Up close and personal with Tracey Stephenson, Staying Cool

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In the latest of a regular series, we find out what makes some of the leading figures in the serviced apartment and aparthotel sectors tick. This time, we speak to Tracey Stephenson, managing director of Staying Cool.

• The best part of my job is...
"My weekly trip between London, Birmingham and Manchester. I think it gives me a good perspective on how life is different across the country. We all need to get out of our bubble more."

• The most challenging part of my job is...
"Growing and maintaining our business’s ethical standards and practices in a world of rising costs."

• My biggest achievement in business is...
"Launching Staying Cool at Rotunda on a marketing budget of just £5,000 at the height of the 2008 recession. It seemed crazy and it was was tough, but we did it."

• My biggest mistake in business was…
"Not starting Staying Cool ten years earlier."

• If I wasn’t working in our industry I would like to have been...
"A functional nutritionist. We really are what we eat and I’m an absolute believer in the health benefits of supplements and maintaining a healthy microbiome. If I wasn’t running Staying Cool I’d be helping people build healthy guts!"

• The best piece of advice anyone ever gave me was ...
"From Tom Bloxham, the chairman of Urban Splash - people like doing business with people they like doing business with. It sounds so simple but it’s also true. We quote it a lot at work."

• If I could tell my 18-year old self one thing it would be...
"Believe in yourself and have more confidence when speaking in public. It may not seem like it but everyone gets just as nervous as you do."

• The person I admire most in hospitality is...
"James Lohan, the co-founder of the Mr & Mrs Smith boutique hotels guide. We were extremely fortunate that James agreed to be on our advisory board when we set up. He has such an infectious enthusiasm for life, travel, people and ideas just pour out of him."

• The person I admire most in history is…
"Or rather are, the Suffragettes. I passionately believe that everyone has a duty to vote."

• I am surprisingly good at…
"Trampolining."

• I am surprisingly bad at...
"Tidiness. And questionnaires."

• My perfect day off would be...
"Spent somewhere warm. I’d start with breakfast in bed, then a spot of shoe shopping, followed by coffee in a shaded square to watch the world go by, then a leisurely lunch somewhere with a view and finally an afternoon nap. Bliss."

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