Can you tell me a little bit about your career and how you got into the sector, why you like it?

Absolutely. I started off somewhat uncertainly after leaving university, stumbling into a project management role for a firm in Sheffield. However, I quickly realised that much of what I was doing leaned heavily into marketing, particularly in terms of communication and community engagement. This realisation sparked my interest in marketing, leading me to join a management consultancy in Doncaster through a knowledge transfer partnership. Over the years, I obtained various CIM qualifications and underwent management training, eventually transitioning into a business development role while still overseeing marketing efforts. My journey through different companies and roles eventually led me to Talasey, where I’ve been for nearly nine years now.

Could you share a bit about your experiences at Talasey and how the company has evolved?

When I joined Talasey, the company was relatively small, with just around 20 team members operating out of makeshift offices. Over the years, we’ve experienced significant growth, both in terms of team size and market presence. We’ve expanded our product offerings and rebranded to Talasey, consolidating several brands under one umbrella. Our premises have evolved from those initial makeshift offices to purpose-built facilities, including showrooms and accommodations for customers. Today, Talasey has nearly 100 team members and a state-of-the-art headquarters in Scunthorpe, reflecting our growth and commitment to excellence.


Can you tell us about your team and how you’ve built it to support Talasey’s goals?

Building the right team has been crucial for our success. Initially, it was just me handling marketing responsibilities, but as the company grew, so did the team. We’ve brought in individuals with diverse skills and backgrounds, focusing on attitude and aptitude above all else. Recently, we’ve restructured roles to better align with our objectives, creating specialized positions such as Merchant Marketing Manager and Trade Marketing Manager. Our emphasis has always been on finding the right fit for both the role and the team dynamic.

How do you approach diversity and inclusion within Talasey?

Diversity and inclusion are essential aspects of our company culture. We strive to create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected. Flexibility is key, whether it’s accommodating individual needs or fostering a supportive work culture. We’ve seen firsthand how offering flexibility and understanding can lead to greater employee satisfaction and loyalty.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

There are two highlights that I’m very proud of.

The first was being part of the team that oversaw the rebrand of Natural Paving to become the Talasey Group in 2017.

Such was the pace at which the business was bringing on new landscaping products to market that Talasey became the overarching brand, under which there were sub-brands for distinct product groups, including Natural Paving, Vitripiazza, Piranha, Pavetuf and Luxigraze.

The other was implementing a pilot loyalty programme for roofing merchants during my time as Head of Customer Marketing. The pilot achieved fantastic results with a return on investment of 2:1, and significant increases in sales of the customers involved. Just before I left, the green light was given to roll out the pilot nationally.

And if I can squeeze a third highlight in, it’s been building the marketing team I currently work with at Talasey. We have some very talented people who are all committed to supporting our merchant and landscaping customers.

Do you have any mentors or role models who have influenced your career?

While I haven’t had an official mentor, I’ve been fortunate to collaborate with supportive colleagues who have steered me along my journey. One standout individual is Stephanie Bolton, a former Director at SIG. She identified my potential and encouraged me to venture beyond my comfort zone, offering invaluable support and motivation.

Another influential figure is Mark Wall, the founder and CEO of Talasey, whose insights constantly enrich my understanding of the business world’s commercial dynamics. Mark’s guidance, coupled with the opportunities he has extended to me in my professional capacity, have significantly influenced my career trajectory. For instance, Mark entrusted me with the task of supporting Talasey’s sister company in the USA, and last year, he facilitated my transition to the next level professionally by appointing me to the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) in my current Director position at Talasey.

Can you offer any advice for individuals, particularly women, who are just starting out in this sector?

My journey into this sector wasn’t straightforward, and I understand it may seem daunting, especially for younger women. However, my advice is not to be discouraged by the perception of it being male dominated. While there may have been more men initially when I started, I’ve witnessed a significant shift with more women entering the industry over the years. And I must say, they bring a valuable perspective and are great to collaborate with.

It’s essential not to let stereotypes deter you. While there might be a higher ratio of men to women, I believe competence should be the sole determinant for any role. I’ve never let the gender balance affect my performance or sense of belonging. For instance, during a recent forum discussion, some women expressed concerns about standing out or feeling the need to overcompensate. However, I’ve always advocated for focusing on merit rather than gender. If someone, regardless of gender, is the right fit for a role, they should be given the opportunity.

I won’t deny there have been moments where I’ve felt outnumbered, such as when I attended events dominated by men. But I’ve learned to navigate such situations confidently. It’s about recognizing that diversity benefits everyone and ensuring that the best person for the job, regardless of gender, is given the chance to excel.

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