Tell us about life before Redbox?
I went to college to study art. I had visions of doing something in the creative industry, but soon realised I could draw a mean still life, but I wasn’t that creative. I knocked that idea on the head when I went into banking a year after leaving college. I didn’t know where it would take me but I thought I’d give it a go. I spent two years in the industry, getting my foot in the door, but soon realised it wasn’t for me.
A role came up in the company’s IT team in first line IT support. I got the job and did that for about a year. I realised I had a knack for telling people how to turn their machines on and off! That was the start of my career in IT.
Just before the recession, the company I was working for decided to relocate and I made the decision not to go with them. Soon after, I landed a job at Redbox as an IT support engineer. Back then, I was working with a small team of 20 people out of its London office. Redbox was still in its infancy and the ecommerce sector was growing quickly - I wanted to be part of this new world and Redbox seemed an ideal place to do that.
I moved into the project management team after a couple of years and 11 years on, I’m still here!
Our team oversee all of our clients – we make sure projects are delivered on time, keep the support process going and try to move the client relationship forward, opening new commerce avenues for them.
What has made you stick around for so long?
Redbox has put a lot of faith in me and has allowed me to define my own career path, which I’m grateful for. They’ve given me the opportunity to develop my ecommerce skills, more specifically Magento knowledge. I’m now “owning” and managing large-scale projects for some of the world’s biggest brands.
Furthermore, I see it as a huge personal achievement staying with a business that has grown to more than 100 plus people across the globe. Hopefully I’ll be around to experience the company’s next phase of growth.
Biggest work achievements?
I’ve worked and continue to work with some fantastic clients. During the early days, I worked with Fortnum & Masons and Johnson & Johnson Global. We then made the decision as a company to specialise on Magento. I’ve since help deliver ecommerce sites for Paperchase, Clintons, The Natural History Museum and The Royal Academy of Arts.
I project managed Oliver Sweeney (British menswear brand) and its migration to Magento 2. This was our first Magento 2/Magento Cloud solution which won numerous awards including Best Commerce Launch 2017. Whilst the project was very challenging, the brand’s new commerce site achieved incredible results in terms of conversion rates, AOV and sales.
I have managed and help deliver the Paperchase solution, from an online personalised app through to the M1 build, Treat Me and more recently, M2 Migration. I’m now proud to say that relationship is in its seventh year.
I also work with Universal Music Group. Its digital commerce implementation is unique and complex in every sense - logistically working with the UMG Global IT team, to the build complexities linking Magento, through MOM, to multiple warehouse integrations and technologies. With complex reporting and unique order processes, UMG is a challenging, but brilliant project. The volumes they take, speed of delivery and burn rate of its projects keeps things very interesting. It’s a project that the Redbox team should be very proud off.
How do you spend your ‘spare’ time?
My biggest motivation is my family. For me, it’s about spending time with my wife and two kids - days out, giving them new experiences and generally being present.
I also enjoy sport – I’m a huge Gunners fan and get to see them play occasionally.
The last few years I’ve been renovating our house in Caterham, Surrey. I’ve spent many weekends doing DIY, knocking things down and building them up again. Glad to say it’s finally finished and now we’re looking to move to a bigger place!
My wife and I love to travel and we’re fortunate she works for EasyJet so we get the occasional cheap flight. A few years ago, we did a road trip around Canada, drove from Toronto to Niagara Falls and then spent time with friends near Lake Michigan. I’ve been to Australia and seen much of Europe. My father-in-law lives in the South of Spain in a place called Nerja, it’s quiet and off the tourist trap - we like to go there with the kids when we can.
Challenges of the role?
A key challenge is keeping clients happy, which is not always possible. My aim is to try and turn a negative situation into a positive one and keep the team motivated to deliver great work.
It’s hugely gratifying receiving an email at the end of the week from a client thanking us for our efforts. It’s what makes it worthwhile.
If you had your time again, what would you do?
I’m happy with the path I’ve chosen and where it has taken me. Whilst it’s not been the most conventional, I’ve landed a job that I’m happy with, plus I’ve got a brilliant family.
We’d like to move away for a year or so and experience another country. My wife is keen on Canada, I’ve earmarked Australia or New Zealand. Whether that comes to fruition, who knows. If we get that bigger house, it might be some time off!
What’s your motto in life?
Don’t let the small things drag you down. Simple but true.
Any advice you have been given in life that you’d like to pass on?
If you start something, do your best to finish it. We live in a throw-away society and it’s easy to get rid of something and start again. That’s what my Dad taught me!