Dave Lloyd, who was Sweet Dreams’ agent for the Midlands, has retired. His work for the bed and furniture manufacturer extended well over 20 years, making Dave the company’s longest-serving agent.
Riaz Ahmed, Sweet Dreams’ founder and MD, says: ‘Dave has been part of Sweet Dreams for almost as long as the company has existed, and during that time he has been responsible for raising our profile, increasing our sales and extending our product coverage in the Midlands. He has done a sterling job. However, we will miss him just as much for his strong sense of humour, his loyalty and his warmth. We wish him every happiness in his retirement.”
Dave wrote an open letter on his retirement after he was asked for more information about his career. As well as containing Dave’s own sentiments about his work within the furniture trade and his work with Sweet Dreams, it might interest and amuse the industry he is leaving behind:
“I started as a sales representative at the age of 23 with the Beecham Food Group selling Lucozade, Ribena and Coca Cola. Previous to joining Beechams I’d had numerous jobs, from gents’ hairdresser to HGV driver – in one three-year period I had 18 jobs, but couldn’t settle to any of them.
“Once I got the bug for selling I realised that this would be my career (nice shiny company cars and an expense account helped with this decision). I would have stayed with Beechams as they were a great company to work for, but my wage was £2800 per year plus incentives and a Hillman Hunter car. My future wife Sandie, who I’d just met, was with the Parker Pen company and had a salary of £6400 and a Vauxhall VX490 – no way could I remain earning less than half of what my future wife was on, and with an inferior car. So I started looking to improve my lot.
“I applied for numerous sales positions in all fields, but the criteria was more money and a better car than Sandie. This was achieved when the Silentnight Group offered me a position of sales representative for the Midlands area on £7200 and with a Cortina GL. I took the position and enjoyed my time there for a number of years. Mr Tom Clark was still the owner in those days, and worked in the factory every day alongside his employees – he was a man I admired very much.
“After Silentnight, I moved around the furniture trade in various management positions, but didn’t really settle again until I took the plunge to become a freelance agent more than 30 years ago. During my time as a sales agent I have worked for many companies – none better than Sweet Dreams, who I’ve been with for the last 23 years. I joined Riaz, the owner of Sweet Dreams, when he had a very small factory in Nelson making a few beds and a small selection of headboards. When I look now at the range of product and the goodwill we have built over the years from where we started I am proud to have helped in some small way.
“I will be very sad to leave Sweet Dreams because the whole team have become very good friends over the years and there’s not many days when we don’t have a good laugh whilst getting on with doing the job.
“My decision to retire was taken mainly to see more of our only daughter and son-in-law who live in Scotland. In February they presented Sandie and me with our beautiful first grandson – so what better reason could we have?
“We have been visiting the village of Lochearnhead, Perthshire for 20 years, water skiing, fishing and walking. About five years ago we managed to buy a small house there, so this will be the retirement home once I’ve finalised my commitments in the Midlands area.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the companies and staff that I have worked alongside over the last 30-plus years. It has been a real pleasure for me, and I hope not too bad for you! To my customers, all I can say is thank you for your business and for putting up with me over the years. Most have you have become like family to me. I really will miss you!
“Please keep in touch, and if ever you are holidaying in central Scotland drop me an email and we can have a beer. Meanwhile, I‘m available for some part-time work (you can’t keep an old dog down).
“Best wishes to all for the future, Dave Lloyd.” Pictured are Dave and his wife Sandie.