SHE’S on top of the world running new business, Mountain Waste. Meet daring entrepreneur and July Skip Chick, Abigail Johnson.
Hi. Please tell us about yourself.
I’m Abigail Johnson, I’m 44 and I’m director at Mountain Recycling – part of the Beauparc group of companies.
How long have you worked there, and what do you do day to day?
I have been in the industry for over 20 years. I joined here in December 2020 to set up and grow a trade waste (wheelie bins and FEL’s) collections business. We started service in April and operate across the East Midlands.
Sounds like you’re busy!
I am a jack of all trades right now, working with my amazing team. I start the day with a quick call in to my sales and operations teams to set up the day and deal with any curve balls. During the day I often have either sales, supplier or operational planning meetings, developing and growing the business.
It’s an exciting time adding to the fleet, the customer portfolio, and growing and promoting the brand. Coffee is a regular feature in the day too…
We’re surprised you’ve time for a break! What do you like about it?
I previously ran a trade waste business that was sold to a national and I am very proud to say many of my previous team from that business have started on my journey here with me too. I got the band back together and the future is exciting and fun in equal measures.
Ever had ‘one of those days’?
I loaded for one of my drivers on day one of service – going to the more dubious areas of a town and stepping over human excrement whilst pulling a wheelie bin is certainly a leveller.
Lovely! Apart from that, any bits of the job you’re less keen on?
When a ‘customer’ calls you and starts the conversation with ‘such and such have let me down, can you drop everything and help me out?’ I find it frustrating that they didn’t place the job with us in the first place as then they wouldn’t have been in that situation. Yet the unrealistic expectation is there!
Ah, but they’ll know what to do next time, though. How do you spend your free time?
With my husband and our three children.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
I had a midlife crisis a few years ago which involved competing in a triathalon in a tight-fitting Lycra ensemble and lots of obsessive training. I am over that now.
Sounds far too much effort. A romantic night out would be better – what’s on the agenda?
Lobster, wine and the husband at my favourite place in Stamford.
What about superhero powers to make your day go better – what would you like?
So, you haven’t seen the website then? I already am a superhero – a ‘Mountaineer’ of course!
Certainly looks like you’re on top of the world. How about sharing your theme tune with us?
Girl on Fire by Alicia Keys.
How does a holiday sound – where to?
Australia. I have a long bucket list.
Going to be a long holiday. Who would you love to have around to dinner?
It would have to be Jacinda Ardern – an inspirational leader, youngest female head of state, and a new mother. Her record during Covid is even more outstanding.
Talking of Covid, what’s got you through lockdown?
Wine. I was going to say yoga or mediating but that would obviously be a complete lie! We enjoyed more time at home as a family and with each other – although it was in some ways a scary time, I will remember the time together fondly.
Ever met anyone famous?
I sat behind Boris Becker on a plane a couple of years ago and was having a lovely chat for around half hour and had absolutely no clue who he was (husband filled me in later). I also met Elizabeth Hurley, again on a plane, but in the queue for the loo. My daughter was doing the dance and she was kind enough to let us in front of her.
You have a very jet-set lifestyle! You’ll need a Lottery win to keep that up – how would you spend your fortune?
A large country estate / farm, set up a restaurant and farm shop, along lines of from field to plate.
Finally, make us laugh…
Who’s the leader of the Trade Waste Army?
Superb – and you’ve been a fabulous Skip Chick too! Good luck with the business.
Mountain Recycling is based in Grantham, Lincolnshire.