We sat down (virtually) with Stewart Lacey, our National Sales Manager, to ask him ten questions on flooring, his career within it, and his best advice for a young person getting started in the industry.
Read on for Stewart’s answers on why he loves working at Bostik, how sustainability has a massive role to play in flooring over the next decades, and which famous actor-turned-politician he wouldn’t mind being for a day.
1. What was your first job?
“My first job was a paperboy, but if we’re talking first ‘real’ job, it was at a men’s clothing company called Concept Man, which later became River Island. I started on the shop floor and worked my way up to become store manager. I may no longer be working in the fashion industry, but the sense of style has never left me…”
2. What’s the best thing about working at Bostik?
“The people. I really enjoy working with customers, but it’s the team at Bostik that makes coming into work so worthwhile. I’m obviously close to the flooring team, but there’s so many characters throughout the whole business who I would class as friends.”
3. When did you join Bostik?
“I joined in April 2001 when the company was still known as Laybond, before being acquired by Bostik a few years later. I was an areas sales manager for East Anglia and North London.”
4. What do you think are the positive and negative aspects of the flooring industry?
“For me the positives are seeing young people enter the industry with fresh ideas. It certainly keeps me on my toes, and I get a real sense of pride in seeing them carve out a career for themselves in the flooring industry. The negatives are when projects become a race to the bottom. It’s tempting for people to cut corners, but when they have to replace a newly fitted floor because it has failed, they’ll end up paying more in the long run – it’s a false economy.”
5. What’s the best advice you could give to someone new coming into the flooring industry?
“Be patient. A lot of people have been in this industry a long time, so they will see straight through you if you pretend to know something you don’t. If you’re honest and you work hard to build relationships and improve your knowledge, you’ll earn the respect of your customers and your peers.”
6. How did you get into the flooring industry?
“By my early twenties, I figured I was most suited to a sales role, so I applied for an area sales manager job at a domestic vinyl manufacturer. I really enjoyed working in the flooring industry, so I decided to pursue it as a career.”
7. What do you think the future holds for the flooring industry?
“Sustainability will have a massive part to play, both in terms of recycling old flooring and incorporating recycled material into the manufacture of new technologies and packaging. This ties in with the greater demand we’re seeing for products that offer a reduced impact on the environment and safer working conditions for the floor layer.”
8. How do you keep busy outside of work?
“When I’m not spending time with my wife and kids I’m out riding my motorbike – my dream bike is a Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade 2020.”
9. What’s your favourite holiday destination?
“Any of the Greek islands – I love the scenery, the way of life… and the food!”
10. Finally, if you could be any character from film or TV, who would you be?
“It would have to be Arnold Schwarzenegger – from his Terminator days rather than his stint as the Governor of California!”