I was qualified as an electro-mechanical design engineer. I did an apprenticeship for 4 years in tool making, but after my first year, I was upgraded to a mechanical design technician. After my apprentice, I worked as a mechanical design engineer for a company which had contracts with the Ministry of Defence. Sadly, due to loss of contracts over the years and the recession, there were numerous job cuts in this sector and I was made redundant in 1995. I started working as an independent trader primarily trading at boot fairs and Sunday markets. I set up as a market trader in 1997 selling home fragrance products including scented candles, oil burner, incense sticks, etc. I progressed to selling ornaments, statues, crystals, ceramic gifts, etc. and have now expanded to toys and seasonal products. In order to complete with the online markets, I started trading on eBay and on Amazon. Following the success on the online shops I established my own online shop www.TopGiftz.co.uk where, due to lower overheads, I am able to sell the same products at 15% less than our eBay/Amazon shops. We are committed to supplying high-quality products at competitive prices by dealing directly with manufacturers.