IF business acumen is passed on through family genes, Joe Nicholson is set for success.

The 21-year-old is the son of Dave Nicholson, managing director at Nicholson’s Transport, which provides delivery and warehouse services and runs a Hiab division - offering lorry-mounted cranes.

But Joe, from Sadberge, near Darlington, has now set his sights on building a business empire of his own, with the launch of online furniture store J. N. Rusticus.

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“I always wanted to do my own thing” he said.

“I looked into all sorts but the thing I was most interested in was furniture, I have always been passionate houses and interior designing – my mum is interested in it too.

Joe admits he has learnt a lot from his dad and from growing up in a business environment “He helped me to become business minded. I learnt to lead rather than follow, and made me realise even more that I wanted to do my own thing.

“I used his resources for my own advantage, he told me to go away and find the product I wanted.

He began helping his dad from the age of 13 when he tried his hand at fork lift truck driving.

“With my dad running a successful transport business, I have been involved with the industry most of my life – it is a sector I understand so I knew my business idea had to involve logistics and fulfilment.

“I chose the name Rusticus because it means rustic and rural in Latin and hopefully that reflects the ethos of the business as a supplier of beautiful, ethically sourced furniture from some incredibly talented craftspeople.

Joe, who is already working as a business manager for storage company Box Clever, based in Billingham, took an apprentice route following his A Levels rather than joining his friends at university. Does he feel like he missed out?

“Definitely not – I had a brilliant education” he said.

“It gets drilled into you to go down the normal route, of school, college and university, and I was the only one of my friends who didn’t go to university, but I still got to go on their night outs, so I was able to enjoy the social side.”

Like his dad, Joe is dyslexic and realised the academic route wasn’t for him.

“I didn’t like being told what to do all the time” he said.

“For me, my family have always been supportive and told me to do what I wanted.

“Parents can push kids to go into further education, but there is not enough advice about the other options- there are many people who have had a successful career without going to university.”

Joe revealed his biggest challenge so far, like so many, is money, and recalls how he raised the funds he needed to get J N Rusticus up and running.

“I had to go to India, and my dad made me fund the trip for my own accord.

“I collected all the scrap metal I could find on his premises, and sold it to fund my trip, and I got the money I needed.

“I have been most surprised about what sells - the leather vintage bar stools – I can’t get them in fast enough.

“The site has only been marketed for around four weeks and everything has gone a lot quicker than I imagined.

“We sell quality top of the range products but for a fraction of the price.”

Joe is also optimistic that selling furniture can work online, without the presence of a showroom that so many people crave when buying home furnishings.

“The older generation may prefer to go and sit on the furniture and try the products, but that is not how the world works anymore.

“We have a warehouse if people want to look at the products before they buy, but it hasn’t been an issue so far.

“We have invested a lot of time in the images of the furniture so customers get a good view of what they are buying.”

So what advice would he give to other sons or daughters looking to follow in their parents entrepreneurial footsteps?

“Don’t be afraid to ask. I’ve got people around who I can go to for help and advice.

“I couldn’t have done it without them.”

Five minutes with Joe Nicholson…… Favourite North-East building and why?

The Sage in Gateshead - there is nothing else quite like it.

What was your first job and how much did you get paid?

Working in one of my dad’s warehouses during holidays and weekends. I was paid in gained experience - or that’s what I was told.

What is the worst job you've had?

That would have to be my short time spent in procurement for a corporate company. But I haven’t had a job I have particularly disliked hated as there is always an opportunity to learn something.

What would you cook for me if I came around for dinner?

I wouldn’t. I’d take you out to one of my favourite restaurants - Chadwicks in Maltby.

What would your superpower be?

It would have to the same as Wolverine from X Men – with all his healing powers and hyper senses. Name four people, dead or alive, who would be at your perfect dinner party. At this stage in my life it’s not so much dinner parties, it’s more just parties with my mates.

Most expensive thing you've bought - other than car or house - and how much?

Unfortunately, it would be braces for my teeth as that set me back £2,000.

Who is the best person to follow on Twitter and why?

I don’t have Twitter - more of an Instagram man.

Favourite book?

The last book I read was in school and was “Of Mice and Men” by Steinbeck.

When did you last cry?

I don’t do crying unless I’m in the kitchen and someone has sliced an onion.

What is your greatest achievement?

It would easily have to be setting up JN Rusticus even though it’s still in its early days.

What's the best piece of advice in business you've ever been given?

Be patient and think before you make any decision.

Favourite animal and why?

Dogs as they are loyal and are always there when you need them.

Most famous person on your mobile phone?

Don’t really have any one famous yet.

What was the last band you saw live?

Paolo Nutini Describe your perfect night in.?

Beer and steak - need I say more?

In another life I would be... ?

A king Who would play you in a film of your life?

Seth Rogen What irritates you?

Disloyalty and liars.

What's your secret talent?

It’s yet to be discovered.