Chief executive,

What was your first job in retailing?

Funnily enough, this one. Fortunately, I have a team of very skilled and qualified people around me.

Which retail company do you admire most and why?

Fat Face. A fantastic story of two guys selling T-shirts in ski resorts, which they’ve grown into a household name.

What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?

I can be very reactive in my eagerness to drive things forward.

Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?

I met Richard Branson in Necker Island when I worked in the Caribbean. He told me the secret to good customer experience was to employ nice people. Simple yet effective advice and something that has stuck with me.

What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?

Listen to your customers and become your suppliers’ best friends.

What keeps you awake at night?

My 17-month-old twin daughters.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Seeing my team conceive and implement great ideas with little or no input from me.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Professionally, building my last business from scratch in 1996 and selling it in 2000 for £5.5m to a London listed plc.

What job would you have done if you hadn’t become a retailer?

Before I took the plunge and started my own company, I was very happily employed with Cable & Wireless in a technology marketing role. Had I not started my own company, I’d probably still be there now.

What’s your favourite shop and why?

I love the website It’s a great source of fantastic products and gift ideas.

What was your last purchase?

It was a pair of Breitling cufflinks that I found on eBay at the weekend for £49.