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Meet the Team

Kieran Holden – Sales Executive




Welcome to the 9th edition of our Meet the Team series! This week we shine the spotlight on another brilliant Sales Executive, Kieran Holden, who has worked within our Speciality Dyes team for over 2 years.

Kieran talks about his life before John Hogg, where he worked in a variety of jobs from landscaping to sailing… He’s even been a few bands too!



Tell us a bit about your Job role?

I am very fortunate to be a Sales Executive here at John Hogg. My business unit focus is Speciality Dyes, which has a very wide market. Basically, I work with all John Hogg clients who purchase dye for applications other than fuel and markers. Our key market focus is Lubricant and Grease, NDT and Smoke Dye, but I honestly could name about 30 other applications our dyes are commonly used for. Needless to say, my daily conversations are diverse, interesting, and certainly keep me thinking.

How long have you been a part of the John Hogg team?

2 and a half years now, it’s been a good ride! I am fortunate to have received a great promotion in this time. I’ve been searching a long time for a company that values staff, has prospect of growth, and offers good training and support. I can honestly say that John Hogg is that company. I will be here for many more years to come!

What was your first job, and did you enjoy it?

My first real job was working with my parents; my stepdad in particular. The business was the growing and selling bonsai trees… I guess I was brought up in a sales environment, learning the ropes and understanding how to speak to people in a sales manor. It was a good foundation to learn the basics, and I still carry a lot of that experience with me.

I started working with them at the age of 13, getting up at midnight to queue up and start work at 5am at Smithfield Market in Manchester. As I was a teenager, and it being weekends, getting up at that time was a challenge in itself! A lot of kids my age would have rather stayed in bed or played PlayStation. My stepdad taught me a key life lesson, which has helped make me the person I am today.

Did you attend University? If so, what did you study?

I didn’t attend further education as it did not appeal to me at that age. Instead, I wanted to travel! I spent a lot of time in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Portugal, 6 years in total.

I did a lot of backpacking & seasonal work during my travels; it would be difficult to name all of the jobs that I have had over the years. The industries range from building & landscaping, sailing, skiing, all the way to working on a banana plantation in the rainforest! Australia and New Zealand are amazing places for young backpackers, and the opportunities were there for me to work in environments I never thought possible, especially for a pretty normal kid from Manchester.

What hobbies or activities do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I have a very active dog, so most weekends we’re getting lost on the fells of the Peaks or Lakes. We usually spend a few hours every time we go out.

I’m also a keen musician, I’ve been in a few bands over the years. Currently I am more of an Indie, folk style guitar player, but in a past life I was in a pretty heave metal band. All we wanted to do was play as loud as possible.

Travelling is also a huge interest of mine. I’ve travelled to and lived in a lot of countries, but there’s still so many places to explore! I am fortunate now to have a job that allows me the freedom to visit overseas clients.

Do you have an accomplishment that you are proud of?

When I came back to the UK after 6 years of travelling, I had very little by way of direction or financial resource. I tapped into my life experience and managed to get myself back on track and on a more defined career path. I am particularly proud of this because part of me wanted to travel for the rest of my life, but the other part of me needed stability. I could do whatever I wanted to, and I am proud to be where I am today because of my choices.

Tell me something about you that most people wouldn’t know.

People are usually surprised when I say that I keep bees…It’s usually seen as a middle class retired man’s hobby, but I love the life and energy that bees bring to my garden. I also get some great wildflower honey. Tastes different every year!

Describe your ideal day off.

Probably an early start with a hill walk with my dog. Followed by a hearty pub meal with a cheeky beer. End up going home satisfied with having a really good day.

If you could travel to any place in the world, where would it be and why?

If you’ve read this far, you’ll know I have a particular passion for travel, so anywhere new is always a must. But Japan and New Zealand hold a very special place in my heart… New Zealand is an adventurers’ dream, and Japan is so culturally unique. I could quite happily live in either place.

Which book or a movie has left a lasting impact on you and why?

Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer is a non-fiction book about tragedy on Mt. Everest. For some reason it inspired me to take more risks in pursuit of my dreams. A lot of people died on the mountain that year, but they were willing to risk it all for what they believed in.

If you had to eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Probably chocolate…

What is your greatest fear?

Sinking in sand… I used to live near Morcombe Bay which is notorious for sinking sand. I’ve had some dicey experiences and now I have a unique fear of this. It’s called ammophobia.

Your GOAT music artist?

As a musician it’s very difficult to say as I love all different genres of music. My personal favourite is an American folk musician called Gregory Alan Isakov. He just brings so much enjoyment and passion to what he does, and you can see that in his live performances. I just love his tunes!

If you could have dinner with anyone, living or deceased, who would it be?

Probably Freddie Mercury. I think he’d be a really interesting conversation.

If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?

Emotional, Loyal & Curious

What’s the best thing about your job?

How future orientated it is. Speciality Dyes are usable in so many industries; we are encouraged to find new and emerging markets that may present a new opportunity, so the job is never boring. I really enjoy the business development side.

What’s an important lesson you’ve learned while working at John Hogg?

To rely more on others for support. I am fortunate to work for a really good company, but even more fortunate to be surrounded by really great people.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to new team members to succeed within our company culture?

Immerse yourself fully in as much as you can, and you will develop a good understanding of what we do. Jump into the deep end, get out of your comfort zone, just go for it! There are a lot of skills and experience for you to draw on.

Finally; In your opinion, what sets John Hogg apart as an employer?

The amount of time that John Hogg puts into our employees. It’s not just about being in the company; it’s about how you can grow with the company!


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