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The 2019 leading men of Hampshire

PUBLISHED: 15:35 07 May 2019

Archant

Hampshire men mean business! Here, we turn the spotlight on some of our county's most successful - and discover what it is that makes them tick

Neil Garwood – Managing Director, Southampton International Airport Ltd

Tell us about your company?

Southampton Airport is the airport of choice for two million passengers every year, connecting Hampshire with over 40 destinations throughout the UK and Europe. We pride ourselves on the ease and convenience of using the airport, and in March 2019 were named one of the Best in Europe by passengers. We have exciting growth plans which will improve choice and route connections over the next few years.

What's the secret to your success?

If you ask my wife Jo she'll say it's her. And she's not far wrong. For me, one of the greatest foundations for success is a supportive partner who isn't afraid to highlight your weaknesses and may even help you fix them. In addition I'd say that if you believe success is built on achievement, and achievement is done by people, then the other ingredient to success is treating people right. You can't achieve anything without a passionate and motivated team.

What does an average work day look like for you?

I'll try and get an hour in the gym before work. During the day there would be back to back meetings all day if I let them, but I need time to think, so diary discipline is important. I travel a fair bit for which working at an airport proves useful. Time at home after work is family time, although I might check a few emails.


Titus Mills, Headmaster - Walhampton Prep School

Describe your business?

Set within one hundred acres in the New Forest, and overlooking the sea, Walhampton is an independent day and boarding school for boys and girls aged 2-13. Academic excellence sits alongside a distinctive 'Swallows and Amazons' spirit. The cornerstone of the school ethos is JOY. We believe school life should transcend being 'ok' or 'good'. We want all our children to experience the joy of hard work, friendship, adventure, laughter, encouragement, service and nature. This is what spurs us on.

Who inspires you?

The pupils themselves. Day in day out. But it was one lady - Sonam Choden - who inspired me to teach in the first place. Sonam is a wonderful Tibetan, who taught at a refugee school in India. As a teenager,{CR}I spent six months working alongside her where she opened my eyes to the power of education through her passion for her subject and her love of the pupils.{CR}I am going back to the Himalayas, later this year, to tell Sonam how she changed the course of my life.

What does an average work day look like for you?

Greeting families at the front door. Leading chapel assembly. Meeting current or prospective parents, children or staff. Dropping into lessons. Endless emails. Hugs in the Pre-Prep. Coffee in the staff room. Teaching a history lesson. Supporting our sports teams. Drafting a speech. Reading a story. Trying to solve one hundred problems. Tree climbing club. Red wine. Bed. 


Mark Charter - Thrings

What does an average work day look like for you?

I am a countryman at heart and love being outdoors, so most mornings I'm up early running with our dogs Humphrey (a Labrador) and Sid (a Whippet) in the New Forest and tending to Killian, my horse. I meet with clients and their professional advisors every day - it could be on a farm or an estate, in Romsey, or at Thrings' offices in the City of London. In the evening, if I'm not attending a work function, I'll relax at home with my family (after feeding and watering the animals, of course!).

What makes Hampshire such a great place to do business?

Hampshire has a vibrant and loyal agricultural community which has supported Thrings from the moment we opened our first office here in 2016. Having advised and worked with farming clients, agents, accountants, bankers and surveyors in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight for more than three decades, I can't stress enough the importance of continuity of relationship. And to be able to refer to so many of my professional colleagues as friends is something I'm both proud of and grateful for.

Who inspires you?

My grandfather served in the 1st Royal Tank Regiment in the Great War, and was awarded the Military Cross and Croix de Guerre for his actions on the battlefield at Amiens, commanding his tank, Ajax, and penetrating enemy lines. Interestingly, Ajax was the only tank in his company to survive that day. He was a quiet, brave and self-effacing man who stayed true to his principles, always saw things through and never made a fuss. In my eyes this makes his achievements all the more remarkable. They may be old-fashioned values, but they're ones I respect and admire.


Giles Babb - The Thomas Babb Brewing Company

29 South Street, Emsworth, PO10 7EG; 01243 373394

Tell us about your company?

The Thomas Babb Brewing Company is a new Pub company, having taken on it second site The Star & Garter, East Dean after years of success serving the community of Emsworth with The Blue Bell Inn. Each Pub will be looking to boost local economy employing and training local people and using where possible local produce.

What's the secret to your success?

Firstly, not being afraid to get your hands dirty and wash up if needed. As a publican there's truth in the Chief cook and bottle washer saying. Also having a good team and looking after your staff and take them with you. Secondly moving with the times, listening to what customers want. I remember the dreaded smoking ban in 2007. Dad thought that the smoking ban would ruin us, but it opened us up to a new customer base that wouldn't previously have used a smoky pub and our food took off.

Who/What inspires you?

Definitely my family! From a young age I was always involved in the kitchen at home, which gave me my love for cooking. I remember standing on a milk crate in The Blue Bell kitchen watching the chefs cook and prep. Also great British produce and seasonal ingredients, we are so lucky with the produce in Hampshire and West Sussex. Tunworth cheese is just one of many fantastic cheeses in the area, along with Isle of Wight tomatoes, and we use local farmer Richard Foot in Chidham for cracking seasonal vegetables. I could go on there's so much on our door step. Striving to do the best you can - according to The Times we serve the best Fish & Chips in the country! Something we are very proud of!


Dominic Osborne - Aviator - a hotel by TAG

Tell us about your company?

TAG Group's core value, of being at the forefront of innovation, runs through the lifeblood of Aviator. We opened in 2008 and our focus has always been to deliver an exclusive guest experience. Yes hospitality is fast-paced, ever-changing and there are ongoing industry challenges but we always look to evolve. Our innovative culture has been nurtured over the years and reinforced top down. We encourage our teams to try new things and it's our senior team who work together to evolve and shape the business. It's Aviator's entrepreneurial spirit and dynamism where our employees thrive and, unsurprisingly, is what helps attract new talent.

What inspires you?

Having worked across a cross-section of industries, I've picked up a lot of inspiration along the way and what inspires me is providing my teams with a great working environment. Over the past 18 months, we've focused on encouraging our teams to lead a healthy lifestyle, introducing a quarterly wellness week, a series of mind and body classes and mental-health first-aiders. We also provide our employees with two fully-paid days off-site to volunteer in the community.

What does business look like for you post-Brexit?

Hospitality, the UK's third biggest employer, is feeling the pressure of rising staffing and recruitment pressures through the Brexit process. On this basis, we're working harder than ever to promote the industry as a great and varied career opportunity whilst actively strengthening our relationships with local schools, colleges and universities to promote how progressive and fulfilling the industry is. Developing a talent pool from within the UK is important but with the industry continuing to grow in the UK, competition for great talent has become harder and this is where our focus has been.


Darren Taylor, Managing Director - Searle & Taylor

Tell us about your company?

Since 1991, Searle & Taylor has been designing and making luxury kitchens for clients in Hampshire and neighbouring counties. Its luxury showroom is based in Southgate Street in Winchester and currently offers Signature and Handmade Bespoke kitchens together with contemporary designs by Austrian brands, EWE and Intuo. The showroom will soon be expanding to three floors and will exclusively showcase ELK - Extreme Logic Kitchens, unique and stunning sustainable kitchens developed by architects and manufactured entirely in Hampshire.

Who/what inspires you?

I am passionate about design and I am inspired by designers who spend years honing their craft to make complicated structures easy to use for the benefit of all. I am inspired by people who dedicate their lives to making the things we use every day more efficient and sustainable, and we can all make a small difference in our own ways. I am always inspired by my loyal and longstanding team, which is comprised of creative individuals who are great people to work with.

What makes Hampshire a great place to do business?

I live here, and I love it. Hampshire is a large county with beautiful homes in a diverse range of architectural styles, so every project is different and exciting. We have designed thousands of kitchens for clients in Hampshire and are always delighted by the word of mouth recommendations we consistently receive. It has always been a great place to do business.


George French, General Manager - Solent Hotel & Spa

Tell us about your company?

I am the General Manager at Solent Hotel & Spa, in Fareham. We have a 4-star hotel with spa, gym, conference centre and restaurant, a lodge for people looking for good quality budget accommodation, and our own on-site pub. Step inside any of our properties, you know you are on the south coast, as the interior design celebrates the local area - with plenty of unexpected surprises to enjoy.

What's key to achieving a work/life balance?

It's all down to the team you build. At Solent, we are focused on our guests - they are at the centre of everything we do and every decision we take. Working with a team that has that same focus makes my job more enjoyable but also means I have confidence in what they do when I'm not at work, so I can enjoy my leisure time more.

What makes Hampshire such a great place to do business?

We have such a diverse area, with a strong business community - all of us are working towards the same aim, as we want to see more people enjoying our great places and spaces. Between us we create so many different reasons to visit, from families enjoying Peppa Pig World to those heading to or returning from a cruise. I can't think of many things Hampshire hasn't got to offer, and for hospitality that makes it really exciting.


Chris France - Jeremy France Jewellers

Tell us about your company?

Jeremy France Jewellers was originally founded in Kent by my parents over 30 years ago, moving to Winchester shortly after I was born. They recently retired, passing the reigns to myself and my sister Harriet. Together we ensure that our parents standards never slip and strive for excellence in everything we do from our immaculate showroom to our free of charge bespoke design service to our top of the range on-site workshop.

What does an average work day look like for you?

As I am a goldsmith my day begins with setting up the workshop before updating my colleagues on the workload for the day. Then I will check through my box ensuring that everything is on track for their deadlines. My jobs are very varied, from chain repairs and ring sizing's to repairing worn claws and even completely rebuilding much loved pieces. I also work closely with the designers to create beautiful bespoke pieces for clients and the store.

What makes Hampshire such a great place to do business?

Hampshire is fantastic both to live and work - from the beautiful countryside to the wonderful historic towns. I have found that people from Hampshire are really sociable, meaning that it's a pleasure doing business with local people. Most locals and visitors to the town appreciate independent businesses and value the individual services that we offer.


Peter Thacker, Headmaster - Prince's Mead School

Tell us about your company?

Prince's Mead is a co-educational independent prep school in Winchester, Hampshire for 4 - 11 year olds. We have worked hard to create a culture which actively celebrates and acknowledges individual achievements. We recognise the need to give the children in our care an adventurous and inspiring start in life and we are mindful of our responsibility to educate them academically, spiritually, morally, socially and culturally.

What's the secret to your success?

Teaching is our most important national business. My secret to a highly successful school is in ensuring the young girls and boys of Prince's Mead grow up with a love of learning and a confidence and independent-mindedness to build an happy future for themselves. I want them to feel they are unique individuals but part of other people too; having been shaped and tuned by those around them. Having two young children only helps me fine-tune this secret on a daily basis!

What's the key to achieving a work/life balance?

At Prince's Mead we like to work and play hard. I am at my happiest in the great outdoors, particularly so in the Transylvanian Alps, be it skiing or tracking bears; a wonderful way to recharge the batteries and enjoy nature. I can't wait to take my pupils out there soon.


George Margaritis DDS, Cert Implantology, Dip Endodontics, FICOI - Bridgeways Dental

Who/What inspires you?

Everyone and everything are my inspiration. You can learn and take the good things from any person you meet in your life. Being better at who I am and what I do is what keeps me going and I try to instil this to my colleagues. Empowering people to go above and beyond their boundaries one simple small step everyday is what I believe in and I start always with myself.

What does business look like for you post-Brexit?

There has been a lot of fear spread with the Brexit palaver, which is now becoming a bad joke, though in social media actually you can find some proper good British humour about it. What will be will be, but one thing is certain: Earth will keep spinning and we just have to adapt.

What makes Hampshire such a great place to do business?

People is the simple answer. We love the people we meet everyday and as it happens, they seem to like us too, considering the fact that most of our patients join our practice after recommendation.


Garry Baldwin FIH - New Forest Collection

Tell us about your company?

Started as a family business in 1988, the collection now includes four hotels - Bartley lodge, Beaulieu Hotel, Forest Lodge and Moorhill House - Burley Manor, our restaurant and rooms and the Drift Inn, our pub restaurant. Staying true to family values, that we feel are so important to us, my team and I pride ourselves on providing the warmest of welcomes to all our guests, even the dog! Passionate about sourcing high quality, fresh, local ingredients, we aim to always provide the best culinary offerings by creating compelling dishes throughout our restaurants, all of which are as diverse as our locations.

What does an average work day look like for you?

The hospitality industry brings great variety, working with both our dedicated team and guests makes for a welcoming and ever-changing day - so luckily - no day is average. One moment I could be re-stocking logs for our fires, meeting some of our great suppliers, introducing new systems, welcoming new team members, meetings and enabling our teams to deliver a quality service at all times.

What makes Hampshire such a great place to do business?

The New Forest national park certainly is a great place to do business, especially when our collection of hotels, restaurants and pub are located in key areas of the forest where guests can benefit from beautiful walks, tranquil surrounds and the best that Hampshire has to offer. Transport links are great too, which helps not only with recruiting great local staff, but also perfect for our guests.


Andrew Lowe - Lamb Brooks LLP

Tell us about your company?

Lamb Brooks is a forward thinking, diverse and progressive Firm which provides a full range of legal services for individuals, families and businesses. As an established and respected Firm in Basingstoke for over 230 years we have retained those traditional values which should not be lost but are modern thinking in all other ways. With a team of 65 staff working from offices in the centre of Basingstoke there is a great team spirit and a commitment to delivering excellent service.

What is the secret to your success?

Well that's a secret! Put simply, hard work and determination. I started at Lamb Brooks as a trainee solicitor and have worked my way up to Managing Partner. Being approachable, ambitious and driven are key when leading (as well as having broad shoulders!). Happiness is essential - you must enjoy what you do, believe in the business you are working for and surround yourself with good people who are all rowing in the same direction.

What's the key to achieving work/life balance?

Work-hard-play-hard has always been my motto. It is important to enjoy your downtime as much as your worktime and having self-discipline but knowing when to treat yourself is key. A great way for me to unwind but keep the energy flowing is through sport and fitness. I also enjoy a busy social life - visiting my grown up children who are living in London, going to see my football team AFC Bournemouth (I am a Life Vice President) and socialising with friends.


George Jiojioras - Soleto Restaurant

Tell us about your business?

I run an Italian restaurant-bistro in Commercial Road, Southampton opposite the Mayflower theatre for the past two years called Soleto.

I specialise in fresh fish, steaks but also do all the favourites of an Italian restaurant. We are a firm favourite place for theatre goers but also for every occasion.

What does an average day look like for you?

For me everyday life is so exciting as I meet so many new customers and that drives me to work hard as I think, the harder I work, the luckier I get!

Hampshire and especially Southampton, is a great place to establish a business as it's close to London, New forest, Southampton airport, two universities and a very busy port.

What's the key to achieving a work/life balance?

I have tons of experience in the restaurant field that makes me successful for what I do. I'm a natural and love to get up early for work every morning.

My family inspire me to carry on and hard work doesn't scare me. My wife Dominika she is my rock and she is my driving force behind the scenes. My children are my life and i am sure they are proud of me for giving them unconditionally all my life.

Catering life can be tough but it's so rewarding in someone with the right attitude. I thank God every day to keep me and my family safe and I'm very happy.


Paul Bowler - Winchester Distillery

Tell us about your company?

I founded Winchester Distillery this time five years ago in May 2014. Up until then I'd been working in IT in London and after 20 years of commuting I realised I was like a visitor in my home city of Winchester and something had to change.

I was a keen gin drinker and thought I'd try creating my own using some botanicals grown locally. Recipe 84 became batch number one of our first product, Twisted Nose Watercress Gin and we now have over 10 spirits in our portfolio including Winchester Dry Gin and the Hampshire Gin range, with some limited edition and seasonal products too.

What makes Hampshire such a great place to do business?

We have a wealth of natural resources, such as the crystal clear chalk streams and superb produce here in Hampshire, as well as a real community spirit.

What's the secret to your success?

All the local support we receive from the independent wine & spirits retailers, bars, pubs and of course all our fantastic customers throughout Hampshire and beyond who come and see us at all the markets, events and visit the distillery for tours. Without everyone's support and love for our gins we wouldn't be where we are now.

We're hoping many of our supporters will join us for the next step of our journey, as we are currently crowdfunding via Crowdcube to expand the distillery and improve our visitor facilities. Exciting times!


Dr Xavier Goodarzian - Dr Xavier G Medi-Spa Clinic

Tell us about your company?

Established in 2005, we're locally run but with a national award-winning reputation and we've grown each year by adding treatments that promote a healthier, happier you. I believe we're the only Hampshire clinic of our kind offering such a comprehensive range of treatments for men and women under one roof. With my colleagues; Dr Elina Treija and senior nurse Luis Costa we offer skin health treatments and injections, medically-supervised weight loss (Alevere Therapy), nutritional rebalancing with a 30-Days-to-Healthy-Living plan, Bio-identical hormone replacement therapy, intravenous infusions (IV vitamin drips), hair re-growth treatments and also effective skincare. We offer a medically-led service in a discreet, CQC-registered setting where everything's arranged to ensure the service is personalised to you.

What's the secret to your success?

Our multi-disciplinary clinical team is an important aspect and choosing treatments that are effective and have an established safety profile. It's easy to just offer a cream or diet advice but to me that's like just applying a 'sticking plaster', it doesn't help get to the root of a person's concerns. We combine different modalities of medical treatments (injectable and laser), nutrition, bio-identical hormones and effective skincare so the secret to success lies therefore in teamwork and bringing all these services together.

Who/what inspires you?

Actually, my clients inspire me. It never ceases to amaze me the challenges that people overcome and that they share with me. I help people of every body-shape, skin-type and from many different cultures and backgrounds - so I continue to be amazed and inspired on a daily basis.


Mark Tillison, Managing Director - Tillison Consulting

Tell us about your company?

Founding Tillison Consulting in 2007 was definitely the best business decision I've ever made. Having already had a successful career in business development, my next mission was to help business owners scale their turnover and profits through digital marketing - whether that's through pay per click (Google Ads / Bing Ads), search engine optimisation (SEO), paid and organic social media, or maximising the user experience on websites to increase their leads and sales.

It's been an incredible and rewarding journey which has earned Tillison Consulting Google Premier Partner status, as well as a partnership with Bing. I have also built a dynamic team of digital marketing specialists who proactively research new techniques, resources and avenues to ensure their clients are aware of every possible opportunity for improvement to their digital marketing campaigns.

What's the secret to your success?

It may sound like a clich, but I attribute my success to my hard work. I also pride myself on having a commitment to honesty and fairness, and I'm extremely passionate about creating innovative systems which give a growing business team scalability while maintaining their performance.

Who/What inspires you?

On many, many occasions, it's been our clients and project performance which have inspired me. I'm also a big geek for the numbers - there's no doubt that my team will tell you that I have an unhealthy addiction to data and creating Google Sheets full of complex formulas!


Darren Ford - St Swithun's Prep School

What's the secret to your success?

Passion for my subject. I discovered a love of mathematics education whilst studying at university.{CR}I specialised in primary education with a particular focus on teaching 'Mathematics Mastery'.

Who/What inspires you?

Teaching for Mastery. This is a concept that rejects the idea that a large proportion of people 'just can't do maths'. I try to show the girls here that by working hard at maths they can succeed. Surprisingly, woman still only make up approximately 15% of the STEM workforce. It is my hope that providing girls with an exciting, engaging and quality curriculum will inspire them to pursue STEM subjects further. I first visited St Swithun's Prep School on a STEM day and was really impressed that all the girls in school were actively involved in STEM-themed workshops such as 'bridge construction for beginners', 'gasses at work' and 'Sphero football' led by Year 6 pupils.

What does an average work day look like for you?

I have a full timetable of classes to teach, in which I have been working hard to introduce an inspiring new maths framework from Singapore. I also run the 'Enigma Club', which is very popular with the girls. Problem solving is key to mathematics and an invaluable skill in the work place. This club allows the girls from Years 1-6 to solve complex problems produced by Cambridge University's NRich website independently, and to have their solutions published on the website. After work I rush home to look after my 3 week old baby!


Kelvin Balmont - Clarke Willmott

Tell us about your company?

Clarke Willmott is a law firm with seven offices across the country. Our office in Southampton has over 85 staff, including 14 partners. The spectrum of services we offer is broad so many of our clients draw on expertise from across the teams here for all their legal needs. It makes for a concise and harmonic way of working where, by understanding the bigger picture, we can provide the best possible legal advice.

What's the secret to your success?

The secret is having a talented, motivated and conscientious team around me. The partners in our office respect and have confidence in each other and are committed to driving the firm forward. My team is full of talented lawyers who are dedicated to keeping clients happy. The large corporate deals we work on can be complex and stressful and often involve lawyers from a number of teams in the office achieving a single outcome. It is important that everyone helps each other and is focussed on achieving the client's desired result on time and on budget.

What's the key to achieving work/ life balance?

I try to demonstrate to my team that a work/life balance is important and is possible to achieve no matter what your role is. We need to be able to demonstrate that hard work has its rewards and is not the be all of everything. Our role involves long hours, late nights and weekend working but it is important to take advantage of the times when you can escape. I have a fantastic and busy family life and it is important that this is viewed as a key part of life in addition to work and that one does not override the other. I also find I perform better at work if I have taken time to exercise, to rest and to have fun.


Nick Turner – Managing Director - Right at Home Mid Hampshire

Tell us about your company?

I started Right at Home Mid Hampshire after searching for a way in which to start a business providing compassionate care for adults of all ages who often just don't know which way to turn. I take pride in employing the best staff (the most caring, compassionate and loving) who in turn provide amazing care for our clients so that they can remain in their own homes for as long as possible. Our clients - and all people - deserve the very best care and in return we discover the most amazing individuals as we learn about their lives. We have grown to 65 caregivers delivering hundreds of hours of care every week, with a minimum one hour of care with each client. All our office staff have come out of our care team and so their understanding of their roles is very complete and the atmosphere is one of intelligence and compassion combined. We try to add to our team all the time as I'm committed to a managed growth.

What's the secret to your success?

Being wholly passionate about our clients and staff and what we can do for them, I know that there is nothing better I can be doing with my life. I am supported by my amazing wife and all our children, and I have superb and committed management and care teams. So I think passion is the secret - there's no point starting something without maximum enthusiasm, energy and commitment.

What's the key to achieving work/ life balance?

Prioritising our lives and getting the key elements into the diary. Work; family; faith; the dogs, goats, chickens and emus; travel; the DIY and the hobbies.


Jonathan Lucas - Elstead Lighting

Tell us about your company?

Elstead Lighting supplies Lighting fittings for the home and garden, hotels, cafes, bars and restaurants all over the world. With the largest retail lighting showroom in Hampshire, and possibly the UK, here in Alton we constantly try to bring unique, aspirational lighting to everyone we meet. We now have trade sales offices in 5 countries, and employ 130 staff, 90 of whom from our Alton HQ, including more than 20 in manufacturing and assembly.

What's the secret to your success?

There has not been any unique secret. We have just made sure we constantly try and understand what the market needs, work out how we can meet those needs, and then do our absolute best to deliver on them. We add total commitment to do the job well, work very hard and with passion making these the key ingredients of our success. We love meeting customers in our showroom so that we can share our enthusiasm to make their homes brighter and more stylish with creative lighting.

What does business look like for you post-Brexit?

For some time now, part of our strategy was not to be beholden to one single country or economy. We now have a wholly owned mainland Europe operation, as well as younger ventures in the USA and Middle East to service clients from over 40 countries worldwide. Brexit has certainly not made comfortable watching, but like most people in business, we are not static, waiting to see the effect of what might finally be the outcome. We hope to see a happy resolution for the UK and EU, as we are friends and partners with them all.


Edward Whittington, Managing Partner - Moore Blatch

Tell us about your company?

Moore Blatch is one of the UK's top 100 law firms, with offices in Southampton, Lymington, Richmond and London. What makes us different is the breadth and depth of our expertise, usually associated with large national legal practices - which we deliver to businesses and residents in Hampshire and across the Southwest.

We specialise in advising clients on how to protect and grow their businesses and their personal wealth, as well as supporting them when times are challenging, for instance when facing commercial disputes, divorce or serious injury.

What's the secret to your success?

Client service and a passion for my work. First as a lawyer and now as managing partner, I champion a service culture throughout the firm. Engaging with clients and building strong relationships is central to our ethos, and I'm privileged to work with colleagues that share this belief. Our personal injury lawyers for example, are driven to help those who have suffered major trauma.

What makes Hampshire such a great place to do business?

Commercial opportunities, a beautiful environment and a great lifestyle. Many of our clients have moved to the county for work, or commute to London thanks to strong connections with the capital. We also have two great cities nearby, Southampton and Portsmouth - both important commercial hubs that are enjoying growth. It's a great place to live and work. With so much stunning scenery on our doorstep, it's easy to achieve a healthy work life balance.


Martin MacKenzie, Executive Regional Vice President Independent Consultant with Arbonne

Tell us about your company?

I build an additional income stream supported by Arbonne, a 39-year global health & wellness company and I fit it around my busy life. Harnessing the power of word-of-mouth recommendation, I help others shop online, purchasing heathier, safer everyday personal, skincare and nutrition products and Arbonne delivers them (so I don't have to!). We build a network of savvy consumers and others like me, earning an income when products are purchased from us or online. Our advantage is that it's online and the products are what people are looking for; botanically-based clean products, enhanced by science so results-driven and vegan-certified.

What's the secret to your success?

Having an open mind to what building a social marketing business can do for you is first! The second is having a drive to succeed. When I first looked at this in 2012 my drive was that I was 'burned out' and had no time. I realise that if I didn't make a change then nothing would change. Thanks to the opportunity with Arbonne I have built a significant extra monthly income, around my busy life, that has enabled me to have more choices now in how I spend my time.

What inspires you?

Getting to work with and help others in the UK and around the globe achieve their goals and what drives them really inspires me. I've helped people from very different backgrounds including; stay-at-home mums, accountants, teachers, doctors, dentists, performers and many others who are looking for an opportunity to earn an additional income. Time is the most precious thing we have so having more choices in how we all spend it is a beautiful thing.


Keith Myers - The Myers Touch Ltd

Tell us about your company?

The Myers Touch is a refreshingly inspiring kitchen design company with a specialism in interior architecture and a passion for the art of living.

Our primary purpose is to promote wholeness through creative design, causing a natural facilitation of family and relationships; the very heart of the home. We have a unique design approach which challenges the traditional design process thereby helping to unlock a homes potential, through considered design, reworking complete living spaces, and the use of exceptional materials.

What's the secret to your success?

We design in collaboration with our clients, working closely with them to reflect their unique and often hidden requirements. We passionately believe that functionality does not mean compromising on style, and we take time to coach our clients living dreams to create kitchens that are not only aesthetically striking but also a joy to work and live in.

What does an average work day look like to you?

It's always full on. We are always looking to be the best we can and excelling our clients expectations. My best place is always with a client, chewing over a design and stretching their ideas. I love lecturing to the public at Grand Design and at universities on my signature talk “Creating Kitchens with Light, Space and Laughter”.


Mark Dickinson - PegasusLife Group Ltd

Tell us about your business?

The PegasusLife Group is a fast-growing business comprised of two brands: PegasusLife and Renaissance Retirement. The Group's vision is to design, build and manage outstanding homes and become the preferred premium provider of age exclusive living in the UK. The PegasusLife Group is currently in the process of developing over 50 sites across the UK, providing around 2,300 homes for our customers.

What's the secret to your success?

Personally speaking, to not take myself too seriously and to try and get the best from the people and teams I've been fortunate enough to work with. I also think that finding balance is important. I really enjoy my work but finding time for family, friends and yourself is pretty fundamental if you are to find true success.

What inspires you?

For me, everything comes back to people. The property industry is an incredibly rewarding area to work in because it affects everyone's lives so deeply. As a result the industry tends to attract a broad spectrum of people and I love finding a way, with others, to try and form effective teams which are fun to work within and which make our working lives simpler. If you can do this then the goal, which in our case is to produce amazing homes for people to live in, becomes that much easier to achieve.


Matthew Ellison - Herbert & Ellison Upholstery

What does an average work day look like for you?

We start with coffee and admin, emails, quotes, invoices etc, before we get hands on in the workshop. It could be a sofa, a classic car, or some restaurant seating. Afternoons we do client visits, pricing up work and helping them to choose the right fabrics and finishes. In our trade no two days are the same; we can be working on a variety of projects and commissions simultaneously which really keeps things interesting - at the moment we are working on some bespoke furniture for a client in Ibiza and seating for the refurbishment of The Grosvenor in Stockbridge.

What's the secret to your success?

Being in a niche market definitely helps, but ultimately it comes down to being a skilled craftsman and having a passion for what I do. I've been an upholsterer and motor trimmer my whole life, so there is rarely a piece of furniture or car that I haven't worked on before! That lifetime of knowledge definitely comes in handy. A keen eye for detail is important in this industry; I work closely with interior designers and commercial shopfitters who have very high expectations when it comes to the finished article, and we are no different, quality workmanship is important to me. Above all else, customer service is imperative to success in any business. We get a lot of repeat business and recommendations by word of mouth which speaks volumes.


Pete Williams - Eclipse Foot Clinic Ltd

Tell us about your company?

I set up Eclipse in 2011 after getting frustrated with the limited options to treat clients in my NHS clinics. I'm a huge believer in using modern technology to enhance client outcomes, so as a company we've invested in some of the worlds leading equipment to treat injuries and help get people walking more comfortably, more quickly. Our client feedback is really important and we are delighted to have an NPS score of 88! That's 'world-class' territory!

What's the secret to your success?

Our culture at work. There's no other reason. I have the most awesome team of Podiatrists and Receptionists. Without them providing 1st class treatment and customer service, we wouldn't keep our existing clients, let alone generate the new ones that we need to enhance the business.

What's the key to achieving a work/life balance?

I'm a single parent, so I've built the business around my boys. The home agenda ALWAYS goes into the diary first. That's non-negotiable. Using integrated cloud-based systems means I can work from anywhere, which allows me to leave the business for longer periods of time during the school holidays. I trust my team unreservedly when I'm not around.

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