Chloe Degg has no regrets in swapping her career in gemstones for one in the wine trade. Since joining SH Jones in Banbury in 2018, she has had the opportunity to work across different aspects of the business and is proving to be pretty indispensable.
General manager Greg Shaw says: “It has been a difficult time over the last couple of years and Chloe has certainly risen to the challenges we have faced.
“As operational buyer, her job is to ensure we have wines in stock, and that has been no easy task when supply chains are so constrained and yields down, but she has also stepped in to help cover many other parts of our business when the occasion demanded, from taking phone orders through to going out into the warehouse to pick them.
“She is great at customer care and is gradually taking on a more customer-focused role. All in all, Chloe has been a bit of a star and I am sure she will become even more of a key figure in our business in the years ahead.”
Previously Chloe was an assistant manager at a jeweller’s, Beaverbrooks, specialising in gemstones. “It was a very different career,” she admits, “but the reason I went to SH Jones was because I was looking for a buying role in particular. I was also drawn to them as a company because I’ve lived in Banbury my whole life and I’d shopped at SH Jones. I knew about their family values and their background.”
It’s nice to see every aspect of the business. Now if we get short-staffed somewhere, I can come along and help out
The basic wine knowledge Chloe had was soon boosted when she quickly got her WSET level 2 under her belt, which she says “massively helped” her confidence. She is now studying for her level 3.
“I’m so pleased that they have given me that opportunity,” she says.
“I’m one of those people who loves to learn on the job. Everything I learn I can put into practice straight away; it’s immensely helpful.
“My main aim is to expand my knowledge so I can use it to help our customers, be it on the social media side of things, like writing tasting notes for the website, or in a face-to-face situation. I’m looking forward to when we start doing tastings again as I’ll be more involved with those.
“The great thing about working for a small business,” she continues, “especially during the various lockdowns, was that to survive we had to furlough staff, and I was one of the lucky ones that carried on working. So I welcomed the opportunity to take on any role and responsibilities that were given to me. It’s nice to see every aspect of the business and now if we get short staffed somewhere I can come along and help out.”
Chloe says she is at the point of figuring out which role she’ll settle on but it sounds like buying is not on the agenda. “I run our website and I started our social media with our Instagram and Facebook pages, which I love doing, and I really like being in a more customer facing role too,” she says.