Now for those who also fall in love with the county, he and his team have developed a range of badges – designed in the shape of the heraldic rose of York – with interchangeable magnetic designs, allowing you to mix and match to your heart’s content.
The enamel fashion accessory can be worn standard on the lapel or on a key ring or bag charm. And the range keeps on growing.
Called the Magcessory, some of the designs also sport lovable mascot Mags the sheep, who Oli hopes will become a talisman for his favourite part of the world. The fact the local tourist offices and gifts shops are stocking and selling the souvenirs is a good sign.
Oli’s journey to Yorkshire and his product creation is an interesting one.
His first inspiration for the concept of badges that build into something more came from drinks giant Coca-Cola at the London Olympics. He was working as a police sergeant during the games and saw how people responded to Coke’s collectables.
He mulled it over while he was travelling during a career break in 2014, an adventure that took him through Belize, Honduras, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia (where another part of his heart resides), completing charitable tasks as he went.
One memorable day, while sat taking in the jaw-dropping vista of the Galapagos Islands during a stint with a conservation organisation, he realised he had to change his life plan.
He resigned from the police and headed for Leeds, where he completed a MSc in Enterprise and secured some funding to start the Magcessory. He made his home in Halifax and is now one of its greatest champions.
The Magcessory has also become a product with a purpose. One of the designs reflects the company’s links with www.andysmanclub.co.uk, a support group for men which is tackling male suicide. Its slogan is #itsokaytotalk He now donates 10 per cent of his profits to the cause.
Oli takes up the story: “My interest in Andy’s Man Club, or more specifically one of the co-founders Luke Ambler, was when my previous boss told me about him, the group and everything he had achieved in such a short space of time. He lost his brother-in-law, Andy Roberts, to suicide just a few months before I moved to Halifax in 2016.
“This coincided with a family member going through a tough time and me not knowing how to best support him and that also got me to reflect on how many acquaintances I have seen battle mental health conditions and my own struggles under a dark cloud of depression, not feeling able to talk.
“I wanted to do something and suggested making pins for them. The timing was perfect as it transpired they were in early discussions about getting such a product made.
“I am exceptionally grateful to them for supporting my enterprise, but it runs deeper than that. My involvement with them has been life-changing. They do something really extraordinary.”
Oli joined the group to raise funds and awareness by climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in October last year.
You can buy your Magcessory by searching for the PiTDesignStore on Etsy and learn more about it here: www.pieceittogether.co.uk
Follow Oli, Mags and the team on your socials as well @PiTDesignUK and follow @andysmanclubuk for some important content and support.