In Conversation With

Issue 27

What were your career ambitions growing up? I always wanted to have my own business, I didn’t necessarily understand what this meant at a very young age but felt this was something I wanted to explore.

Tell me about your career path so far? Although ultimately, I aspired to building a business, I didn’t know what area this should be in. I set about gaining experience in different sectors and sized organizations to understand their genetic make-up process and systems. Gaining international experience in two of my positions this allowed me to build greater cultural awareness.

What are the companies defining qualities? Collaborative, entrepreneurial and focused on delivering a high-quality experience. What is the greatest challenge you have faced so far? As a small business owner, I would have to say cash flow is something that is constant challenge particularly as we continue to build relationships with corporate customers that have much longer payment terms.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Building a team of highly professional, exceptionally committed and dynamic people and then getting out of their way! Is there a mantra you aspire to do business by? Building partnerships with customers, team and suppliers to collaborate across projects and ensure a more sustainable business growth. What is the best piece of business advice you have been given? The race is only with yourself, slow down and celebrate successes before moving on to the next thing.

Who are your heroes in and out of business? My partner’s great-grandma, Sally Mathieson, who started a business selling celery on Stockton market at the turn of the century before women had the right to vote. And built it into a very successful family business incorporating shops and market stalls throughout Teesside.

How do you maintain a healthy work/life balance?

When I am in Newcastle, Speedflex in Jesmond and otherwise walking in the hills and countryside near my home in Teesside. Exercise gives me energy and focus away from all technology to take stock.

How would you like to be remembered? Having a positive impact on people and helping them reach their true potential even if it is just in a small way.

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