How It All Began
I have spent most of my working career in sales, starting out as a teenager on a fruit & veg stall, shouting our wares and generally making a lot of noise to get people’s attention. I took business studies at school and had this vision of me travelling from meeting to meeting with my black leatherette briefcase (it was the 80’s). Over the years, I tried everything from door to door canvassing, telesales, to call centre management, but I always had a yearning for being my own boss. The nearest I got to this was being a self-employed sales representative and IT consultant, that was until I met my husband Martin.
Martin wants to ‘Change the World!’. He cares passionately about the environment and animal welfare and he was getting increasingly frustrated that he wasn’t making enough of a difference. He opened my eyes to the issues we were facing in the world and I couldn’t believe I had been living so ignorantly before. I became hungry for more knowledge. and that’s when we decided we had to do something. Shortly after our wedding, we set up our online eco store, selling UK manufactured eco-friendly products to UK customers.
Martin dealt with the day to day running of the business, arranging stock and sending out orders and we attended the occasional eco show to promote our products. In the meantime, I juggled looking after the website with working full time as an IT consultant. It was tough going and the business struggled to break even. Orders were few and far between and Martin hadn’t taken a single penny in wages.
Although we both had many years of experience in sales between us, we quickly realised it was old school. Neither of us had experience in digital marketing and it was clear that having a website alone was not enough.
The Next Step....
Living The Dream
We have a real passion for animal welfare and the environment and although we knew we could make a real difference in the world by supporting our clients, we also dreamed of having a more ‘hands-on’ approach in our personal life. Martin had visited the beautiful Greek island of Kefalonia before we met to spend two seasons working with the local loggerhead turtle project, tagging the females when they came up to nest and monitoring the hatchlings.
When I visited the island on our honeymoon in 2012, I fell in love with it instantly. If we moved here we could seriously reduce our impact on the environment with a much simpler life and help with the local animal charities in our spare time.
Our dream came true in 2016. We are now so lucky to live above the very beach that Martin used to patrol when working with the turtle conservation team. It is the main nesting beach on the island and has approximately 100 nests every year!
Now we spend our spare time making furniture out of palettes, growing our own fruit and vegetables and taking care of 34 rescued cats.
Yes, you heard it right! We definitely have a ‘hands on’ approach now. As we started to help to feed the stray cats in the winter, we would receive calls about abandoned kittens and injured cats. We would care for them, hand-rearing when necessary and once they were fit and well, they stayed with us.
I feel we really are ‘Living The Dream’ with a business that we love and getting to make a positive impact on the world both at work and in our personal life.