Croydon Guardian gave boost to now thriving company
2:30pm Saturday 28th March 2009 in News
An entrepreneur who set up her own business 20 years ago after being made redundant has paid tribute to the Croydon Guardian.
Gina Iles said appearing in the newspaper two decades ago was just the boost she needed to kick start her home and pet patrol company.
She said: “We were so lucky we dropped a leaflet into a house where someone was working for the paper.
“Lots of people read the Croydon Guardian. I think it really helped us as it got us out into the public eye. It is the only area we work from.”
This year the business celebrates its 20th anniversary, and Mrs Iles said her story was one that others who are being made redundant at the moment could take inspiration from.
She said: “I had always thought about working for myself and being made redundant was what gave me the push.
“I would never have given it a go unless I had been made redundant.
“For me it was a silver lining. And I am really glad I did it.
"I would say to others [who have been made redundant] look for a niche in the market. There are all sorts of opportunities out there.
“When I started there was no one else doing this in Croydon.
“There are so many ideas people have so definitely give it a go. You have nothing to lose.”
Mrs Iles said she loved working for herself and knowing no one else could fire her.
She added that if people are hardworking and sensible they can make a good living.
“It’s very rewarding,” she said. “I get to meet all sorts of people and make new friends. I know all the vets in the area.
“Each day is different and I never get bored. So many funny things happen.
“I never thought it would last for 20 years. I had no idea but I have really enjoyed it.”
Mrs Iles plans to write a book some day about her work, having collected many anecdotes while on the job.
She recalled: “Some years ago, I was feeding three beautiful but mischievous Burmese cats who lived in a second floor flat.
"The owners weren’t due back for several days, so I was mystified to find that the door appeared to have been locked from the inside.
“Greatly concerned for the welfare of my hungry trio, and this being a Sunday, I decided to enlist the help of the local fire brigade to gain entry.
"They were marvellous – running a huge ladder up the outside of the building and eventually managing to get inside via a tiny ventilation window.
“It was a warm summer's evening, and a large crowd of interested bystanders had gathered to watch, beer glasses in hand, from the local pub.
“The triumphant fireman emerged to a round of applause, and confirmed that the door had indeed been locked from the inside.
"We were all puzzled until a neighbour appeared and said ‘Not done it again, have they?
“Amazing how those cats manage to jump up and put the catch on.’ “Words were spoken, a lesson was learned, and happily a new lock was installed for my next booking.”