My Hampstead: Entrepreneur Joe Kenyon reveals Hampstead’s ‘best kept secrets’
13:00 11 May 2014
Joe Kenyon, 28, is a young entrepreneur who grew up in Hampstead and currently lives in Nassington Road. He recently set up an Instagram framing company with business partner Jake Hayman.
How would you sum up growing up in Hampstead?
I’ve always lived in the shadow of the Royal Free, where me and my three siblings were born, where relatives have passed away and where I hope one day I’ll be an expecting dad passing out cigars in the waiting room.
Hampstead is an extremely comfortable place for any child to grow up, and because of going to school at Fleet Primary and William Ellis Secondary, I hung out with great, normal (to an extent) people.
Growing up in NW3 also means being utterly spoilt by having the Heath on our doorstep.
How has the area changed since you were younger?
The biggest differences in Hampstead I’ve seen (aside from house prices) are on the High Street. The regular haunts, where me and my friends used to spend our pocket money, are no more. Both a consequence of the industries they represented (music and films) and/or the demands of the locals.
If you were guest editor of the Ham&High for a day, what one local issue would you most like to see reported?
Any Future First event at one of the schools they work in in the area. They bring back former students to meet the current crop and share their experiences. They work all over the UK now, but were founded by a group on volunteers at La Swap.
People from our local schools and beyond have gone on to do genuinely amazing, unexpected and fascinating things.
What is the area’s best kept secret?
Parts of the Heath that haven’t been found yet. There is always a corner around which you haven’t walked. And the secret recording studios.
What have you learned most from setting up your business in Camden Town?
Bringing an online business to life on the ground in Camden has shown us that people still love framing photos, and that people are lovely. Also, there are loads more locals shopping in the market on weekends than I thought!
What makes you smile when you walk to work?
The new 24 [Routemaster] bus. I know they’ve divided opinion.
If you had to write your own epitaph, what would it say?
Someone once told me, through exasperated hands, that I remind him of “ready, fire, aim”, which I took as a compliment.