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Our Founders Story

Our Founders Story

It all started with 3 kiosks way back in 1995 when Paul operated the business from his one-bedroom apartment while he was working full time in his corporate job. Since then, Calendar Club has opened over 4,500 pop-up stores and sells over 1 million calendars every year!

The Courier-Mail Article
The Courier Mail featuring Paul Breen in a Calendar Club Store in 1998. 

 The idea came to Paul in 1992 when he was backpacking around the Greek Islands and met a guy called Tex from the USA who worked for Calendar Club US.  He loved the idea of opening seasonal pop-up stores run by good people looking for that short-term business opportunity. Ever the opportunist and desperate to leave his corporate job, Paul hatched a plan to bring Calendar Club to Australia.

At age 30 Paul was a natural entrepreneur. His determination, drive and leadership took Calendar Club to continuous growth year after year and in 2002 it was bought by the UK book chain, WH Smith.  

Paul continued his entrepreneur journey by founding/co-founding and investing in over 10 companies. These included Epay, who was the market leader in prepaid payments, to Powershop a disruptive electricity retailer, and an education company Learning Unlocked. In 2011 Paul took back ownership of Calendar Club after the owners at the time (Angus & Robertson/Borders/Whitcoulls) went broke.

Pop-up store 2014
 Pop-up Store Westfield Plenty Valley, Victoria in 2014

 Passionate about innovation and solving complex market problems Paul is relentless in his drive to think entrepreneurially and creatively. In 2015 he published a book The Entrepreneurial Way, 92 Success Secrets and Shortcuts to Unleash the Entrepreneur in You.

Calendar Club has come a long way in the last 28 years with sophisticated technology and operating systems, allowing it to continue to operate in excess of 110 stores each year. Team members are empowered and encouraged to take responsibility for outcomes and be innovative and challenge themselves even when there is no pressing need to do so.

Mock Up Store Paul
Mock Up Store with new Eden Reforestation Aprons and Point of Sale. 

 An advocate of best practice and environmental care, Paul has incorporated sustainable practices in all aspects of the Calendar Club business. From encouraging and supporting plastic free alternatives, the use of recycled paper and publishers that have an FSC certification to working with the Eden Reforestation Project to plant 700,000 trees last year.

In the workplace Calendar Club staff enjoy flexibility and autonomy in their roles and most of them have been with the company for over 10 years!

Currently Paul is the Board director / advisory board member of numerous companies including Calendar Club, Intern Match and Learning Unlocked.

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