Magazine article Management Today

If I Had to Start Again ... Josephine Fairley

Magazine article Management Today

If I Had to Start Again ... Josephine Fairley

Article excerpt

I'm a world-class shopper, and would have loved running a shop where I could sell things I've found all over the world. But I have a leaf-in-the-wind approach to work. I'm very open to other people's ideas of what I can do. I never planned to go into chocolate, for example. My husband Craig Sams had developed the prototype for Green & Black's, and he didn't know what to do with it - his business was in healthfood. But it was the best chocolate I'd ever eaten, and I nagged him to do something. Eventually he said: 'If you're so interested, you do it.'

That has been utterly characteristic of my career. At 19, I was a secretary at Woman's World magazine, and one day the features editor asked me to write 100 words. When I said I couldn't write, he told me not to be so wet. His belief made me think maybe I could. Later, my boss was launching a new publication, and described what he wanted in the editor. I jokingly said: 'You want someone like me.' He told me to start in the morning. I became Britain's youngest magazine editor, at 23, running Look Now.

Even when Green & Black's took off, there was never enough money to pay me, so I had to continue working as a freelance journalist, doing 16-hour days. …

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