STAFF STORIES


Our staff play a vital role in providing excellent customer service and as such is Kent Blaxill's most valuable asset. We pride ourselves on delivering first rate customer service to a standard that cannot be matched by the national chains, and owe our reputation to our excellent staff.

TARA STANLEY

COMPANY PRODUCT MANAGER

I applied for a data input position with Kent Blaxill back in 2005, it was just before Christmas as I wanted something that was close to home and part-time. I had a background in the building industry but prior to having my son...

I applied for a data input position with Kent Blaxill back in 2005, it was just before Christmas as I wanted something that was close to home and part-time.

I had a background in the building industry but prior to having my son, I felt I would enjoy working for a smaller family company who had a good name within the town.

The role I applied for was in the product management department which is a great place to work, varied, interesting and challenging. I have studied and attained two NVQ’s with the support and encouragement of the Company and my manager.

On-the-job training provided by my manager was second to none and he encouraged me to take more of a lead role within the department. I have been here over 11 years now and have worked my way up to Company Product Manager – not bad for a woman in a so called male industry! I love the challenges my role brings and I’m really proud to work for an ever growing and evolving Independent Merchant, the variation of products and people means there is always something new to learn and someone new to meet. Thank you KB’s

READ TARA'S STORY

JAMES PARK

BUSINESS MANAGER FOR THE DECORATIVE BUSINESS

“It’s like watching paint dry”

October 2010 – my first day supervising the Decorative Counter at Colchester...

Today – managing the Decorative Business across 14 sites with staff over 50 staff.

The most famous paint related quote could never be further from the truth when describing a career at Kent Blaxill!

READ JAMES' STORY

ANDY TANNER

LANDSCAPING TERRITORY MANAGER

My Career with Kent Blaxill started when I was recruited as a part time employee to help out wherever I could whilst I was at university. I was used in a number of branches doing a range of jobs, covering holidays for counter staff, putting orders away and general tidying of the branches. This was a perfect role fitting in with my flexible hours which I carried out for around 3 years...

After graduating from The University of Lincoln, I was lucky enough to be offered a graduate role within Kent Blaxill. This was based in one of the longest standing branches, dealing with established customers. My knowledge and understanding was challenged daily by both members of staff and customers which helped my on the job training. Working closely with the branch manager and senior members of staff at the time, I was able to learn office based skills which have been key for my development throughout. After a successful start in a smaller branch, I was offered a chance to work at the head branch on a counter specific job. This was a different challenge to the branch and helped develop my field specific understanding working towards becoming an expert in the field. From here there were opportunities to expand my understanding in different departments, specifically Landscaping. Here I have settled and grown my skill set to progress to a area manager role for the department which is where I am now with a fantastic opportunity to increase business for the company on a large scale.

Being given the different opportunities in a range of departments has really helped me understand and appreciate which core skills are needed for delivering outstanding customer service and how i can apply them in day to day work. These transferable skills are essential and have been encouraged by the company from the first sale I did. The support the company offers is second to none and has really helped with my development from the first role I was in.

Once settled in the Landscaping role, I was given the opportunity to lead and carry out a project investigating sales for the department. With the help from my mentor, I managed to carry out a full project detailing pro's and con's of the landscaping customer basis and sales figures. The project finished with a presentation to the managing director, commercial director, head of sales team, branch manager and HR manager. This was a fantastic opportunity to show how I had developed as a person, whilst putting across ideas to grow business and find new customers. This went on to land me a new role carrying out the leads identified in the presentation and has lead to a full 2 year development plan being created.

READ ANDY'S STORY

JANE COLLINS

DEC AREA MANAGER

I was made redundant from my previous employer after 15 years and this gave me the push to try something a bit different. I applied for the position of counter assistant in Ipswich and came out of the interview with a job offer for a manager’s role in Melton. I joined the company in August 2012 and have not looked back!

After being in Melton for a while the branch went through a complete refit, this became the best in-store presentation winner for Farrow and Ball in 2015. A short while after this I was given the chance to run 2 stores…Ipswich and Melton. This proved to be very successful. This branch also went through a refit whilst I was there and has gone from strength to strength. My role then progressed to a cluster manager where I picked up another branch taking me to managing 3 branches. Since October 2016 I have worked in the role of area manager (first in Kent Blaxill!)

I had previously worked for a family run company and liked the way the company seemed to work. Their staff all seemed happy and were long serving. The training and development package was key as I knew what my career goal was and I knew that they were a company that could help me achieve this.

I love a challenge and knew I had something I could offer the trade industry.

I have a very good manager who has always supported me and knows what my career goals are. He understands my passion for the business and allows me to manage and take ownership of my branches/ teams to get the results the business expects. The Company has listened to ideas I have had and worked with me to make them happen. I have a very good development plan in place so I know what I need to do to improve my weaknesses and continue developing my strength’s. I have good working relationships with others in the business who have helped me gain further experience in areas I am not very strong in.

My current role is area manager for Kent Blaxill. This is a new role to the business which can consist of looking after up to 10 branches. I love a challenge and my absolute passion is customer service and working with people to develop these skills. I believe you should love your work and making it fun is very important.

This role will involve me working closely with the teams to grow the business and increase the profits, it will mean working closely with the people to develop them, listen to their needs and create a much better working atmosphere. Customer service is key to any business and in order to offer our customers what they deserve we need to have the right people …the right HAPPY people! So far we have developed staff from within the Company for the new branch managers roles in Ipswich and Sudbury and also a supervisor in Ipswich. We have also got many on development plans and training in NVQ’s.

With the growth of the business we should also see more new branches which I look forward to being involved in.

My passion is customer service and developing people -I love Working with people, building great relationships with our customers and giving them the best customer experience when they come into any of our branches. I love to see a happy working team, there is nothing better than walking into the branches and the atmosphere is buzzing…smiley happy customers smiley happy staff. Being number one in customers service, The development of people and growing the business is the goal. I will give it 110% to ensure this happens :)

READ JANES' STORY

NICK SCULLY

COLCHESTER BRANCH MANAGER

I have worked for a national company for my entire working career and have benefited from development opportunities which ultimately have allowed me to progress to my current role as Branch Manager...

Working within an independent business has allowed me to be involved in a larger number of experiences, which have challenged me to develop personally, again leading to me being able to achieve my aspirations moving forward.

An independent can offer so much more development opportunity as you are more involved in the decision making aspects of the business, and you work more closely with your support network.

We are a rapidly expanding business which believes in promotion from within so there are a lot of opportunities for progression.

READ NICK'S STORY