In October 2023, Gavin Wood, our Products and Purchasing Director, celebrates 20 years with the business. We spoke to him to look back at his time at Tributes and understand the key moments of his career from the last two decades.
I joined Tributes fresh from college where I’d studied hand crafted furniture. I started out in a part-time role, making frames in the tin shed at Myrtle Grove Farm. As the business grew, I took on more hours, which helpfully coincided with the arrival of my son, and then progressed into a role in our warehouse. I was promoted to Warehouse Manager and then became involved in the purchasing side of our operations too. I took on my current role, and joined the Board, in September 2010
I’m really proud of the strength and breadth of the team that Tributes has built over the years and enjoy the great work culture which Adam and the rest of the Board have nourished. It’s important to us to keep hold of that feeling of a family business – even as we grow. Continuing to look after our staff and customers is a fundamental value, and one we all are committed to protecting.
Picking a favourite
When it comes to our product range, I have a soft spot for our Tribute Heart. It’s such a tactile product, and a beautiful memorial for a loved one. Development was a really enjoyable experience too – particularly as we considered the best materials to use, and how to ensure the right look and feel.
The Covid pandemic was a very difficult time for the business – global shipping became extremely challenging and from a logistical perspective we had to consider rail and road as well as bringing products across the water. The team collaborated seamlessly, with our unwavering priority always being our valued customers and the families at the core of our operations. From a personal perspective I channelled my frustrations into boxing – a sport which I first took up during lockdown – and which I’ve kept at ever since!
Looking back over 20 years feels a bit odd really. Back then I made frames and swept the floor. Now I have to balance our ordering and fulfilment, ensure strong consistency and supply, oversee quality control, develop new products and help plan for the future of the business. Sometimes I miss my broom…
Tributes is – and will continue to be – a successful company because of the hard work and cooperation of the people in our diverse and brilliant team. Ingenuity, resourcefulness, and forward thinking keeps us on top of our sector.
Our product development paths are really exciting – and we have some fantastic things in the pipeline. Innovation has always been something we excel at, and I love playing my part in helping this continue. As worldwide travel is now back on the cards, I’m loving being able to travel again to our suppliers in Asia and Europe , and I enjoy the incredibly rich culture and history which the region offers.
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