What do you do in the industry?
I am Managing Director of Gibsons, a 100 year-old British, family company. We produce board games and jigsaw puzzles.
What does your typical day look like?
There isn’t a typical day really, but it always starts with a hot water and lemon (the strong coffee comes later!). Whether I am heading to the office early or dropping my children at school first, I always listen to the news on my way to work. I try and fit in time catching up with the team, as well as something for me – a run or Pilates class. Both are brilliant at clearing my head.
What trends do you see in toys or games that excite or worry you?
I am hugely excited by the passion and drive for traditional games and puzzles, be they for children as part of a healthy play diet, adults who want to get together with friends and switch off their smartphones or for an ageing population who wish to reminisce or maybe combat loneliness. They play a huge role in our society.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Taking our company into the fourth generation and seeing it evolve whilst retaining our heritage and remaining true to our values. I am fortunate to work with an incredible team who surprise me every day with their passion and dedication. One of my team recently said ‘It’s amazing, there are times when we feel like a start-up but we have 100 years of experience!’ This makes me very happy.
When is the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?
Watching Secret Life of Pets with my children at the weekend.
Do you have any pets?
Yes, three guinea pigs – one that is identical to the guinea pig on Secret Life of Pets!
What advice would you give a young adult graduating from high school or college today?
Believe in yourself and your talents and don’t let self-doubt hold you back. If I could go back, I’d love to tell my 20 year-old self to trust my gut more and grab every opportunity with both hands.
How do you recharge or take a break?
I recharge by taking exercise, but the best kind of a break is a holiday with my family or time with a good friend. I have friends from my childhood where within seconds of getting together we are laughing like we have never been apart and this is quite simply the most powerful tonic there is.
Do you play any musical instruments? If so, which one(s)?
Does the recorder count? No, but I have recently started singing lessons with my daughter. We love this time together.
What’s in your fridge?
Prosecco, chocolate and a multitude of fruit and vegetables.
Gibsons are making great strides internationally and we are enjoying working with new distributors. Also, in keeping with our strategy to lower our carbon emissions, we have worked hard to reduce the packaging on our puzzles and look forward to bringing these to market later in the year. On a personal level, I am tackling a 100ft abseil for charity later this year as part of our #Gibsons100 challenge, but before that I can’t wait to go on holiday and spend some time with my daughters during their summer holidays – this turning 100 lark has been pretty exhausting….!