UK property director, Lush

What was your first job in retailing?

Sales assistant at Our Price in Watford – a brilliant job and in the days when we had three stores in the town and they all made a profit. How times change.

Which retail company do you admire most and why?

Richer Sounds. Its customer service and product knowledge are so impressive, and it sticks to what it is good at.

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

I’m a stickler for detail, which at times infuriates me – and people who work with me.

Who have you learnt most from in your retail career?

Richard Wortley at Our Price, many years ago, who taught me that being in retail can be a career and you’re never too old.

What advice would you give someone starting out in retail?

Be passionate about what you’re selling and prepared to put in the hours. Retail is hard work, but if you love your product and can demonstrate that to your customers you’ll get so much out of it.

What keeps you awake at night?

The branches from the tree next to my bedroom window.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Working with a great team for an amazing company and seeing its ethical values being borne out in the decisions we make and the products we sell.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Apart from my two daughters, being part of a team that has transformed the look of Lush in the past three years while maintaining our unique style.

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

I loved amateur dramatics, so an unsuccessful actor probably. A DJ would have been high on the list too.

What’s your favourite shop and why?

I’ve got two. Mark Powell in Soho for amazing suits and Peckham Rye in Newburgh Street – the best ties around.

What was your last purchase?

An Eileen Gray side table.