Joe Ricciardi, Isle of Man

Joe Ricciardi moved back to the Isle of Man last year after six years away. Having set up his own business and getting engaged, he hasn’t looked back since.

‘The Island just has everything I love.’

Manx-born Joe Ricciardi has come full circle, returning to the Isle of Man after six years to escape the hustle and bustle of city life. And since heading back in June last year, both his professional and personal life have flourished. He set up his own photography business, 3 Legs Photography Ltd the following month, and earlier this year got engaged to his partner Rhian. Joe said: ‘The business has gone from strength to strength, as has my personal life.’

‘The number of opportunities that were available to me was immense and allowed me to really experience a vast array of sports, which helped me to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge that I’ve continued to use and develop to this day.’

Jo Ricciardi

Love of sport

Joe was born and grew up in the Isle of Man’s capital, Douglas, and as a child he developed a love of sport. Sport was my childhood, whether that was swimming, racing motocross, playing rugby or basketball,’ he said. ‘The number of opportunities that were available to me was immense and allowed me to really experience a vast array of sports, which helped me to develop a wide range of skills and knowledge that I’ve continued to use and develop to this day.’

  

He turned to triathlon at the age of 15 and he continues to race to this day - Joe has competed for the Isle of Man at the Inter Island Games twice, competed for Great Britain Under 20s twice with a bronze medal in 2016 at the European Triathlon Championships in Lisbon, Portugal.

That led to him competing in XTERRA triathlon at a professional level. ‘It’s a form of off-road triathlon where you get the opportunity to mountain bike and run off-road in some beautiful locations around the world,’ he explained. From racing motocross and growing up in the home of the famous TT races Joe developed an interest in engineering and ‘all things engines’. ‘I loved all things two-wheeled, whether that was stripping and rebuilding an engine the night before a big race or figuring out which new shiny performance parts would make the bike faster,’ he said. He describes his decision to study automotive engineering at Sheffield Hallam University as a ‘no-brainer’. As a student, his love of the TT impacted on his decisions, and his final year dissertation was about how to improve the performance of all-electric TT bikes. After graduating, Joe worked in engineering in the south of England, working on a range of projects from supercar manufacturers to energy and defence contracts.

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‘Everything I love’

It was in April last year that he started thinking about moving back to the Isle of Man. ‘Although I was living close to London and enjoyed trips over to Cambridge, I found myself not enjoying the day to day life that I had built and was interested in something more,’ he said. ‘The Island just has everything that I love: beautiful beaches to watch the sunset, miles and miles of roads and trails for cycling and running, and incredible spots for open water swimming and paddleboarding.’

Joe started searching for engineering positions here but then came up with another idea, to pursue another of his passions, photography. ‘I had always been interested in cameras and photography, and while living across had managed to find a few photoshoots for artists, athletes and yoga studios, so the idea stuck with me,’ he explained. ‘If I wasn't able to find a job that I wanted to apply for, then why not create my own.’

Supportive business community

Joe, aged 26, set up the business just a month after his return and said: ‘I haven’t looked back since. ‘The past year has been an incredible learning experience.’ He said that the Island’s welcoming business community had really allowed him to grow and improve. ‘I have found that everyone wants to help you as well, whether that's recommending you to a friend or giving you an opportunity to show yourself and your skills,’ he said.

He is also grateful to the support - knowledge, networking and funding - he received through the Isle of Man Government Department for Enterprise Micro Business Grant Scheme. ‘It helped me identify a key area where I could expand the business and make a niche that wasn't previously offered,’ he explained.

‘I'm really excited for the business to grow, and for the projects we have coming up this summer, with event videography services throughout Europe for some of my favourite sports.’

Joe admitted that settling back into Island life had been an adjustment after six years away at university and then working in big cities. But he added: ‘Being back around my family and my fiancée has left me with a smile on my face every day. ‘Finishing work on a sunny day at 2pm, going out on the bike, taking the dogs for a walk, playing a round of golf, the move has definitely lived up to my expectations and more.’

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