1. How many years have you worked in the Christian retail and supply trade?
Since March 1985, so just gone past 30 years this year!
2. Can you briefly tell us the various companies and responsibilities you had during that time?
At age 17 I started as a sales assistant with the Church of Scotland Bookshop chain in Stirling. Those good at maths will now be able to work out my age!
I never anticipated being in the trade so long, and thought it may be something that would be right for a few years: I was following the initial strong calling I felt at 17, which I still feel.
I became an assistant Bookshop manager for Church of Scotland Bookshop in Glasgow; then Wesley Owen Bookshop Glasgow branch manager for just under 2 years before becoming an Area Sales Manager for Alliance Music for Ireland, Scotland and N England.
When Alliance Music was bought by STL, and merged with Authentic Media, I became an Area Sales Manager for STL - fi rstly for Music and Gift product and later also publishing sales followed by a period in a similar role covering NI & ROI areas for TMD.
For about a year now I have been self-employed, freelance, representing CLC Wholesale, Penfold Card & Gift, plus some other agency roles under the banner of Wholesome Agencies throughout Ireland and Scotland based in NI. I also run a small locally focused company called Wholesome Gifts which is aimed at offering a supply service for a range of Christian Gift product as distributor for Dexsa, James Lawrence and Christian Inspirations Cards as well as children’s Sunday school gifts.
3. What did you want to do when you were growing up?
I wanted to do something in art and design and still try to keep this up as a hobby when I get time and I occasionally get the chance to contribute to product design ideas as an outlet for that aspiration.
4. How would you describe yourself in three words?
I aim to be caring, helpful, encouraging, but am sure others may have other words in mind as I don’t always succeed!
5. What is your favour meal?
A pasta & steak dish in a nice creamy sauce, with an un-pronounceable Italian name I cannot quite remember, but which we can order at a local Italian restaurant here in NI.
6. What do you like to do to relax?
Gardening, music, films, reading, history, painting, DIY and fi xing broken things my family bring me fairly regularly!
7. What do you like most about your job?
Existing friendships with customers, meeting new people, seeing new places, travelling and the resulting new opportunities that often open up as a nice surprise of these travels
8. What do you dislike most about your job?
Travel delays or slow traffic!
9. What gets you up in the morning (apart from the children)
A general calling to promote scripture-based products and the thought that I may be able to be a small cog in the wheel taking Christian product into new places or to new people.
10. What are your goals for the companies you represent?
To continue to help them support existing CBC trade customers with the right products, to fi nd good new customers in new areas and do so in a way that the retailers I am serving feel that they are experiencing a good service and success themselves in fulfilling their own ministry and business.
July 24th, 2015 - Posted & Written by Together Magazine