Me & my job - Louise Gandy, giftware supervisor, Grosvenor Garden Centre

How did you get into garden retail? I used to be a florist and had a flower shop, but then I started to feel that I had had enough of that. During a stay with my sister while I was on holiday she asked me where I'd like to work. I said I would like to work in a garden centre and we searched around on the internet and then saw Grosvenor.

I've always loved garden centres and go around centres at weekends. So I applied for a job and got it. I pretty much "fell" into it and it turned out to be perfectly suited to me. And recently, in November, I was voted Garden Retail Employee of the Year, for which I'm very grateful. The award gets pride of place on my telly now.

What is the best part of your job? The sheer variety of it. The seasons change so quickly and the shop looks different all the time. The environment is quite different too, with lots of new projects on the go. I go with buyers to get the products, for instance at the Harrogate Christmas Show this month, so I see them bought, displayed and then leaving by the shop door. But today I'm sorting out the back cupboard which is the grottiest job you can get. And, of course, the people are great.

And the worst? Occasional customer complaints. But they don't happen often and can usually be turned round.

What are your plans? To stay here and plan the change of the gift area. At the moment it's exciting, taking all the Christmas stuff away and getting things moving round again and making displays look better and better.

What would your advice be for people wanting to get into garden retail as a career? Visit garden centres, look around very carefully and fill in an application form. Also, keep in mind that it's important to be versatile.


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