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Forbo Flooring Systems

Head of key accounts at Forbo Flooring Systems

Did you ever get into trouble at school and, if so, why?
I never got caught!
What was your first part-time job?
Packing and dispatching Land Rover parts in an Army warehouse. My father was in the military abroad.
What did you spend your first pay cheque on?
I was a lodger when my first pay cheque came through so I’ll have done something sensible like save a few pounds and spend the rest on treats for myself. When I moved in to my first house, the treats went out the window and I spent everything on household items starting with a bed as I didn’t have one and was sleeping on a camp bed!
What was your first full-time job?
At Cadbury’s in Bourneville. That’s where I met my husband who also happened to be my boss so I didn’t get an awful lot done…
What was the best piece of advice you have been given?
Men are like linoleum: if you lay them right first time, you can walk on them for years.
What was your worst business mistake?
When I started my sales career in my twenties, I believed everything I was told and lost several good opportunities in the process. Over the years, I’ve learned to challenge and qualify the information I’m given; and I’ve learned that the truth is multi-faceted.
What was your greatest business achievement?
In sales, and key accounts in particular, the feeling of achievement can range from securing an appointment with the person you’ve been chasing forever to securing a major contract. I’ve won and retained some good clients and I’m proud of that.
What car do your drive today and what does it say about you?
A Volvo XC70. I’m a country girl.
If you could have invented any product, what would it have been?
A self-cleaning carpet tile.
What do you most like about the flooring industry?
The variety and challenges it presents each day.
What do you least like about the flooring industry?
The variety and challenges it presents each day.
Name one change you would make to the industry.
In recent years, the industry has become much smaller with fewer, larger organisations remaining. I do miss the variety, diversity and competition that the smaller, more parochial players used to bring and that includes suppliers as well as manufacturers.
Which company in the flooring industry, other than your own, do you most admire and why? There are companies such as TacFast who are challenging the status quo, which is important for the future development of the industry.
Where should we have a flooring trade show and why?
There are so many flooring and interiors shows all over the world – surely that’s the question: why?
Which single possession would you rescue if your house caught fire?
The husband and hounds are the most important thing. Everything else can be replaced – that’s what household insurance is for!
Do you have any pets?
Anyone who knows me knows the answer to this! Yes, three Irish Setters: Toddy, Paddy and Pip affectionately referred to as ‘the boys’.
Do you have any hobbies?
Good food, good wine, the outdoors and antiques.
How do you relax?
In my jeans and boots in a muddy field with my boys (husband as well as hounds).
What is your favourite tipple?
Sauvignon Blanc and vintage champagne.
How many times a year do you take a holiday and what is your favourite destination?
My husband works abroad so an airport and hotel is the last place he wants to be when we take time off work! We stay at home – it’s very relaxing and indulgent.
What is your idea of heaven?
If Shaun and I had won Euromillions (goes without saying) – he’s heading to the Aston Martin garage and I’m off to a Faberge sale where I would buy lots of beautiful pieces. It’ll take a lottery win before I can afford Imperial Faberge!
Your idea of hell?
Which one record and book would you take to a desert island?
Anyone looking at my CD collection would see that I have a very eclectic taste in music so choosing just one record is quite difficult. I’d probably go for something like ‘She sells sanctuary’ by The Cult, which is actually very untypical of music I listen to, and I listen to this song very rarely but when I do the volume goes to maximum. One of my favourite stories is Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I’m no great literary reader, however this is a story to which I attach some very wonderful memories and I never tire of it.
Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?
Jason Statham (the actor).
If you could be anyone (living or dead, fictional or real) who
If I were Mrs Statham then I might afford some of those Faberge pieces I love so much! There would be other benefits, of course…
Choose five words that describe yourself.
Lively, trustworthy, tenacious, pensive, open-minded
Any regrets?
Rather than harbour regrets, there are a couple of things I’m mighty glad I did at the time and this includes buying my first house at 24. It felt painful at the time and I made a lot of sacrifices, however it has ultimately helped me achieve some of my key ambitions in life.
Do you have any unfulfilled ambitions?
Not many, I must admit – and none that really matter. A mortgage-free life isn’t a million miles away and that’s when the fun really starts.
What was your most embarrassing moment?
This could be it.
If you had to choose another career what would it be?
It would be something hound or fine art related.

This article has been reproduced from the Contract Flooring Journal. You can find them at