Caroline Brotherton retired yesterday following a 20 year stint at H Grossman. Here she reflects on her time in the toy trade.
I have been an exceptionally lucky girl to have been on a 20 year journey working with Martin and Elinor Grossman and the great team at H Grossman Ltd in the friendly and exciting toy industry.
I joined Martin in 1996 and didn’t know what I had let myself in for.
Initially it was a bit of a culture shock to work with an innovator, entrepreuner and businessman like Martin. As the years went on and I overcame some of my frustrations, I realised that it was the difference in our personalities – the ying and yang – that made us such a great team.
Despite our different personalities and views on some things, Martin and I worked really well together. Martin is a very private person and a lot of people don’t know him as the loyal, ethical, honest and kind man that he is.
Most of the team at H Grossman Ltd were brought in by me and have remained in place all those years. Many of our customers and suppliers love us for what we are and it has been said on many occasions “whatever it is that Grossmans has, it should be bottled".
Everyone works well together and we are like a family in that we compensate for some of our failings and enjoy the better parts. All in all we got on really well. It was that family run business culture that allowed the business to grow and survive when other businesses were falling over.
I have had the pleasure of working with some really lovely people in the buying side, in the supply side and in business in general. It’s the mixture of all these personalities and experiences that has allowed me to be successful in my career and, most importantly, to have enjoyed it so much.
I would like to thank Martin and Elinor for employing and trusting me so much over the years and also to the fabulous team in Glasgow (and the sales team on the road ) and in Hong Kong for all their support over the years which has allowed me to do my job and also grow the business.
I believe very much that the world is a global village and I am confident I will meet up with many of you in my travels.
I wish everyone health and happiness for the future and thanks for being part of my happy days in the toy trade.