- How did you get started in horticulture?
I took environmental studies at A-Level, which inspired me to set up an environmentally sustainable business when I left college. Eco-Charlie produces pest repellents made from 100 per cent natural products that are not harmful to the environment. I developed our Natural Slug and Snail Deterrent, initially using waste coffee grounds from a cafe, but it became too expensive to collect the amount I needed. After some research I found a different sediment to use, which is a physical barrier like coffee.
- What does your typical day involve?
Get to work at 8.30am, check emails and catch up with suppliers and stockists. Then I am off to meetings to form new relationships. I have regular meetings with the Prince's Trust as it is mentoring me. Later on I head to the warehouse, where I check the orders going out that day and the next.
- What takes up most of your time?
- Do you get out of the office enough?
Yes. I am out the office most days for a few hours.
- What is the best part of your job?
Getting to meet new customers and negotiating deals.
- And the worst?
I don't really think there is a worst. Although the paperwork can become mundane.
- What piece of kit can't you do without?
My laptop and my car.
- How do you wind down after a day's work?
I sometimes go to the gym but I prefer to go out on my mountain bike. I also try to see my friends as much as possible.
- What does the future hold?
I believe Eco-Charlie will continue to grow and develop, despite the economic turmoil, because it is such a unique business. Our main aim is to raise awareness of the negative effects some chemicals can have on a garden's ecosystem.