The lovely Amber will be at Solex hosting our stand. She will also be in charge of our stand visitor competition where you can win a holiday for two and enjoy an all inclusive trip to somewhere warm. Amber is a smart lady not just a pretty face having worked on the stand last year we have invited her back.
Since becoming the Midlands representative for Katie Blake and Glencrest Seatex Anthony has developed business in his area by an amazing level he is a long way ahead of his associates. An extremely professional business man we are pleased to have Anthony as part of our team
Cory looks after our accounts and cash management, HR, general administration and credit control. She has lots of experience and does an excellent job dealing with customers and difficult staff on the odd day. She enjoys a challenge and that’s good because every day there’ something new.
Fred is our Quality Controller in Ningbo. He is extremely vigilant, at one time he turned down over 40% of production in one of our Factories. That is now down to 5% which is excellent. Fred’s background is in engineering and he has learnt a lot over his 30 years in manufacturing. Good Quality Controllers are difficult to find in the Far East added to which many companies do not want the expense of a quality controller as it doesn’t make profit. It’s quite difficult to convince factory owners that the savings they make on returns and credit notes is soon covered by a good controller. Quality is a major part of our production as Katie Blake is considered to be one of the top brands in Europe.
Gedas is from Lithuania, and is a very hard working and smart young man. He has been with the company for over 6 years and looks after our parasol and parasol base stock. Given we sell over 100,000 parasols and bases every year he is a busy man. If you order Parasols Gedas will have been involved. Gedas also helps with cushion production.
Gwyn has been represented Glencrest in the South East of England and South London for over 10 years. What Gwyn doesn’t about Garden Furniture isn’t worth knowing. He will spend a long time helping you to merchandise both Cushions and Parasols, he also helps when containers of Katie Blake arrive.
Jack is the Chairman and CEO. He started the company in 1978 and called it Leisure International acting as Sales Agents for a Dutch manufacturer who has since ceased business. Running the business from his back bedroom in Shoeburyness Essex it started very well selling garden chairs to a number of large retailers only for a savage fire to burn all the stock before it was dispatched to the customers. The income suddenly went from several thousands of pounds to zero. We persuaded Barclays Bank to give us a £2000 facility and started again which included local markets, wholesaling and latterly making cushions. The cushion making side developed quickly with quite a number of trade customers asking, ‘Can you make cushions for us?’ From that humble start Leisure International registered Glencrest Ltd as Leisure International was already registered to someone else we had to buy a company off the shelf. Glencrest Seatex was incorporated in 1983 and now turns over several millions supplying the trade. Jack has been a Council Member for LOFA for many years resigning a couple of years ago to allow fresh young blood to operate the association. The day-to-day business is run by Stephen Potter who is Managing Director and Jack provides advice with his many years in business. He loves the business and at 72 struggles to retire.
Jim has been representing Glencrest and Katie Blake for a number of years now and is very well known in Scotland. Jim is a good agent who understands the business and looks after his customers like they were family. A great Character Jim is fun to be with and we are proud to have Jim on board.
Mark is our representative in East Anglia and has been with us for 7 years. Mark knows the customers in his area and gets along very well with them. Mark is one of our top Agents and gets involved in both product development and design. Mark looks after his customers and because he lives in Essex, he is near to the office and warehouse and often pops in to pick urgent bits if his customer has sold out. Mark also controls his area very well not allowing too much competition and making sure every customer gets looked after big or small.
Natasha has now come back to work after having her second baby. Natasha is very good at IT and looks after our stock using a bespoke control system built exclusively for us. Soon, all Trade customers will be able to order from the web site which will show product availability. Natasha is dealing with this in conjunction with our web designers and stock control people. She has been working at Glencrest for over ten years now, so knows everything about our products, systems, and administration.
Neil looks after our UK Production of cushions and parasols. We still make 90% of our cushions in the UK so we can control the quality better. Cushions and Parasols is still a major part of our business and Neil has more than 15 people to manage at Wickford. Neil has been with the company over 20 years.
Rosalind has been with the Company for some time now and is an important member of our staff. She does lots of different jobs the most important is looking after the importation of our containers and all the shipping that goes with it. This year has been a nightmare and her job has become a lot more complicated. Rosalind also helps with customer’s orders and deliveries out across the country from our warehouse. We often find Rosalind working late to catch up and she often comes in at the weekend working alongside Cory who we think is moving in.
Sharon handles our customers on the phone and has a lovely manner. Having spent many years in telephone sales she has a way that’s great and helps solving any problems. She is hard working and very pleasant to work alongside becoming an important member of the team.
Steven is the Companies Managing Director and runs the day-to-day business. Steven has matured from being an area salesman to a hands on businessman and is now a very confident and capable person. Katie Blake has seen a significant increase in turnover under Steven’s captaincy and he is now a full entrepreneur in his own right. Steve can talk with the biggest buyers and at the same time find dealing with local small business refreshing.
The Corona Virus has made moving forward difficult as we cannot travel to our factories in the Far East fortunately, we designed a lot of new products before Covid, and these are now coming on board for the next season. Between the Chairman and Steven, the product range is now very exciting and we are opening new accounts daily.
Sue Cribbs works in our busy office supporting all stations. Sue is a Girl Friday and can take over any task. Her hobby is Marathon running and has achieved a great deal of success raising thousands for charity. Sue has a wealth of experience and is an important member in our team.