24 July 2024, 16:33
By Furniture News Jun 28, 2024

Getting personal: Sam Jackson, Bluebone

Having spent much of her career as Halo’s operations director and global supply chain manager, Sam Jackson, Bluebone Imports’ commercial director, is one of the furniture industry’s top minds when it comes to imports/exports (and botany) …

How might a child describe what you do?


Unfortunately it’s not just children, but adults too – Sam sells furniture. If only it were that easy!

What’s the biggest long-term challenge you face?


Becoming a primary carer for a close relative.

If you had 10 x your working budget, what would you spend it on?


Improving the work/life balance of the workforce.

What would be the title of your autobiography?


Work, Work, Work – I have worked at building my career, I have worked to give my family choices, and I have worked to maintain and build relationships through all walks of life.

In that case … what does the term ‘work/life balance’ actually mean to you?


Having a job that positively influences financial independence, to enable more quality time and activities with family and friends.

Who’s been your most influential professional mentor?


Timothy Oulton – he introduced me to the world of furniture, believed and trusted me to make decisions (even if they were the wrong ones), and to learn and grow, ultimately helping me to become the professional that I am today.

What advice would you give your younger self?


Decisions that are made when you are younger aren’t always the right ones, but making no decision leads to no change, ideas or choices. No decision is a bad one – it’s one that is made at a point in time, and it’s how the outcome is managed that is important.

What’s been your best day in business to date?


The excitement and positivity of opening a European office, working with a team across a number of nationalities and cultures. We still meet for a catch-up every other year.

What’s the biggest myth about our industry?


That the end-consumer across the globe believes flammability regulations (FRs) are standardised. Those of us that work in the industry are aware that UK FRs are the most stringent and costly.

What should everyone in our industry either stop or start doing?


We should start standardising furniture regulations, whatever country furniture is bought or sold in.

Where do you see the industry going in the next 5-10 years?


The end-consumer will look to purchase more sustainable, inexpensive, quality furniture that they perceive is better for the environment. They won’t want to pay more, and will still expect exceptional quality.

What question do you wish we’d asked? How would you have answered?


Q. Why did you choose a career in this industry?

A. I did a PhD in biology, and through my university education had an interest in plants and timber. An opportunity to assist Tim and Charlie Oulton in their UK wholesale business arose, and the rest is history!

This interview featured in the June issue of Furniture News magazine.


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