How did you start in the industry?
I guess the seed was sown by my wife, Zuzette, back in 1993 while we were living in Africa. Zuzette, who is one of the partners in Dalesway, came to me one day and said “I think I would like to start a printing business.” Although this idea never came to fruition while we lived in Africa, upon our return the United Kingdom in 1995, her desire did eventually come true. I had no previous printing experience prior to 1995 – before this date I was a company director in human resources in South Africa.
While Dalesway was started in 1995, the journey into garment decoration actually started in 1999 when we were asked to sell a lovely screen printing system from Printa Systems, a niche company in Seattle, US. We had been working with Printa Systems for a number of years and the opportunity to move into a different, but complementary part of the promotional goods market was appealing. Today, Dalesway has moved on from humble beginnings and we now have the pleasure of selling Vastex.
What’s the best thing that happened at your work?
Moving from a Windows-based computer to an Apple product. This decision made the rather unnatural task of working at a computer so much more bearable!
Which three words would your best friend use to describe your personality?
Probably calm, attentive and happy
What is your favourite word or phrase?
In a situation of surprise or frustration, I use a phrase originally inspired by David Jason from Only Fools and Horses: “Châteauneuf-du- Pape!”
Salt and vinegar or cheese and onion?
I love both with a freshly made sandwich or ploughman’s lunch – don’t make me choose!
What tune can’t you get out of your head at the moment?
I listen to uninterrupted music on an internet radio station called Radio Swiss Pop and earlier this week they played a cover of the Simon and Garfunkel song Sound of Silence by a heavy metal band called Disturbed. The song is so different to the original and I find myself thinking about it at random times of day despite having no interest in heavy metal.
What’s your hidden talent?
An ability to make my dog look better than the local dog groomer has in the past without any of their training.
What is your greatest ambition?
To stay healthy and happy.
What is your guilty pleasure?
To spend time with my wife and beautiful dog Millie in the field of a quiet country campsite.
Is there another job you have always wanted to do?
I wouldn’t mind being in the shoes of Lewis Hamilton, although perhaps at the moment, Nico Rosberg’s car might be a more reliable choice!
Where is the best place you have ever visited?
Difficult, because I have been privileged to see some wonderful places and things during my life. I guess the magnificence of the animals and the sky at night in the Kruger National Park would have to be right up there.
Which gadget could you not live without?
For me, no single product should ever be that important – there would be something wrong in my life if I felt so strongly about one particular item. That said, I do love all of my Apple products though and they each serve a useful purpose right now.
If you could ask one person, living or dead, a question, what would it be?
I have lots of questions, but I would probably ask President Nixon if man really did land on the moon in 1969, because it seems like an enormous waste of money to achieve this when it is impossible to live there.