent’s ‘The 50 Best books for Christmas.’

He was invited onto the BBC show Dragon’s Den two years ago to pitch his business where he amused the judges by inviting them to make origami characters of themselves.

Despite not managing to secure investment from the Dragons, Brian has led his company from strength to strength, working in partnership with WWF, Chessington Conservation Fund and developing a series of designs for the ITV’s British Soap Awards in 2013.

His new book The Magical World of Popagami is released this autumn.

Date: 21 October 2014

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