Post-seasons my first UK-based job was with Crystal Holidays as Product Manager on their schools programme.

This was before Crystal had been purchased by TUI in 1998 and it was still independent and extremely dynamic.  I worked very closely with some of the key figures that had driven the company’s success and was lucky enough to receive on-the-job training from Andy Perrin, the marketing director, and Paul Carter, the marketing manager.

I learned a lot in a short space of time at Crystal, but as anyone who has worked in the ski industry will know, the pay is poor.   The lure of a company car and a pay-rise took me to a marketing position with another travel company.

Sadly this was not a pleasant experience for either of us, and on 22 December 1998, I was invited to the Ramada Hotel at Heathrow for a breakfast meeting and made redundant.

Natives.co.uk
With a mortgage to pay, it was through necessity that I developed ‘Natives’ – a community for season workers.

With a loan from my mother and encouragement from my brother, I bought my first PC and taught myself web design.

The Natives.co.uk website went live on April 19 1999.

I sold Natives to the Friday Media Group in 2006, and left to set up Skipedia in 2011.