Job title: Director
Where are you from? Originally Glasgow but home is now Edinburgh.
What made you decide to start your own business?
I had been an actress for ten years in the west end of London and I was fed up going for auditions and being told that I was too tall/short/fat/thin/Scottish/not Scottish enough for the part. I knew I was talented. I knew I was a hard worker and I wanted to be in charge of my own destiny.
What’s been your biggest success in business to date?
My biggest business success has been Macintyres of Edinburgh, now the largest wholesale jewellers in Scotland with a reputation and keenness of price that sees us exporting to Dubai, Singapore, China, the US, Australia and many other places around the world.
What’s the best business advice you’ve ever been given?
To have faith in myself and go it alone rather than to pursue a franchise which was the original plan. We were in the property finding stage of opening the very first Pizza Express north of the border and although I still think Pizza Express is a great company I?m glad I don?t have to give anyone a percentage of my profits.
Which entrepreneur inspires you the most?
Richard Branson. He manages to grow great businesses with passion, humility and humour.
Which 3 qualities do you think are most important to have as an entrepreneur?
Passion, humility and humour of course.
What business tool could you not live without?
My jewellers Loupe. It?s a portable ten times magnifier. It has saved me more money than any other tool by making sure I know exactly what is going on inside a stone. It has helped me buy wisely, sometimes shown me indicators that all is not what it seems, and sometimes shown me that all is better than the price would indicate. It has looked with me at a million different products of this wonderful earth and I hope it looks with me at a million more.
Why are you an Ambassador for WeDO?
I am an ambassador for WeDO because when you run a business it can be a lonely place, the buck stops HERE and nobody else within your organisation has that pressure. Over the years I have learned so much from other entrepreneurs who like me run their business with integrity, thrive on challenge and are willing to share their experience for the common good. I think that Scotland has world class entrepreneurs but there is an expectation gap between what people think is possible and what is really possible. I think learning through each others’ experiences will help us bridge that gap.