- How did you get into garden retail?
I'm a local girl and did business studies at Bournemouth University before working at B&Q as a content manager on multi-channel elements like catalogues and the website. A short stint in financial services led me back to retail as I missed the variety and pace of life. When an opportunity at Haskins came I seized the moment.
- What's the best part of the job?
The people are passionate and friendly. It's a great change from a big corporate set-up to be in a family atmosphere with lots of professionalism and knowledge. Haskins' customers are unlike those of a big retailer; they are very loyal and interested in the marketing. If they see me in the centre they will often come over and ask questions. Usually you are stuck in an office and don't see projects implemented, but at Haskins I'm out there seeing it happen.
- And the worst?
Being the new girl, there's still a lot to learn. This sector is so seasonal and until you have been here for a full year you are on a constant learning curve.
- What would be your advice for people wanting to get into garden retail as a career?
It helps to have an interest in the subject: my parents and grandparents were keen gardeners. You must be ready to continually learn. With most retail you have one product range and that's it. Here we have seasons, emerging trends like grow-your-own, and Christmas, Valentine's Day, Mother's Day and Easter within a few weeks. You have to be varied and able to change rapidly.
- What are your plans?
At the moment we are undertaking a big audit on how systems work and I'm working on putting together a strategic plan for marketing.