UK managing director, Nespresso

What was your first job in retailing?

As a student I promoted Irish whiskey to French consumers in hypermarkets. Sampling was not permitted because of the high alcohol content.

I quickly learnt the importance of being able to convey tasting notes to the potential consumer, which has stood me in good stead at Nespresso.

Which retail company do you admire most and why?

I am always impressed by John Lewis’s understanding of and respect for its customers.

What keeps you awake at night?

My nine-month old twins.

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

I rarely get angry but sometimes you’ve just got to get angry to get things done. 

Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?

I’ve been exposed to great managers at Nespresso, from whom I’ve learnt a great deal about all areas of business, including retail.

What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?

Start out in a customer-facing role and don’t be too quick to move on. There is much to be learnt on the frontline.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Seeing a project or campaign executed to the highest standards possible, reflecting the Nespresso brand and the  team behind it.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Playing a role in taking Nespresso from a niche positioning to appealing to a wider coffee-appreciative audience in the UK.

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

I would have become an accountant, but in my dreams I would be an actress.

What’s your favourite shop and why?

I have a soft spot for Brown Thomas in Dublin. It’s a gem of a store – everything your heart desires in a bijoux department store.

What was your last purchase?

Shoes, of course.