My space: Tom Kay, entrepreneur

imageWest Country property special: Entrepreneur Tom Kay shows us round his home in St Agnes in Cornwall.

Ten years ago I was working in London as a chartered surveyor. I realised it wasn’t the life I wanted, so I packed it all in and fled to St Agnes in Cornwall. I grew up in Norfolk, near the sea, and studied marine biology; I always loved the outdoor life, and I think the water called me back.

This is the HQ of my eco-friendly outdoor clothing company, Finisterre. We’re based on the site of an old tin mine, 100 metres from a cliff top in St Agnes, overlooking the beach. The views are spectacular. The location is important for what we do. The winds come in right off the Atlantic, so when it’s windy and rainy, it’s extreme: rain hammers down on the tin roof – it keeps you aware of the power of the elements.

We are a sporty team, and it’s so easy here to go for a swim, surf, bike ride or walk to clear your head; we get inspiration and solace from the surroundings. It’s the perfect spot for trialling natural fabrics for our clothing, testing them ourselves in various sports, from sailing to rock diving.

As well as snowboarding and fishing, I’m a swimmer, and as such I’ve been a volunteer for the local RNLI lifeboat crew for eight years. I always have my pager with me, and if it beeps I have to tear off down the cliff


This belongs to Ernie, one of our team members. He rescued the frame from a scrap heap and rebuilt it. He’s the cyclist in our office triathlon team… I do the swimming and Gregor does the running. Last year we won the St Agnes triathlon


One of our brand ambassadors is Carlos Burle, the surfer who, in 2002, won an award for riding the biggest wave ever surfed – at 68 feet. The record has been beaten since, but this surfboard is his, and commemorates that year’s “Big Wave” event which recognises the world’s 30 top surfers


This is where we have our team meetings. The coffee table and the table next to the sofa were made by a local carpenter from old crates that had washed up on the beach below us


We’ve won various ethical business awards. It’s rewarding that my plan has worked out. We kit out lots of sportspeople and even the BBC’s underwater cameramen

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