Joe McKenzie is the entrepreneur behind Xupes, which recently received investment from Downing. As well as owning a business, Joe is a property developer, father and husband.
With an early interest in photography, Joe studied at the University of the Arts, London. But while studying he dabbled in pre-owned luxury watches. On graduating in 2009, having proven the market potential, Joe decided to combine his affinity for watches with his father’s knowledge of the antique trade, and together they established Xupes.
Despite spending countless hours and weekends at the office, Joe is always upbeat, positive and inspirational in his approach. Without his vision, persistence, commitment and attention to detail, Xupes would not have achieved the status and success it enjoys today.
We caught up with Joe for the latest in our ‘My London’ interview series.
I really enjoy visiting Kings Road. Good shopping, lovely mews houses, galleries and parks. That is probably where I’d choose to live if I were based in London.
Favourite place for brunch:
We have a great local spot called Hopleys in Much Hadham, which is about as quintessential-English-village as you can get. We like to sit in the beautiful gardens and eat their warm chocolate brownies.
Best coffee in London:
I visit our web development team every two weeks and make a stop at a coffee shop called The Association which makes a mean espresso.
Favourite gallery or museum:
New York Guggenheim (although I’ve only been once). I’m inspired by modern architecture and design and the Guggenheim not only houses some amazing art but the building itself is spectacular.
Tell us a secret:
I’m hyper-organised and methodical to the point where I fold my boxers and order them by colour. I know.
Favourite place to shop:
Cambridge, it’s very cosmopolitan, laid-back and unpretentious. Nothing beats going to Selfridges in London for some inspiration. But generally I’m an online shopper these days.
Favourite place to find inspiration:
I take my dog Alfie for a run most mornings. That is when I have a chance to think or clear my head. I have a route that takes me out through the countryside. It’s peaceful, beautiful and quiet. I always get into the office and write my thoughts down.
Best London destination for a date:
I’d probably choose Sketch for dinner, followed by cocktails at Madison overlooking St. Pauls. Alternatively, Sushi at Buddha Bar in Knightsbridge, which has become a popular stop for my wife and I when we are in London.
I recently visited Amsterdam for the first time and the Vondelpark was great. It was beautiful and had a real buzz about it.
Favourite food market:
You can’t beat Borough market. Whether you’re looking for cheese, fresh vegetables, salami or homemade produce, Borough market has it all and more.
Your sanctuary in the city:
If I could choose it every time it would be the Corinthia. It’s pretty much my style encapsulated in a hotel and it has a great spa. I can’t say I can always afford it though!
What inspires you?
I’m inspired every day by a lot of things. My wife, son, family and team above all. I never stop projecting forward and often forget to stop and think about how far we’ve come. I’m always looking for new ideas and how they can be applied to Xupes.
This season I’m loving:
Off-piste skiing! I find it hard to switch off and if I’m on a beach I’ll probably have one eye on my iPhone.