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Deborah Barnett

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Name: Deborah Barnett

Age: 39

Company: Essential Escapes. We specialise in luxury spa, fitness and detox holidays worldwide.

Turnover: £3m

First job: Saturday girl at a local jeans shop in Brighton aged 13 (yes, I lied about my age). It was my first experience in sales and I loved it. I had to do everything else though including hoovering and making the tea, which took me away from the sales floor making it harder to reach target. But I got my commission almost every week (and spent it all on jeans!).

Dream job: Diving instructor in Barbados.

Car: Vauxhall Zafira for my children and their dozens of friends.

Economy, business or first class: If you’re offering to pay, I’ll fly first-class, please. Otherwise, it’s economy.

Most extravagant purchase: My house.

Most-played song on your iPod: “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John.

Best business bookAnyone Can Do It: Building Coffee Republic From Our Kitchen Table by Sahar and Bobby Hashemi.

Worst business moment: My on-going war with Barclays Merchant Services.

Proudest business moment: Closing our best year ever last year in the midst of an economic crisis.

Your business mentor: My brilliant late father, Bernard Barnett.

Next big thing: I guess there’ll come a time when shops don’t exist and everything is bought online. My husband will be delighted.

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