Why did you choose a career in painting and decorating?
I had worked in the public sector for seven years mainly as a Head of Department in a college. Prior to my wedding, in summer of 2011, the college was making some redundancies and I was one of the people who left. On my honeymoon I discussed with my new wife the path that my career should next take. In the dim and distant past I had painted some murals for children on nursery walls and loved it. I had always enjoyed doing my own decorating and decided to give it a go.
How long have you been in the business?
I have been in the business for just over two years.
Do you work as a sole trader or for a company?
I am a sole trader.
Which project would you say was your most memorable?
Some of the most memorable jobs are the ones that start with removing woodchip, which is horrible stuff! I have completed a number of interesting projects, but one that stands out is a little girl's bedroom in the attic of a beautiful Victorian house which I papered with a bold, pink paper. As there were so many angled ceiling joins and corners, it was a difficult task, but I was delighted with the results.
What is the best thing about your job?
There are so many great things about being a painter and decorator. I enjoy working for myself, meeting new people every day and being able to choose my hours. I love the satisfaction of seeing a good job well done and hearing the customer say that they are pleased with the end result.
What is the worst thing about your job?
There's nothing that I dislike about my job, but I do sometimes miss the security of knowing how much I'm going to get paid and when!
And what are your top tips for someone just starting in the industry?
To build your reputation as a trusted decorator, I think that you should always call people when you said you will, go to their houses at the time you agreed, and tidy up after yourself. Work hard, be polite to your customers and use social media to spread the word - you don't need to spend a fortune on advertising!