Top Sales or Marketing Professional - Winner Natalie Porter, Porters Fuchsias

Sales and marketing manager Natalie Porter joined the family business in August 2014 after gaining a first-class honours degree in English language, a subject that in no way prepared her for business, sales or horticulture.

Top Sales or Marketing Professional - Winner Natalie Porter, Porters Fuchsias
Top Sales or Marketing Professional - Winner Natalie Porter, Porters Fuchsias

She faced a company that had recently endured some turbulent times but boasted a well-equipped 2ha nursery, a highly skilled grower and a highly able manager (her father), determined to restore the business to its former pre-eminence.

Natalie identified that the company's values of quality and loyalty made it a better fit for garden centre supply, which offered much bolder margins than the contract and discount retail markets that were then sustaining it, and so set out to develop a format to meet this market. This meant enhancing the products offered by the company, most significantly introducing planted containers, for which she sourced the materials to optimise cost and value for money, buying container loads of tubs from China and utilising another nursery's heather surplus to protect quality and margin.

Supply rose from zero to 60,000 units within the first year, with a value of more than £162,000 of which 22% was profit for the nursery. This extra revenue she spent on professionally printed catalogues that were distributed nationally, helping to establish the business of 20 additional garden centres by mid 2015.

She also led the rebranding of the nursery's retail range as Happy Plants, a key part of building Porters' garden centre portfolio from near scratch to £1.2m-plus annual turnover, with the company's plants now stocked in more than 250 centres.

SEE ALL 2017 UK GROWER AWARDS WINNERS


Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

How did ornamentals production fare in 2016?

How did ornamentals production fare in 2016?

Survey highlights growing importance of ensuring profitability in uncertain times.

Career profile - Production manager

Career profile - Production manager

A production manager's main responsibility is to ensure that the glasshouse, nursery or farm produces a bountiful and consistently high-quality crop for people to enjoy.

Ornamentals fertilisers

Ornamentals fertilisers

Manufacturers are developing new ways for growers to manage crop inputs while reducing reliance on pesticides, Sally Drury reports.


Seabrook On... Sensible pricing levels

Seabrook On... Sensible pricing levels

One of the big retail chains has flower seeds on sale at 25p a packet, while one of the specialist mail-order companies has six nigella plants on offer at £15 plus £4.95 carriage charges.

Production stars take innovation lead at UK Grower Awards and Garden Retail Awards

Production stars take innovation lead at UK Grower Awards and Garden Retail Awards

Over the past week it has been the great privilege of the Horticulture Week team to welcome more than 700 leading horticulture professionals to three great industry events - the Garden Retail Awards 2017, the UK Grower Awards 2017 and the third Garden Retail Summit, all hosted by Horticulture Week.

UK Grower Awards winners demonstrate exceptional talent

UK Grower Awards winners demonstrate exceptional talent

Welcome to this special presentation of the achievements of the outstanding winners of the UK Grower Awards 2017.


Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.