How did you get started in the industry? I joined the family business five years ago. Previously I was a sports and ski wear buyer, which was totally different. I wanted a change from a buying to a selling role.
What advice would you give to others starting out? Having retail expertise is quite important in doing a sales role selling to garden centres because understanding the retail environment is important. Then you have to love plants, definitely. The business can be seasonal, so for some people there is a bit of downtime.
What has been your biggest achievement at work? We have won the National Plant Show new plant of the year for two years in a row, with Troillus 'Dancing Flame' then Salvia 'Love & Wishes'. The Salvia will have 4,000 in May 2016 available to all UK garden centres. Last year the Troillus was a strong seller and I hope this will follow suit. It has a very good habit, strong form and flowers from May to November.
What is the best aspect of your job? Developing products and concepts and looking for new plants.
And the worst? The weather.
What are your plans for the future? To continue to develop our business. Next year will see a major increase in our herbaceous offering. The market is very much for colour, which is our largest focus now. Close to budding, quick impulse buys then move on to next week's promotions to keep the garden centre looking fresh.