Tell us about your life before Studiotech
Born in Zimbabwe to an English father and Scottish mother, much of my early life was spent in Botswana before moving to boarding school in South Africa at the age of eleven. After leaving school, I went on to study interior design for three years where I gained the relevant qualifications. When I left college, I joined a small design practice which specialised in hospitality, most notably exclusive game lodges and high-end retreats all over South Africa. In this role, I had responsibility for bringing together the complete concept, from designing furniture, advising on the lighting and the selection of all items within the lodges, from linen through to cutlery and artwork. The whole experience was thoroughly enjoyable and I stayed in this role for a number of years.
The time came when I made the decision to leave South Africa. I really wanted to continue in this profession, and luckily for me the owner of the company had another business in Tenerife and I was offered a job there. I moved to Tenerife with my now husband, however a job opportunity arose for him to get back into engineering in the UK. I had always wanted to live in the UK, so it wasn’t long before we made the move to England. Despite all our family being based in the North West, we ended up in Kent.
Honestly, it was a bit of a battle to get into the any interior design firm in the UK as my qualifications obtained in South Africa were not recognised over here. It really felt as though I was starting from scratch. I met a wonderful recruiter who advised me to do a course which was accredited over here, and subsequently this led me to a job in lighting.
I started at a company called Lightworks, where I stayed for eight years. I worked my way up to the position of technical design manager and was in that role for five years. At this point, I was then approached by Martin Professional initially starting off in applications and technical support, before gravitating towards sales. I am passionate about speaking to people and developing relationships, and over the years I have gained all-rounded experience. At Martin Professional (Martin by Harman), I was responsible for looking after five countries and was extremely busy travelling around building partnerships across EMEA, working with our distributors, partners and of course lighting designers and specifiers.
About a year and a half ago, I was approached by GRIVEN – my role and responsibility was to build the brand, introducing specifiers to the product ranges, offering support for specifications both for the UK and international projects, this was a big task building from scratch in the UK. I believe that the the success I had, was recognised by Studiotech who then approached me to join the team.
What made you choose to come and work for Studiotech?
Without doubt, the team and the people. I’ve known Ed for a few years and I just love the way everything in the business is presented. Over the last six to eight months, I have really noticed Studiotech as a company and all the great work they have been doing, including the IBTea Club. I love the way the company is viewed in the industry and how they have evolved. They are creative and give back, which was all part of the appeal to me. I can also see where the company is headed and to be involved in something where there are such big plans for the future is really exciting. To be part of a team that has such incredible talent, that can offer a complete service to a client for a project, from concept through to completion, is so very exciting.
The role enables me to use all of my skills, combining creativity with technical knowledge, but ultimately making sure the customer is happy at the end of the day.
What would you say is your favourite project?
Every project I have seen promoted through Studiotech’s social media, I think is very cool and exciting. They are all so completely different, all designed and engineered to suit different applications, and offer different experiences to the users of the space. Personally, media façade projects that offer something back in the way of an experience to the end users are the most interesting, where there is some form or interactivity and people can get involved with the activation.
Have you started working on any exciting projects?
There are a couple of projects that I’ll bring with me through the existing partnership between Griven and Studiotech. Studiotech have now become Griven’s UK preferred partner, and my role at Studiotech will include maintaining and supporting my relationships. I am looking forward to working on some really exciting projects in my new role.
What is your official job title and your key responsibilities?
Business Development Manager – building brand awareness, with my existing contacts and new customers. Maintaining immediate relationships, raising awareness of Studiotech and our offering, what we can offer to support our customers and projects is a well kept secret right now.
What will a typical day look like for you?
I imagine most of my time will be spent speaking to customers and working on different projects. I will be looking at opportunities with the team where we can offer dynamic and engaging events to give back to the design community. Although, the majority of my role has to be focused on raising brand awareness, looking after customers and letting them know what we can do to support their projects.
Tell us three fun facts about yourself
I don’t have a lot of free time as I have four miniature dachshunds and two cats, it’s like a little menagerie – I love my animals. Two gorgeous girls as well.
In my spare time, I like to do triathlons, I’ve done a few Ironman triathlons and love scuba diving, horse riding, and snowboarding.
I just love sports and activities and being outdoors, but I also like anything charitable. I contribute to local charities and really enjoy feeding the goats at the local goat sanctuary with my girls.
One crazy thing working from home has made you do?
I got two more puppies! I feel as though everyone’s gone a little bit insane being at home all day every day. I speak to my animals a lot more; my four dogs have become like my work colleagues.