Patrick Ryan

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Patrick Ryan is an American entrepreneur. Patrick started The Canvas Works in 2007 and is based in Ireland.[1]

Patrick Ryan, founder of The Canvas WorksPatrick Ryan, founder of The Canvas Works


The Canvas Works




Early Career

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The Canvas Works

Patrick started The Canvas Works in 2007. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: [1]

Q: How did you get started on The Canvas Works?

So my background was in Law. I left University with my law degree and was intending to get my professional qualification and practice but I didn’t enjoy the practical side of law as much as the academic side. I changed course and spent ten years in the advertising industry in the UK and Ireland before I founded The Canvas Works.

It was around the beginning of digital photography - pre-iphone! I suppose working in an industry like advertising gave me an insight into how huge digital photography and printing was going to be and I could see the potential for a personalised print product. What I didn’t see was the difficulties that would lie ahead in terms of building out a scalable business, investing in digital assets like apps and websites and the challenges of working in light manufacturing, competing against big international players with scale, buying power and big marketing budgets.

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I had a little seed capital from a house sale and just bootstrapped from the very start. It’s pretty much been organic growth all the way through. We had a good start but the financial downturn of 2008 that swept through Europe and the US nearly took us down. Spending and the wider economy collapsed in Ireland around that time. We survived and things began to pick up again around 2012/2013. It’s been steady year on year growth since then.

Source [1]