How would you describe your job?
My job is to form relationships with clients; and to educate advise and encourage them. Often we will get sample requests from clients regarding projects that they’re working on. It’s my job to discuss this with them and then offer solutions as to how to realise that, as well as advising them on print and manufacturing. Even though a lot of my clients have been in the industry a long time, they still aren’t aware of all aspects of our papers.
I do a lot of educational work with universities as well. I give talks about G . F Smith, focussing on the importance of paper in design, print techniques, binding and things like that. From start to finish it can be quite an educational experience.
What does a typical working day look like?
I work from home in Manchester, but I’ll also visit our main office in Hull every couple of months. On a typical day, I’ll have appointments already arranged so I’ll spend the day visiting clients. A customer will phone you or email you and ask your advice and if you’re in the area. My day is filled with visiting everyone from students and universities to graphic designers, art galleries, printers who use our paper, and paper merchants who buy our paper to then sell to printers. It’s a really broad customer base.
How did you land your current job?
My great great grandfather started a paper merchants, (Crowther’s) in Salford, Manchester, which remained in the family…paper from birth! After completing my A Levels, I worked a summer job in fashion export for four years before joining the paper business on inside and outside sales. If anything, it was harder being the boss’ daughter than it was just being anybody that joined the company. It was never an easy job and it was never something that was just handed to me.
G . F Smith was one of our suppliers. When I left Crowther’s it was no longer my dad's company, he’d sold it and the company unfortunately doesn’t exist anymore. I'd worked on a few projects with the G . F Smith team, and we used to sell a lot of their products. So I was made aware by some of their internal team that there was a job going in the northwest area. I applied for it and 19 years later, I’m still here. There’s so much to G . F Smith that you don’t know or see from the outside. We’re like a beautiful swan. All very calm and beautiful on the surface but with a lot going on underneath.