I am a West Country Boy! Not ashamed to admit that I have the accent as well. I often get the jokes that are associated with coming from one of the most beautiful parts of England. I feel I am extremely lucky to be able travel to work in and around the South West of England, West and South Wales as well as the Channel Islands.
I spent most of my younger life in a small farming community on the northern slopes of the Brendon Hills, which is within the Exmoor National Park.
I was educated at the local St Peters primary school in Williton and then moved on to the West Somerset School in Minehead. I finished my education at the Technical College in Taunton, where I studied Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.
In 1970 our family business Watchet Products was set up to produce melamine chopping boards, trays and placemats. During the weekends and holidays I was enrolled in the duties of cleaning the workshop and so on, not that I wanted to do this, it was mandatory!
I joined the family company in the summer of 1977, where I learnt the production of flat melamine and in later years the production of moulded trays. I was quite chuffed with this as this as it was my idea and I carried out all the investigating and exploring to find the materials that we would need as well as the actual process. We eventually had 2 double daylight upstroke presses working 24 hours a day! As well as 8 upstroke presses producing the flat melamine.
As we became larger it was imperative that we had a sales force, so I started to go on the road in 1981 visiting our local independent customers. Within a few years we had sales agents across the Country as well as distributors in many countries around the World. We made great headway in the retail trade during those years of the 1980’s and 90’s, spending a lot of time and effort finding customers and actually visiting them! Remembering that there was no internet, company websites, email or mobile phones! All done the old fashioned way by driving miles, walking the street’s and using the the telephone box on the side of the road if you were going to be late!
In 2009 the glory days were over, imports were flowing into the Country and being a British Manufacture was a very difficult business, with all the changes to employment laws, customers not paying on time and stretching payments as long as they could, with great sadness I decided to sell the Company. I still feel sad about it in 2019! I have many regrets for doing it, but I did!
So in January 2010 I became a sales agent, I had the contacts, the enthusiasm, the knowledge, most importantly the ability to sell.
I am very careful who I work with and will not sell conflicting products unless it’s an everyday item. I still target the same independent retailers, garden centres and museums. I am loyal to my customers and will always avoid supplying another shop in the same town, over the years I have been honest and loyal and built up some fantastic friendships with a lot of my customers.
Currently I work with Sophie Allport, IHR and Just Slate.