How did you get started in the industry? I previously worked in film PR for around 10 years but made the move into horticulture four years ago because gardening has always been my passion. I worked at another garden centre before moving to Camden Garden Centre 18 months ago. Now my personal interest and hobby is my career.
What is your day-to-day role? I am responsible for ordering in the plants and trees to stock the garden centre, as well as providing customer service. As a centre we pride ourselves on locating plants that customers request, so I have a lot of contact with various nurseries. My background in PR means I know the importance of good contacts in a business, which helps me in my job now.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job? The garden centre offers training to many people and it is really rewarding to see trainees grow and develop and to help provide them with a chance of future employment and success.
What is the biggest challenge you face? Day to day, it has to be fighting plant diseases. We have many customers who have questions or problems and identifying the weird and wonderful diseases is a challenge, especially if you are trying to do it over the phone without seeing the plant in question.
What is your biggest achievement? Having successfully made the transition into a new career in a completely different field.
What did winning the Social Enterprise of the Year award mean to you? It was great recognition for a lot of hard work by the whole team at the garden centre. I was inspired to see how many companies around Camden and Islington are community centred and keen to help people.
What does the future hold for you? I hope to stay in my job for a long time. We have a friendly team and we all work well together, so it is fun to come to work. For the business, social media and building a relationship with our customers is definitely a priority.