A view from the top: Freestar

Discover why the Freestar co-founder thinks his industry needs more young people

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We caught up with Charlie Crawley, co-founder of alcohol free beer brand Freestar, to find out more about his journey from not having a clue with work to co-founding an award-winning business.

What was it like finding your first job?

Incredibly daunting and difficult. Without knowing really what I wanted to do or how to go about finding a job, I ended up volunteering for a non-profit. That experience, even though it wasn't within the business world, helped me understand a bit more about the world of work. It's often about just getting your foot in the door, then the wheels are in motion.

How do you think the non-alcoholic drinks industry would benefit from employing young people?

The non-alcoholic drinks industry is still so young. It's still largely dominated by big brands and often serves an older demographic, despite the fact that it's young people in particular that are leading the movement towards moderation (of alcohol).

The industry needs better products and brands that are reflective of the way in which young people approach the category. And to do that, it needs young people working for them.

What would be your advice to someone who dreams of starting their own business one day?

Have a really clear idea of the problem you are trying to solve and, as much as possible, test that it's really a problem that enough people face. Once you've got going, you need a lot of the cliches: hard work, thick skin, perseverance, and good people around you.

How can someone impress you in a job interview?

Passion, first and foremost. Any startup needs passionate people that are going to work hard and believe in the company's mission.

In addition, it's important that the candidate has done basic research on the company: checked out the company's Instagram feed and website, for example. And they should always have a few questions for the interviewer up their sleeve.