Charlotte joined the company as our Business Development Manager for Nulty London last year and it’s safe to say it’s been a whirlwind, she immediately got stuck in meeting clients and building those all-important relationships.
Now that Charlotte has had a chance to settle in and we begin gearing up for another busy year, we took a minute to sit down and get to know a bit more about her, her journey through the industry and of course what makes her tick in such a social role.
So, let’s start at the beginning, how did you get into the lighting industry and come to start a new role in business development?
Well, I left school in 2006 and ventured out into the world of architecture as a Junior Architectural Technician at a local housebuilder. After studying art and having a passion for design, I believed that a career in architecture was the right path for me. Unfortunately, I was made redundant in 2008, and had to rethink my steps. Thankfully I wound up in the lighting industry, and I’ve never looked back!
My first lighting role was as a Lighting Technician in Manchester, my hometown. A hop, skip and a jump, a couple of companies and a few roles later and things took a real turn – in 2016 I was offered a job in Dubai, and I took it. I turned out to be the best decision I ever made, but more on that later. I eventually made my way back to the UK and to London in 2019 and went on to land the role of Business Development Manager here at Nulty London.
It’s safe to say I’ve gleaned my fair share of experience after 14 years of being in the industry. I’ve worked in both exterior and interior lighting design, as well as sales and technical sales. And now that I’m working in business development, I find myself learning a whole new side of lighting and lighting design.
Now that you’ve settled into the role, what qualities do you believe make a good Business Development Manager?
A good BD Manager has to have several qualities to succeed. Good communication and interpersonal skills, a certain level of confidence, a knack for negotiation and serious researching abilities to name but a few.
You need to be persistent, exceptionally good at networking, interacting, and socialising.
The role really is perfect for me! I love to interact with people, network and build new relationships both personally and professionally. I am not one to be sat behind a laptop or desk all day everyday – being out in the industry creating new connections and catching up with existing contacts is something I really enjoy doing.
I’m sure we can guess, but what’s your favourite part of the job?
I love chatting with people, and networking with the industry. If you can’t tell, I’m quite a sociable person. Sharing knowledge and insights into both the technical side and the new-business side of Nulty and lighting design is what it’s all about for me.
To be honest, I love everything about my job!
And what would you say has been a highlight about coming back to the UK, joining Nulty and embarking on a new stage of your career?
Nulty is an incredible place to work – you genuinely feel part of a family the day you join. Working for a company that is as supportive as this is key to any successful career, but even more so when you’re in a business development role and when you may not be in the office or working as part of the team very often. I am very happy and lucky to be part of the Nulty family!
Seeing as you’ve been on such a journey, what do you think has been the biggest achievement in your career to date?
I would definitely say that my biggest achievement in my career was moving to Dubai in 2016.
At this point I was still living with my Mum (a dream I know) in the small village that I grew up in and when the opportunity came to go and work in Dubai for a year representing my current company, I knew I had to take it.
Although I was terrified and had no idea what to expect, I jumped right in. Within a few short months I left the UK to start a new adventure; to live in a country I had never visited, where I didn’t know a single person and most importantly, where I would have to do my own laundry!!!
It ended up being the most amazing and unreal three years of my life. What was meant to be one year quickly got extended and not only did I get to try out a more technical role, I also got to experience a sales position, which was something completely new to me.
I met amazing people, gained so much knowledge from working in a completely different environment and grew my career in a way I never thought I would. Leaving home and working in the Middle East gave me so much confidence and broadened my horizons which have, without a doubt, shaped the person I am today.
Has anything pleasantly surprised you about the lighting industry?
Everyone knows everyone! It’s a very small but friendly and fun industry where everyone (within limits) is open to helping. It’s also an industry where those that aren’t in it want to learn about it. Light affects everyone and so there is always an interest, it’s a great conversation starter when I’m meeting new contacts.
Do you have any advice for someone joining the lighting industry?
Branching out into a new industry for the first time will always feel daunting. Luckily, I fell into the lighting industry and have never thought to go elsewhere. It’s a place where you meet and make some amazing friends, colleagues, and acquaintances who often, like me, don’t ever want to leave. So my advice? Just be yourself and the rest will be easy.
Anything else you would like to add? Anything you think people would like to know about the Nulty Business Development Manager outside of work?
When I am not spending time with my BD hat on, I’ll be honest, things don’t really change. I love spending time with family, friends, and Dennis the dog, both in London, across the UK and when on holiday. My partner and I are also huge foodies, so scoping out new and exciting restaurants in London and elsewhere is something I take very seriously!
Speaking of holidays… what’s your dream trip?
A mixture of adventure and relaxation – I get bored very quickly. Although I love a beach holiday, you’ll soon find me scoping out what activities there are to do in the area – I’m not one to relax on a lounger for two weeks reading a book!
My usual routine is to relax and read for about 30 minutes by which point I’ll get twitchy feet and move on to an activity of some sort.
I also love city breaks,exploring new places, finding out the history of the area and discovering different cultures and ways of life is one of my favourite types of trips.
And finally, the million-dollar question – what does light mean to you and what makes it so special?
When you’ve worked in lighting for 14 years, you really start to understand how plays a role in almost everything. It has an influence on all sorts, from events and visual effects, to aesthetics, and even our mood.
One of the key things I’ve learnt is that lighting is essential to our health and wellbeing. Whether it wakes us up in a certain way, sends us to sleep, keeps us energised or helps us unwind in the evening, it can affect us in so many ways. Not only can light alter and create a specific environment but it can also impact and dictate how you feel. It can influence your emotions and that is a powerful thing.