Spoken to one of our team on the phone and want to put a face to a name? We’ve compiled this handy guide to the Distinctive Chesterfields office team, just for you. Meet everyone from our MD, to our general manager and sales executives in this light-hearted look at their lives, loves and roles here in Honley.
Steve Laidlaw – Managing Director
About Steve: A huge fan of riding trials bikes, Steve (husband to Clare, below) has recently taken up racing driving and regularly competes at Brands Hatch. A fan of British comedy and animated superheroes, Steve loves nothing more than a great film in front of the TV with Clare and the kids.
My favourite thing about the job is…Being proud of the things I get right and being able to change the things I get wrong!
The song I’d choose if I was auditioning for X Factor is…Nickelback – Rockstar
If I could invite three people to a dinner party, I’d go for…John Bishop, David Cameron and Kimmi Raikkonen
My idea of a perfect day is…Up early and out bouncing around the woods on my trials bike for a few hours then come home, cook a Sunday roast, and veg in front of the telly with Clare and the kids
If I could be a superhero for the day, I’d be…Mr incredible – that man should be everybody’s hero!
Clare Laidlaw – General Manager
About Clare: Mum to Sam, Ben and Daisy, Clare is married to the company’s managing director Steve and enjoys days out with the family in the little spare time she has between running a business and a home. She loves being her own boss, enjoys taking her little girl to her weekly ballet class and occasionally wins at bingo!
My favourite thing about the job is… being my own boss, I can make decisions on my own and decide what is best for the company without having to go to ask and negotiate with anyone.
An interesting fact about me is… I used to belly dance, ha ha – tried and failed! Nothing special unfortunately, however, I am a lifesaver when it comes to swimming! I was on holiday and a little boy was drowning, as he had fallen in the pool. His mum couldn’t swim and there wasn’t a lifeguard on duty – so I jumped in, got him out and got him breathing again!
The Chesterfield I’d choose is…the Hampton corner unit with an extra 6” depth in Lena Black, and with chrome studs and feather/foam cushions
My favourite thing to do on the sofa is… play and read to my children – we love pulling faces at each other
If I could invite three people to a dinner party, I’d go for…Gerard butler, Channing Tatum and Jason Statham
My idea of a perfect day is… lounging in bed until about 10, before having a McDonald’s brekkie. I’d then head back home for a sofa and DVD day with the hubby – then I’d go out to my favourite restaurant (which has sadly now shut down) for a steak dinner. Or I’d go swimming with the kids, or to the zoo, or a London bus tour, or even to the safari park (monkey enclosure) – the look on Daisy’s face (my daughter) is amazing to see.
Richard Oakley – Company Accountant
About Richard: A fan of numbers from a young age, Richard gained a GCSE in statistics in his early teens. Distinctive Chesterfields’ accountant, he’s been with the company for five years. Richard’s a keen football player (on the Huddersfield Town Junior team as a teenager, in fact), and enjoys spending time with his soon-to-be-wife Fiona and his daughter Erin. A self-proclaimed ‘spreadsheet geek’, he’s also a fan of home improvements and is currently renovating his quaint country-style cottage.
My favourite thing about the job is…Big Excel spreadsheets!
An interesting fact about me is…I can wiggle my ears.
The Chesterfield I’d choose is….The Drummond, as it’s so comfortable
My favourite thing to do on the sofa is…Lie down, relax and watch the football!
If I could invite three people to a dinner party, I’d go for…Mila Kunis, David Beckham, and Jamie Oliver – as I’d need someone to cook the food!
My idea of a perfect day is…spending time with my fiancée and daughter in the morning. Then I’d go to a football match and follow it with a nice lamb bhuna at the local curry house.
If I wasn’t an accountant, I’d have also enjoyed being a…policeman, as it’d be a very rewarding job.
Mark Denby – International Sales and Development Manager
About Mark: Mark’s been with the company for three years and loves his role as international sales and development manager. Taking up the job at Distinctive Chesterfields following a degree in foreign languages at Hull University, Mark can speak four languages including ‘the language of love’ (his words, not ours). In his spare time, he loves nothing more than slipping his trainers on and heading out for a jog. He’s also a keen cricket and tennis player.
My favourite thing about the job is…conducting market research and developing overseas strategies
An interesting fact about me is…I lived abroad for a while, spending time in Italy and Germany
The Chesterfield I’d choose is….The Hampton and I’d take the Deluxe Devil Mocha as there’d be plenty of room to stretch out and relax and maybe snuggle up with a significant other. I love the leather because it feels soft and has a lovely mottled effect
My favourite thing to do on the sofa is…These days I like to relax on the sofa, but when I was a kid I used to enjoy wrestling on it with my brother – we’d move the furniture around, pushing the sofa and chairs together to make a wrestling ring
If I could invite three people to a dinner party, I’d go for: Stephen Fry, Heston Blumenthal and Jennifer Anniston
My idea of a perfect day is…a lie in, before tucking into an American-style pancake breakfast. I’d then have a day at the races. I’d win so I’d spend my winnings on a lovely meal out with my wonderful girlfriend
If I wasn’t a sales manager, I’d be a…vet. But unfortunately I’m allergic to cats.
Chris Hemingway – Pay Per Click (PPC)
About Chris: A devoted supporter of Leeds United, Chris spends his spare time at a local game, or with his family. When he’s not watching the footy or playing it (he’s a member of a local team), Chris loves spending time with his four kids. At Distinctive Chesterfields, Chris is in charge of Pay Per Click, which helps raise the brand’s profile online.
The Chesterfield I’d choose is…the Berkeley, as it’s child-friendly
My favourite thing to do on the sofa is…Drink and watch a film with the kids
If I could invite three people to a dinner party, I’d go for…Banksy, Bear Grylls, and Natalie Anderson
My idea of a perfect day is…time with the family
If I could choose a completely different career, I’d go with…. Fighter pilot.
Steve Hanson – Head of Web
About Steve: If you’re ever in a crisis, Steve’s your man! A fan of all things outdoorsy, he knows his way around a Swiss Army knife like no other, and loves camping and discovering all about bush craft and survival. When he’s not boosting Distinctive Chesterfields’ online presence here in the office, Steve can be found gaming, reading or listening to his favourite music.
My favourite thing about the job is…Winning. I love to see our sites providing good ROI (Return on Investment). There is nothing quite as satisfying as seeing positive results
The Chesterfield I’d choose is…The Drummond – it looks so comfy with those deep cushions
My favourite thing to do on the sofa is…Watching a good TV show like Game of Thrones…
If I could invite three people to a dinner party, I’d go for…Ray Mears, Brian Blessed & Trent Reznor
My idea of a perfect day is…Taking the dog for a long walk in the sunshine
If I could choose a completely different career, I’d go with….Forest ranger
Sophie Wadsworth – Sales Executive
About Sophie: A Biology graduate, Sophie is the ‘go-to gal’ for all our science-related questions. The youngest of three sisters, 23-year-old Sophie has recently taken up photography and loves heading to a local theme park or science museum in her spare time. A big fan of food, she enjoys discovering a great new restaurant, or chilling out with a good book or film.
My favourite thing about the job is…When I’ve been able to help a customer choose their perfect chesterfield and they’re really happy with it!
The Chesterfield I’d choose is….The Drummond, it is elegant and modern – a real statement piece that will be instantly noticed yet comfortable and easy to cosy up in
My favourite thing to do on the sofa is…Curl up and put on one of my favourite movies with a nice cup of tea
If I could invite three people to a dinner party, I’d go for…David Attenborough, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth (in his Thor costume)
My idea of a perfect day is…a day at a theme park with my favourite people topped off with a great meal and a few cocktails
If I could choose a completely different career, I’d go with….Sea turtle conservation on a sunny beach in South America.
Maxine Wilby – German Sales Executive
About Maxine: German-born Maxine has lived in the UK for four years and loves its beautiful countryside. She joins the company as our German-speaking sales executive, and she’ll be dealing with both UK and overseas customers. In her spare time, Maxine loves playing with her three-year-old sister Annabella, or keeping fit at the gym or swimming pool. She also enjoys taking regular trips to Germany to catch up with friends and family.
My favourite thing about the job is…
The people I work with and that it’s always challenging me
The Chesterfield I’d choose is….
The Drummond in devil arabica , its very comfortable and very nice to look at
My favourite thing to do on the sofa is…Read stories to my little sister
If I could invite three people to a dinner party, I’d go for…Chris Hemsworth, Johnny Depp, and Sarah Jessica Parker
My idea of a perfect day is…driving to the seaside and chilling out on a beach in the sun
If I could choose a completely different career, I’d go with….travel agent
Lauren Holden – Online Content Manager
About Lauren: Resident office baker, Lauren makes a mean Victoria sponge – her own words, not ours! When she isn’t watching a good TV series with her feet up, Lauren can be found shopping for retro handbags, brooches and old vinyl to add to her collections, or learning to sew in her spare room-turned-craft haven.
My favourite thing about the job is…the chance to chat to our customers via our many social networking sites– it’s great to get feedback and have a natter with fellow furniture fans
The song I’d choose if I was auditioning for X Factor is…Roxy Music’s Love is the Drug
My favourite thing to do on the sofa is…stretch out in front of a good TV series (The Walking Dead), with a mug of hot chocolate and a bag or bar of something tasty
If I could invite three people to a dinner party, I’d go for…Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, Stereophonics’ Kelly Jones and actor Norman Reedus
My idea of a perfect day is…A day with friends at a spa (I love Natasha Aspin’s Huddersfield spa), followed by a gig.
Sophie Martin – Sales Executive
A self-confessed shopaholic, Sophie loves clothes and never makes a fashion faux pas. Between trips to the shops or evenings in spent watching her favourite TV show, Hollyoaks, Sophie always finds time to spend with her beloved dog Jasper. She also calls herself the world’s worst cook and driver – take note!
My favourite thing about the job is…The people I work with
The Chesterfield I’d choose is….I’d choose the Drummond and I would want it in the brightest colour pink possible!
My favourite thing to do on the sofa is…Watch Hollyoaks – the best programme on TV!
If I could invite three people to a dinner party, I’d go for…Can I have an extra seat and invite all the members of 5ive?
My idea of a perfect day is…going to watch Manchester City!
If I could choose a completely different career, I’d go with…something to do with media
Greg Wood – Sales Executive/Delivery Man
About Greg: Greg’s seen the company evolve over the years, having been here for seven years and one of the first to join the team. In his spare time, he’s training to volunteer as a Samaritan, where he’ll soon be on hand to answer the calls of those in need of a friendly ear. He’s a champion hobnob dunker (not in a competitive fashion, he just enjoys ‘em) and he loves a good comedy film.
My favourite thing about the job is…my colleagues – I count them all as friends. I enjoy the challenges my role brings, too
I’m at my comfiest when…I’m at home watching a comedy, with a Chinese takeaway in front of me
My favourite snack when I’m being a couch potato is…Chocolate – I’m a huge chocoholic and I love dunking my chocolate hobnobs in my tea
My superhero power would be…Definitely the ability to control time
An interesting fact about me is…I lived in Ibiza for two years managing a couple of bars
If I could invite three people to a dinner party, I’d go for…Fernando Alonso, Karl Pilkington and Jenna Coleman
My idea of a perfect day is…I’d relax in my living room, watching sports on the TV and eating curry
If I wasn’t a sales manager I’d like to have been a…paramedic.
Want to meet more of our staff? Don’t forget to view part one of our workshop team bios.
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