Michael Howard was born in 1960s London and brought up largely by a single mother who struggled to make ends meet. At 17, he was left to fend for himself, juggling several low-paid jobs just to cover his room and board. Then he got a break selling office furniture and he slowly worked his way up through the business until he was in a position to buy it. Maris Interiors now designs and fits out office spaces throughout London and has a turnover of around 100 million pounds a year. Max Foster sat down with Michael in the office he occupies in the shadows of the Shard building to hear his incredible rags to riches story.