My name is Neil Smith. and I have worked in the outdoors for most of my life in remote parts of the world including Greenland, Iceland, and North America. I live on a sheep farm in rural Ireland and am adapting to middle age by pretending that I'm still only eighteen years old. Maybe nineteen.
Charles Camping Ltd. March 2016 - at PresentImproving the Outdoor retail offering at one of the country's largest caravan suppliers. Initially hired for a six month contract to revamp the range of specialist outdoor and hiking products as well as gearing up the service levels. My contract has since been extended.
Great Outdoors Ltd. August 2008 - November 2015Footwear dept. manager and buyer. Responsible for staff training and helped the company ride out the economic crash and build one of the best outdoor footwear specialists anywhere in the business.
Shandwick place, Edinburgh.
Specsavers December 2007 - August 2008Worked as an experienced dispenser within the Shandwick place practice in Edinburgh’s West End area. Liaising with patients, optometrists, lens technicians and NHS administrators this was a busy and enjoyable role. I would have been happy to have continued to advance in this area but received an offer to return to Great Outdoors in Dublin and build for the future.
Gyle Centre, Edinburgh
Optical Express Ltd November 2006 - December 2007Having been professionally involved with feet for more than a quarter of a century I felt like taking on a different challenge and moved all the way up the body to deal with eyes. After starting in a city centre store I was quickly moved out to the Gyle centre clinic; one of the company’s busiest and most profitable stores. I learned fast and thrived in a very challenging environment.
Anatom Ltd February 2005 - November 2006Employed as a technical sales representative for the distributors of Superfeet insoles and Smartwool socks. Building on my experience of the footwear business and working throughout the medical outdoor and sports areas of the business.
Great Outdoors Ltd. May 1999 - August 2004Starting in a general customer service role in the Camping department I effectively became the manager of the footwear section. In time this unofficial position was acknowledged and I began ranging and buying as well as training staff and representing the company at trade shows, events and in the media.
Free Heel Ltd October 1992 - May 1998Senior instructor at the place where cross-country skiing and Telemarking began in the UK. Rostered and trained the staff, taught courses and was involved in the import and distribution of specialist Nordic ski and mountain equipment.
Tested and imported equipment including boots from Garmont and skis from Asnes.
BA Outdoor Education in the community
1989 - 1992
(3 years) Glasgow City