Ann-Maree Morrison

From accountancy in Australia to success in Scotland Anne-Maree Morrison’s journey is both interesting and inspiring.

“I was working with Price Waterhouse in Australia and, like a lot of my fellow Australians, decided to take a working holiday in London. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and decided to extend my stay and took a job with Grant Thornton, specialising in insolvency and investigative accountancy.”

“I met my future husband while working with Grant Thornton and when my visa ran out he returned to Australia with me. We married in Australia and may have remained there but the recession hit and we decided to return to the UK.”

 

“On our return I took temping jobs for a while until taking the post as head of finance with a subsidiary of Eastman-Kodak. This was an interesting job made complex by having both US and UK reporting structures exacerbated by the differences in time zone between the two headquarters.”

“After two years we moved up to Scotland and took a job as a management consultant with Coopers and Lybrand. I enjoyed the job but the very first client I was assigned to was down in Windsor and so I was working away from my new home in Scotland throughout each week. Things took a turn for the worse when, while on maternity leave and holidaying back in Australia, I had a nasty car accident. It made me refocus and brought home to me that the job I was doing wasn’t right for me and that I didn’t want to return to it after maternity leave.”

“As things turned out I took seven years away from work with my children. About 5 years into this period I realised that I needed something to do and was reluctant to return to the world of consultancy.”

 

“Labels4Kids came from personal experience of my kids losing stuff. I didn’t think that his was unique to my kids and this was born out by research amongst friends and family. It took about 2 years of detailed market research to determine that there was nothing similar in the UK and very little in Europe and to carry out product development and testing until by mid 2004 I had a website up an running to promote and sell the products.”

“The market is largely in the UK but we have dedicated websites in other languages in order to sell across Europe. For example we have over 1,000 customers in Germany and healthy sales to Sweden. As the export business grows we are looking at production in each of these countries to get over time delays in delivery and also to avoid product losses that can occur as goods travel between the postal and delivery services across different countries.”

“In particular we are exploring the franchise model where we will support individuals in different locations who will be responsible for sales and delivery in their countries. With support from Scottish Enterprise, we are working with a consultant who is helping us appoint our first franchisees. We are also looking to recruit an additional member of staff, we have 3 members of staff right now, to support me in operational matters so that I can take a more strategic management role.”

Ann-Maree has recently been named Entrepreneur of the Year at Everywoman Retail Awards. The judges were impressed with how Ann Maree has created a dedicated following of supporters from across the globe through an active social-media strategy and online forum for parents and families on her award winning website www.labels4kids.com

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