From Hollywood to London, Helen Trattles’ contagious energy and boundless enthusiasm has seen her continue to excel, bringing with her an expert understanding of what clients want – both now and in the future, to help shape Mace Interiors ambitious growth plans.
- How did you get into what you do?
- I’d always wanted to be an actress, so when I was 18 I moved to Hollywood to attend The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. After completing the course, I moved back to England and headed straight for London. Six months later, a chance encounter at an academy reunion led to an interview in business development and the rest is history.
- What do you enjoy most about your current role at Mace?
I love meeting all kinds of people from different walks of life, and helping to grow and nurture those relationships. Since working at Mace, I’ve been given autonomy to mould the role with this in mind and develop a team, helping to grow the sector and provide maximum value to the business. The best part is meeting and networking with clients, securing new projects and managing a £2bn pipeline. No day is the same as I get to travel to different places and settings all over London.
It’s also really exciting to be part of delivering significant Net Zero Carbon projects on behalf of both small and large organisations, and across different sectors. Mace Interiors are really driving our ambition to pursue a sustainable world and we understand how clients value sustainability in line with our own vision.
- How do you redefine the boundaries of ambition?
It’s great to support fellow women as part of my role, within a sector that is more heavily male weighted. But that is changing. I’m supported in organising and leading the International Women’s Day events for Mace Interiors, where this year, we presented the male ally charter, discussed women in construction and how we can continue to share knowledge, innovate and develop standards to strengthen the sector. Aside from this, we also host monthly networking lunches, and ensure we have a good mixture of people, as diversity is integral to developing business relationships as well as in gaining fresh perspectives.
We welcome curiosity and different ways of thinking about innovation. I’m also part of Women in Construction forum, where my Managing Director, Stewart Ward is one of the lead male directors. He was part of the team that produced the charter too.
We often organise lunches to provide a forum where women in Interiors can come together to inspire each other and highlight our successes at all levels. We discuss how we can grow together and progress diversity within the industry. And although there is still a slight demographic imbalance, it’s great to be part of making change happen.
- What has been your proudest achievement at Mace so far?
Progressing in my role to Head of Business Development, and more recently reaching the Operations Director position have certainly been proud achievements for me. It is also incredibly rewarding to grow a team and nurture talent within it to support our people to succeed. Something I am also really proud of is contributing towards transforming a £50m turnover company to a £200m turnover company, under the leadership of my Managing Director, Stewart Ward. This has been an exciting journey and it’s amazing to be a part of turning the tide. In recent times, the team has celebrated being put forward for awards at industry events such as Mixology and BCO, for projects such as Expedia and Peel Hunt.
- Why Mace?
- Mace is a fantastic place to work. There is so much opportunity to grow and develop, and everyone is really welcoming and genuine. As a team, we muck in together and look out for each other which I think is really important in order to achieve continued success. In terms of the business development side, there are so many different facets to the role; from bringing in new business, working with the marketing team, to attending conferences around the world, and most importantly, delivering office space for some of the best brands out there. We’re dedicated to building a truly inclusive culture at Mace, which is only helped by working within a supportive and trusting team, for an industry leading brand that people have confidence in.
- What skills do you need to be good at your job?
- Business development is one of those jobs that suits a particular type of personality. You need to have energy, enthusiasm and be comfortable in communicating confidently with different audiences. It helps if you’re able to multi-task and think on your feet, so that you can juggle multiple things at once and digest information quickly. This is so that you can accumulate a good understanding of what clients are looking for. The market is constantly evolving and so you need to keep your finger on the pulse at all times.
- What advice would you give to someone looking to get into what you do?
- There isn’t a business development degree as such, so my role is often misunderstood. To anyone looking to enter the role, I’d suggest doing some work experience first if you can. If you can demonstrate that you’re ambitious, outgoing and hardworking, these core skills will help you to land a role. It’s like putting together a jigsaw - you need to be able to spot new opportunities, so make sure to be inquisitive and also keen to deliver to client’s needs.
- What are you passionate about outside of work?
Yoga and running are great stress relievers for me, and I love anything theatrical that includes singing, dancing, and acting! Chicago is one of my favourite West End productions.
- If you hadn’t got into this line of work what do you think you might be doing?
Without a doubt, an academy award winning actress - hopefully!
“We’re dedicated to building a truly inclusive culture at Mace, which is only helped by working within a supportive and trusting team, for an industry leading brand that people have confidence in.”