Tell us a little bit about your career background and how you got to your present role.
I used to spend lots of my time at university hanging around Oxford’s Business School and going to their speaker events just to listen and be inspired.
One of the best talks I heard was James Caan who at the time was on the Dragons Den. I asked him for an internship and was lucky enough to get one and a job at the end of it. I cut my teeth managing his angel portfolio within his Venture Capital/Private Equity firm.
After 2 years I was looking after a portfolio of 10 businesses there. He then asked me to set up an SME advisory firm alongside one of his MD’s; HBVP. A couple of years later I joined Innocent’s Commercial team as a Category Manager and a few months in started double hatting and looking after the Investment portfolio of the Innocent founders.
Adam, Rich and Jon had been investing for about 5 years prior to that, and when they sold Innocent to CocaCola they made the decision to become full time angels and asked me to go with them as Investment Manager, which is how JamJar Investments came into play.
What is the most rewarding aspect of what you do?
I love seeing (and us helping) entrepreneurs solve their problems, whether they be operational, commercial or branding issues we can be a sounding board if they need us.
Has there been a particular role model or mentor that has helped you shape your career? If so, what is the best advice they have given you?
I used to work with a brilliant guy called Stephen Mix, I remember him telling me at 21 that in America they are much less bothered about age and experience and more focussed on potential and talent, as bright people can be trained.
He felt that age should not hold someone back from getting the position they want as long as they can do the job. I found that useful to keep in mind.
We love your office space! How did you decorate it? and could you explain to us a bit more about the jars you have on display?
My colleague Richard Reed and his partner Melinda decorated it. We are lucky, it has the feel of an urban loft, with Ibiza chill music playing and tells you a bit about our personality and how we like to work as soon as you walk in.
What are your tips for maintaining a good work-life balance?
I think trying to do both properly helps- when at work I don’t look at or reply to personal messages often. When I am at home or on holiday I try to switch off my emails so I can fully focus on being at home and present with family and friends. The clear separation helps me to switch on and off.
Do you think it is important for women to dress in a particular way for work?
The aim is to feel comfortable, appropriate and attractive otherwise you are not being fair to yourself but what that looks like will vary for everyone.
What are your ultimate workwear staples?
Terracotta ankle trousers, silk t-shirts and neutral snakeskin flats.
And finally, what is your favourite piece from The Fold AW14 collection?
I love the Claremont Coat in Camel.
Photos from Amelia Allen Photography