Do you collect anything?
Not intentionally, but due to my love of giraffes, I’m frequently given giraffe-themed gifts. The head of my giraffe ‘tower’ is Gloria – a 4 ft Christmas present. I still don’t know how my husband sneaked her home, wrapped and put her under the tree on Christmas Eve without me noticing!
Best concert you’ve ever been to?
Definitely seeing Elton John in Las Vegas. It was a surprise 25th wedding anniversary gift from my lovely husband and it was a phenomenal show.
Name three items on your bucket list.
To go on a safari, attend a concert at the Royal Albert Hall and visit the Shetland Islands.
Most embarrassing industry moment?
Oh my goodness, there have been a few. I cringe whenever I think about it, but it has to be singing American Pie during an ice-breaking exercise at a Maped Helix training day. I really can’t hold a tune but I was determined my team would win!
Then there was dropping my BOSS Award and breaking it about 30 minutes after proudly receiving it on stage. The less said about that, the better…
What’s your karaoke song?
See above – no one needs to hear me singing! But anything by Elton John will get me singing along in the car when I’m commuting.
What’s something new happening in your life?
I was totally amazed to be asked to head up National Stationery Week this year. What an honour. Coordinating the campaign has been a real challenge. However, I’ve had such fantastic support from big stationery brands and retailers that the week is going to be very exciting and full of competitions and activities.
Strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
I love a weird food combo: Wotsits dipped in salad cream or a plain chocolate digestive with a slice of cheddar on top are two of my absolute favourites.
What’s your favourite place to visit?
I love to visit Chester Zoo to see the giraffes. My Marple shop sponsors one every year.
What’s something you’ve done that no one would believe if you didn’t have proof?
During the pandemic, I raised over £7,000 for a local charity when my husband shaved all my hair off live on Facebook. I still can’t believe I did it. I couldn’t look in a mirror for weeks.
It’s a tie. I changed my profession at 35, leaving behind a career as a nurse to become the proud owner of Stationery Supplies. I had absolutely zero knowledge of how to run a business but here I am, 17 years later, with two shops and loving every minute. In 2022, I won the BOSS Independent Retailer award for the second year running, although I guess these two things go hand in hand.
Who is your hero?
Retail expert Mary Portas. I love her no-nonsense attitude, what she’s done for the High Street and her understanding of how difficult it can be at times as a businesswoman.
Last book you read?
Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch – part of the Rivers of London series. I’m an avid reader and average 30 books a year. I keep a notebook to write them down.