How did you get started in the industry?
Through Focus. I was an indoor horticulture buyer at the DIY chain before its demise and before that I was a buyer for other categories. I was at Focus for 13 years and am passionate about retail.
What advice would you give to others starting out?
You have to be both open minded and flexible. It's an exciting but fast-moving area because horticulture is dependent on weather as well as the seasons. This calls for some imaginative outside-the-box thinking.
What does your typical day involve?
It's an 8.30am to 5pm day but you never switch off because of your BlackBerry. Lots of my time is spent looking at daily, weekly and monthly sales to identify what's doing well and what's not.
What takes up most of your time?
Product sourcing and looking for the next deal, and hitting a good balance between buying and selling at the right price.
What is the best aspect of your job?
I enjoy buying and watching how it sells. It's great to see what you've bought shifting off the shelves.
And the worst?
There isn't a worst aspect - everything's rosy right now.
What is your greatest achievement?
I was in second place for buyer of the year in 2010 among 22 or so other buyers at Focus. This is a great yardstick of how well you are doing because it's so results-driven.
How do you wind down after a hard day?
I look after my two-and-a-half-year-old baby daughter, Madison, which can occasionally push up my stress levels.
What does the future hold?
The immediate future is about building up to peak season and seeing all the fruits of your labour pay off. Longer term, it's to help develop the business and keep the gardening side new and exciting.