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Me & My Job - Stuart Ball, wild flower sales manager, Green-tech

Grow, 14 January 2016

Stuart Ball, wild flower sales manager, Green-tech - image: Green-tech
Stuart Ball, wild flower sales manager, Green-tech - image: Green-tech

How did you get started in the industry? I’ve always had an affinity to plants and wildlife outside of work, so it was a straightforward decision when the opportunity came to work for John Chambers Wildflower Seed [now owned by Green-tech].

What advice would you give to others starting out? Stick with it. If you can work in a sector that you have a genuine interest in, there’s a lot of job satisfaction.

What does your typical day involve? Dealing with lots of enquiries, often about random situations that require wild flowers. I also have dealings with many seed companies, wildlife and gardening organisations, so my days are spent advocating the use of mainly British native wild flowers.

What is the best aspect of your job? Doing something you can relate to, day in, day out.

And the worst? Sometimes it can be difficult to temper a customer’s expectations. Native wild flower seeded areas can take a good 12-18 months to get going, so a lot of time and effort is spent in educating customers and industry sectors as a whole.

What have you been working on recently? It has been a bit of a blur since we took over the John Chambers business in 2013, so it’s hard to pinpoint one or two things. There are some exciting developments in the pipeline though.

What has been your biggest achievement at work? Helping to bring our native wild flower seed business into the 21st century has been rewarding.

What does the future hold for the industry? Interest in native wild flowers is at an all-time high. We’ve lost 97-99 per cent of our natural wild flower meadows since the middle of the 20th century. But it seems that everyone wants to improve on what we have at the moment, which is great.

How do you unwind after a hard day at work? I’ve only got a very small garden, but I like to spend time outdoors.

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