Founder, Sian’s Plan, on The Righteous Brothers, Blue Jasmine and supporting small suppliers
What was your first-ever job? When I was At 13 I had a summer and weekend job at a café in Fishguard, West Wales. I learned that work brings rewards. With my first month’s wages I bought a heart-shaped signet ring, which I still have, a black PVC mac (a real 1960s fashion icon) and a few groceries for the family. Oh, and a bit of job satisfaction!
What was the first music single you bought? At the café, the jukebox was played by customers all day, every day. The most popular single played became my favourite and was the first one I bought. The Righteous Brothers’ ‘You’ve Lost that Lovin’ Feelin’. It was the only single to enter the UK top 10 charts three times - I knew it was a winner the second I heard it
What was your worst job interview? I haven’t had many job interviews and luckily for me, none of them were terribly bad or uncomfortable. Since co-founding start-up Sian’s Plan I have, however, learned the necessary evil of ‘interviewing,’ with A grant agency once asked, after I explained my business idea, ‘when will you know the time when to give up?’
How do you describe your job to your mates? I describe work a As my lifestyle plan. Sian’s Plan is what I love to do when I wake up and I’m always researching, writing and developing recipes; or meeting students or the team. I’ve always used the principles of Sian’s Plan to make my own family meal plans - and to keep healthy. I’m lucky that most of my friends can say the same, so little explanation needed.
What’s the most rewarding part of your job? As a teacher, it was always meeting past students who are coping with whatever life is throwing at them. As a home economist for Sian’s Plan, the changes we are making in people’s lives. As an entrepreneur, every landmark that moves us up the ladder towards our goals. Oh and I love thinking, talking and writing about food all day, every day!
What’s the least rewarding part? The uncertainty of a start-up. (And the guilt when I’ve just had a bar of chocolate - though there is always space for the odd treat here and there!)
What’s your motto? Be persistent, consistent and insistent! Success, whether it’s in work, family life or time out, comes with 5% talent and 95% hard work. Be honest to yourself and to others and enjoy the journey!
If you were allowed one dream perk what would it be? Being a woman who loves the odd haircut, I’d love nothing more than to have a personal hairdresser and fashion stylist.
What’s your favourite movie? I would never watch a movie a second time, simply because time is limited and there are too many new films to watch. My favourite at the moment is Woody Allen’s Blue Jasmine - a cleverly scripted story of greed, deceit and its consequences.
What’s been the most embarrassing moment in your life? I’m not easily embarrassed and can laugh off most situations I’m not comfortable in, with the one exception of when I broke my foot last year. Lying on the ground waiting for an ambulance wasn’t a place I wanted to be. I am delighted to say that ankle and head are now in a good place.
Any phobias? I don’t particularly like heights or new experiences. Moving out of my comfort zone is always a challenge. I’m always extremely happy when I’ve pushed myself to do something I thought too difficult. Sian’s Plan has allowed me to take something very familiar and natural (home economics and healthy eating) and push myself to launch it on a new platform (digital/online/tech).
If you could pick a celebrity to join your staff who would it be? It would have to be Jamie Oliver and his entire business team. Imagine how quickly Sian’s Plan could catapult into every home with his influence, ideas and network!
If you could change one thing in grocery what would it be? I think t The grocery industry is doing pretty well - I am glad I am not back in the 1950s and 1960s with the limited choice of fresh food. But two things spring to mind: first up, the grocery industry needs to support and protect small suppliers. These are the parties that suffer most through the aggressive vouchers, oversupplies and special offers. Second, proper food labelling is key. There have been massive developments in this space, but between horsemeat scandals and finding pizzas with ingredients from 60 different countries, there is still room for improvement.
What luxury would you have on your desert island? Pen and paper and a very large bar of chocolate!
What animal best reflects your personality? According to an online quiz, I am surprised, but not disappointed to be, a beaver.