This month, we’re kicking off our Meet the Team series with our Commercial Development Manager Callum Hopkirk. With a long history in the industry, Callum is doing all he can to keep us Distinctively different.
How did you get started in the flooring industry?
I started in the flooring game at the turn of the millennium in Hamilton, New Zealand. I was mainly in high-end residential flooring for 9 years and in that time learnt much there was to know about the industry. From in depth thorough product knowledge to installation, quantifying to quoting, Carpet to cork, vinyl to wood - you name it. With less people in the food chain in New Zealand, you are expected to have a broad knowledge of your profession in order to be efficient. In 2010 I moved to London and steered into commercial flooring. It opened up learning about life in the UK and applying all my skills to the Greater London flooring market. I’ve now spent all 9 years in London driving sales in the commercial flooring sector, including key roles in developing commercial collections and routes to market for various major companies. Distinctive is a natural progression for me with everything I know encapsulated in one – we are aiming high and have all the right tools to make a huge impact in the industry.
What does a typical day look like for you?
With so much diversity in my development role for Distinctive Flooring, my days differ week to week. For example, currently I have an exciting role in helping curate our latest collections into a commercial bundle in order to drive them into Greater London and the city. Focusing on product development, collateral, and utilising the tools we have available to us from our parent company Victoria Plc in order to build perfect collections for the industry. As these come together in the near future, I shall be driving them to my broad database throughout the UK.
What do you enjoy the most about working at Distinctive Flooring?
I enjoy Distinctive as it offers me variety in my role with a closer relationship to the products, clients and the Distinctive team. I get the freedom to manage my commercial clients within the UK and drive the brand to market where I see potential growth. Development roles can be strenuous but I am passionate about my role and this industry. Being quite young, Distinctive Flooring has fresh approaches to how we package our brand and drive it to the industry. We are therefore confident that we will position ourselves in a way that we become a strong competitor. I am loving picking up the things the industry is yearning for whilst other major companies aren’t listening to the requirements of the industry – this puts us in an exciting position!
What features would you say make a strong team?
I think this is a combination of things. I see a lot of the flooring industry trying to put ‘numbers of seats’ thinking that bigger teams mean more business, but this is definitely not the formula. It is crucial a strong team have a good sound understanding of what they are selling – knowledge is power. Team communication is key. They need to understand each other’s strengths in order to grow together and have a clear, concise plan of what they are going after. In this game there are so many components to chase, without a clear vision. It is so easy to come to an impasse. Lastly a good leader, a bad leader will send a team astray. Leaders who lack vision cannot inspire teams, motivate performance, or create sustainable value. I think this is becoming more common in large corporate companies.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Having come up to England to explore, you will tend to find me with a camera in hand travelling somewhere at any given opportunity. I like intrepid adventure off the beat & trail. Other than that, you will find me Djing around London or snowboarding in season.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
If you end up selling fish & chips in life, make sure they are the best damn fish & chips on earth – give it everything! - My Dad “In the confrontation between the stream and the rock, the stream always wins; not through strength, but through perseverance” - Japanese Proverb
What’s your favourite #DesertIslandDistinctive?
Although not a desert Island, I am excited for the UK to be getting all new commercial size LVT tiles available in 36” x 36”. Designed with sophisticated colours and mixed with dynamic multi layered textures, this Distinctive option is an eclectic addition to our portfolio. Look out London! Are you stuck for design ideas for your next project? Head over to our Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram accounts for interior design tips and inspiration.