Meet the Team – Andrew

For this week’s Meet the Team blog we talk to our Commercial Director, Andrew Gueterbock, whose own experience of buying a Plankbridge hut means that he is uniquely placed to understand the brand inside out…

Can you talk us through the journey that led you to Plankbridge? 

For the past decade I’ve been working with growth-stage start-ups. Having finished working for a healthcare business I was taking a short sabbatical when I spotted the role of brand ambassador on Instagram. I was only interested in finding my next role with a business with whom I felt a strong connection, so being the proud owner of our own Plankbridge Snug and having known Jane and her family when I was growing up, it felt like the perfect fit. 

Tell us more about your Plankbridge hut… 

It’s a traditional 14ft Snug, which we bought in memory of my late father. We have positioned it in a three-acre arboretum in Dorset that we kept after the sale of the family home – a mix of native trees interspersed with specimen trees and flowering shrubs, including a magnolia that my father cultivated himself and is recognised by the Magnolia Society. In keeping with the natural surroundings, we’ve kept the hut simple: it has a double bed, a woodburning stove and a traditional stable door. When we brought my mum to visit the Plankbridge workshop – once, before the hut went into production and then just before it was finished – it all felt very special for her, especially as there was that family connection with Jane. 

What does your role as Commercial Director involve?

Building brand recognition as well as the commercial growth of the business, which covers everything from sales and partnerships to marketing. It’s about making sure we are growing in a profitable way, refining our understanding of the Plankbridge customer and the product we offer, while staying true to the heritage of the business. 

What do you enjoy most about working here?

Three things: the location, the people, the product. Driving up the lane on a sunny morning, parking the car and then walking into the workshop and seeing all the huts in their various stages of production is always the best part of my day. It’s also great to see the reaction on people’s faces when they finally get to view their finished hut. I’d only been at Plankbridge a short time when we had a customer in tears because she was so overwhelmed by the level of craftsmanship that had gone into the build, and then there was the reaction to our Sauna Snug and Garden Privy at Chelsea. Everyone loved them!

What does a good day look like as Commercial Director?

Another beautiful shepherd’s hut going out the door, or a customer coming into the workshop and going away with a big smile on their face having just placed an order!

What would you say to anyone thinking of buying a shepherd’s hut for the first time?

Be clear what you want it for and keep it simple. You are buying something that will last forever.  

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

My wife Emma and I have grown-up children, so we have more freedom nowadays to go off on adventures with our two rescue spaniels, Roo and Jazz, and sea swimming at Southsea Beach, where we live. I recently completed a forestry course so I could find out how to look after and protect the trees in our arboretum, and we escape to our hut whenever we can. There’s no mobile signal and it’s just the most beautiful, peaceful oasis with a stream running through it. The moment you close the gate, and watch the dogs charge off in all directions, you know you are in for a spell of total relaxation.

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