Very few people ever get the opportunity to combine their lifelong passion with an exciting and challenging career.
I had taken a summer job selling antique maps and prints in Winchester, prior to going to study photography at Bournemouth College of Art. It was a chance meeting with Perk Perkins, who was shopping for some Thorburn prints for the Mill at Nether Wallop, which resulted in me joining Orvis.
I would be promoting a lifestyle and product line that I aspired to. Prior to Orvis purchasing his business, Orvis tackle was distributed by Dermot Wilson. I was a keen customer and CFO reels and Orvis Graphite rods were the ‘cutting edge’ products of the day.
My first position was Product Specialist, primarily giving advice to clients either by letter or phone, as well as looking after a retail showroom at the Mill.
We opened the first UK retail store in 1985, in Stockbridge, Hampshire, followed by the Mayfair, London store in 1989 I project managed the openings and ran the stores in their early years before heading up our UK retail expansion, rolling out 23 stores as Head of Retail Operations. During this period I was also responsible for all external events like, including our trade stands at the CLA Gamefair.
My current position within the company is Field Sports Director, and I now have responsibility for our UK/European wholesale operation as well as our sporting letting agency. Given my passion for both fly fishing and shooting, this is truly a dream job, and it is very rewarding to help our partners across Europe succeed and grow their businesses.
There have been many great moments over the past quarter century. As an optimist, I firmly believe the best is still to come. I have remained with Orvis because I enjoy the speed of change, the challenge, a solid heritage, and a business that genuinely cares for its customers and puts them first. A business that I feel proud to be a part of.
For me, Orvis is a way of life and I am very grateful to the company for all the opportunities it has afforded me over the past 30 years.
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