For this month’s member story, we interviewed Kiran Patel, founder of Docklands Creative. We asked him about his experiences with Echo as a long-time Echo member, how lockdown has affected him and his passion for cycling around East London!
Tell us a bit more about yourself and what do you do?
Hey, I own my little startup called Docklands Creative which was set up in 2019 just before Covid hit. I build websites for companies and deliver technical skills training to people. Most recently I’ve done public workshops empowering people to build their websites.
Recently I ran a web mentoring scheme with the University Of East London for undergraduates that is running for the fourth year now, with over 100 students and some amazing business and organisations taking part. I am currently working with MSc students on some exciting projects both for commercial and community project websites.
I’ve also been writing a newsletter, which I have been meaning to do but the perfectionist in me always stops me from doing things so just decided to do it “badly” – so check that out on my website.
How long have you been part of the Echo community, and what first attracted you to join?
I remember reading an advert in the Olympic Park Legacy newsletter. I loved the idea of sharing my passion for technical skills and learning new skills too.
We’ve made it out of full lockdown! What have you been able to do again since the lockdown eased?
Going to the gym! I never thought I would miss it so much, but I did. I’ve enjoyed just laughing with my trainer Bradley from Eat Lift Lose and on the work side, I’ve loved building back stronger with new clients.
Have you had to make any big changes as a result of the pandemic, and what have been key learning moments for you?
All consultations for Docklands Creative are now virtual. We’ll be remaining like that for some time as well as home working.
“Health is wealth” is what one of my aunts in the USA says, I never used to take note and after seeing Covid-19’s ugly side it’s made me want to improve my health.
Mental health is crucial too. I took part in sessions with the Mind Over Mountain charity, which made me very much want to venture out into the lovely national parks we have and reconnect with nature, and not see pixels every day.
What’s been your favourite Echo experience to date?
My favourite experience has to be meeting the amazing team behind Echo and its members at workshops and member socials. I also had the pleasure of having my project TechTribe picked for the first version of the Echo Community Chest programme, which helped make a huge impact. I can’t pick one trade or event as all of them were amazing!
What are you offering on the Echo marketplace at the moment?
Are you working on something new or exciting behind the scenes?
I’m working on Walk The Loop Trail App at this moment. It’s for a charity that organises activities for families on the London Loop – a 150-mile public footpath that goes around Outer London.
What do you love to do in your spare time when you’re not working on your business?
I recently started cycling with Bikeworks in the Olympic Park with an awesome trike. (Still working on moving to two wheels 😄) The Cycle to Wellbeing Program has helped me through lockdowns to safely get out there. I felt the mental barrier of being an adult and not being able to cycle has been broken and I advocate anyone who is shy, worried or scared to go for it… look up Bikeworks and get peddling!
I even got to appear on the radio due to it ☺️
The ‘5 steps to wellbeing’ was also introduced as part of the programme, though it was invaluable and I advocated it to all.
What was the last thing that inspired you?
There’s a quote by writer and poet GK Chesterton that says, “Anything worth doing is worth doing badly the first time.” There’s an amazing Ted talk on this by Olivia Remes of Cambridge University.