Haggling ‘was like a sport within the souks’

Me & My Money: Gillian Henderson and Jill Deering, Champion Green ambassadors

Gillian Henderson and Jill Deering. Photograph: Andres Poveda

Gillian Henderson and Jill Deering. Photograph: Andres Poveda

 

Are you a saver or a spender?

Jill: I’m definitely a saver. I think it was drilled into me by my parents as soon as I opened my first bank account and even more so when I started a credit union account. Cash flow is key to moving your business forward and it has helped us get through the uncertainty of this last year with the pandemic.

Do you shop around for better value?

Gillian: Value for me isn’t always looking for the cheapest price. I’m happy to spend more on quality and invest in something that will last.

What has been your most extravagant purchase ever and how much did it cost?

Jill: We would have to say our first ever clothing line. We went big and it was a huge spend for us and the business.

What purchase have you made that you consider the best value for money?

Gillian: Studio equipment. It was a huge purchase but it gave myself and the business so much control and freedom at the same time.

How do you prefer to shop – online or local?

Jill: I would have been more of an online shopper and Gill would have always shopped local and in-store, so I think we educate each other on the pros of both sides. Having our own pop-up for nearly a year on St Stephen’s Green as part of the Champion Green incentive and during a pandemic has given us a wider understanding of how important both online and in-store has to be. They need to stand on par with each other for a business to grow and survive.

Do you haggle over prices?

Gill: In the right setting. On a trip to Morocco a few years back, I tried my best to haggle, and it was like a sport within the souks. Back home we don’t haggle. Business to business we have bartered, but never to get a better price as it’s always skill for skill.

Has the recession changed your spending habits?

Jill: I can safely say we’ve both been very good with money and with our spending habits. We are both self-employed and we managed extremely well during the recession. We adapted when and where we had to so as to keep the business moving forward.

Do you invest in shares?

Gill: We aren’t knowledgeable in the stock market or in that area of business, and so we always invest back into the business.

Cash or card?

Jill: Definitely card, or Google Pay on our phones.

What was the last thing you bought and was it good value for money?

Gill: A new Apple MacBook. It was one of those purchases that I shopped around for, considering other brands, but I’ve always been a Mac user so the value was in upgrading what I already knew. It was 100 per cent the right choice.

Have you ever successfully saved up for a relatively big purchase?

Jill: Probably the new car I got last year. I needed an upgrade to make business journeys comfortable and manageable with stock, artwork and online orders.

Have you ever lost money?

Gill: Thankfully, no, and may that last.

Are you a gambler and, if so, have you ever had a big win?

Jill: I’m not a gambler in the traditional sense, but we have definitely taken risks moving the company in particular directions, and thankfully it has been a success.

Is money important to you?

Gill: Yes and no. As creatives, it’s extremely important for us to be paid for our time and ideas, but money does not drive us. I don’t think either of us would be doing what we do and love to do if money was a driver.

How much money do you have on you now?

Jill: Not even enough to buy a coffee, but a quick scan of my fingerprint and I’ll solve that problem with Google Pay.

In conversation with Tony Clayton-Lea

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