We’re shining the spotlight on our Group Head of Finance, Alison Hooley, to find out how she got into the self-storage industry and to get to know a little more about her…

1. How / why did you first get into self-storage?

“I was working for a company based in Reading and after commuting for 2 years I decided I wanted to be back in Manchester full-time. Mike Wilson had recently been appointed FD of Smart Storage and spoke to me about joining them on a 6-month contract to bring the accounting function back in -house. I jumped at the chance and 6 months has turned into 15 years!”

2. What has been the biggest change in the industry since you started?

“The automation and technology are far superior to where it was when I started and this is only a good thing.”

3. What do you like most about the self-storage industry?

“Everyone in the industry is super friendly, without giving away our trade secrets, we all support each other. It also still fascinates me what people put into storage.”

4. What do you like least about the self-storage industry?

“The lack of awareness from customers – most people have no idea how self-storage works.”

5. What is your favourite book or movie?

“I’m very much a girlie girl when it comes to books and films, so my favourite book is ‘Fine Things’ by Danielle Steel and my favourite movies are ‘Pretty Woman’ or ‘Love Actually’.”

6. If you had a time machine, where would you go?

“Definitely into the future, can’t do anything about the past but would love to know what technology we’ll all be using in the next 20 years.”

7. Right now, I would rather be…

“Anywhere in Las Vegas preferably with a cocktail in hand!”

8. What life advice would you give a younger version of yourself?

“Don’t waste time waiting and hoping things will work out, grab life with both hands and go get the things you want.”

9. I’d like to have dinner with…

“That would have to be my childhood crush…Marti Pellow of Wet Wet Wet”

10. What do you think is going to be the biggest change and challenge in the self-storage industry in the next 5 years?

“Remotely operated sites where everything is done online and you might get shown to your room by a robot (maybe not in the next 5 years, but who knows!).”

Interested in our team member spotlight series? Meet Jon, our regional director!