From Air Despatch to Airstream Events: meet Leeds’ house music mogul who is hitting the road - X-Forces Enterprise
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From Air Despatch to Airstream Events: meet Leeds’ house music mogul who is hitting the road

Jacob Kelly, from Leeds, has a new woman in his life.  Dottie is American, a little older than him and they plan to travel together to bring house music to the UK’s best festivals.

 

Jacob’s wife JoJo doesn’t mind, as Dottie is an iconic 1970 American Airstream, which Jacob has transformed lovingly as the vessel for his new business ‘Airstream Events’.  Jacob describes the journey to launch:

“It has been six months of relentless work, seven days a week.  Countless hours of organisation, graft, ideas, planning, meetings, form filling, you name it. Dottie went under a very big knife, transforming from unloved caravan to sparkling DJ booth and she made her debut at the Airstream Events launch party in June 2019.”

 

Jacob took on the renovation with the help of some friends, and customised Dottie with one of the best DJ booths and sound systems in the world, emerging as a boutique pop-up party solution for festivals and private events.  He worked with industry leaders to kit out the trailer with the very best in sound technology.  The investment required was therefore considerable so, through X-Forces Enterprise (XFE), Jacob accessed a Start Up Loan for the maximum amount available to buy the Airstream and help towards the equipment.

 

       

 

Airstream Events is not Jacob’s first foray into business.  Jacob set up and established Eclectic Avenue Records and released music from some of the best names in house.  As a DJ, Jacob has played superclubs like Space in Ibiza, and been given producer credit on cult labels such as Music For Freaks and Defected DFTD.

For the last five years, Jacob has owned and run two bars in Leeds – The Doghouse and The 212 – which hosted established international DJs.  The vast knowledge, contacts and experience he accumulated during these years has been channelled into Airstream Events, as Jacob explains:

“I’ve been running my own businesses within hospitality and events for years and have learned an awful lot, some by mistakes; I firmly believe you’ve got to fail to know how to succeed. I decided that I wanted to break free of landlords and being stuck to one place all of the time.  Airstream Events will enable me to do that and include my family more.

“My wife JoJo has been in broadcasting for 22 years, and currently presents the drivetime show on Capital Yorkshire.  Airstream Events is very much a family business, JoJo has been my sounding board when others thought I was mad, despite a really sensible business plan.   We share a deep passion for music and it’s going to be great to enjoy this together and make lasting family memories.”

 

   

 

Jacob serviced eight years in the British Army, within 47 Air Despatch Squadron.  When he left in 1999, it wasn’t a simple transition to civvy street and Jacob revealed it took a few years to find his feet and carve a career in the music industry:

“Those were great years in the Army and, without a doubt, I am grateful for what they gave me.  I think every veteran will understand when I say my military background has never left me.  In everyday life, I hold those values of discipline, hard work and timekeeping in high regard and these are a real benefit when you’re self-employed.

“When I was without focus, I followed my passion and that turned out well.  I’m fortunate to be able to work in a field I love and every stage of my working life has provided positive experiences.”

      

 

Jacob was referred to X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) as the official delivery partner of the government’s Start Up Loans Company for the military community.  XFE supports the business owner with business planning guidance prior to receiving the loan and mentoring for twelve months thereafter via his allocated XFE business adviser.  It is a service that Jacob is finding really useful, even with prior business experience, as he states:

“I have found the X-Forces support to be fantastic so far.  The funding was vital to get my project off the ground and the team coached me through the spreadsheet minefield!  My adviser keeps in touch to make sure that I’m ok, and I’m really pleased this sort of support is available to me because of my Army service.”

 

When asked about advice he might share with others embarking on a new business venture and the challenges he’s faced, Jacob shared his thoughts:

“I believe in carving your own path.  Think of something that you are passionate about, work out a plan on how you can make it work for you and go at it.  Don’t let other people make you doubt what YOU want to do. Get a great support group around you that believe in you and what you want to do and focus on being positive.

“The main thing I’ve learned in renovating Dottie and this amazing yet stressful journey to launch, is that you cannot control time or other people’s time. It is frustrating but there is nothing you can do. For example, if someone that is meant to be doing a job for you but their last job has been delayed, your plans must remain adaptable.  I think that’s probably something else I have retained from my military days too.”

 

      

 

Dottie is now available for bookings via Airstream Events, and will travel to any location around the UK, and will be on the festival circuit in 2020.  Jacob hopes to expand the fleet eventually to see Airstream Events bringing music to even more people.

 

XFE CEO and founder Ren Kapur MBE applauds Jacob’s commitment to following his passion:

“On our Self-Employment Discovery workshops, and during the planning process, one of the first questions we ask of prospective entrepreneurs is whether they really know their market.  The most successful business owners understand who their customers are and what their motivations may be.  Jacob is a great example of this, being fully immersed in his industry, where his knowledge and contacts will prove to be valuable, and drawing on his past business experience.  We are delighted to support him on this new endeavour, and I look forward to meeting the stunning Dottie very soon.”

 

For more information, visit:

http://ukairstreamevents.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ukairstreamevents/

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/airstreamevents.uk/

 


Inspired by this story?

X-Forces Enterprise (XFE) is an award-winning Community Interest Company that nurtures entrepreneurial ambition in the UK military community, official delivery partner to the government’s Start Up Loans Company and MoD’s Career Transition Partnership.  XFE supports Service leavers, veterans, spouses, cadets and Armed Forces family members to start their own businesses with a full package of training, finance, networking and mentoring.  Start your journey by registering today here.

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