The Women of Just Kampers: Meet Amber
Here at Just Kampers, we do our absolute best to make JK an enjoyable place to work and a great company to buy from. We have a dedicated team who all do their best to keep JK a friendly environment to work, learn and shop in.
We thought this International Women’s Day would be a great opportunity to talk about, and celebrate, our female team members. So this week, we’ll be sharing a series of blog posts that highlight the hard work and histories of a few of the women in the team here at JK!
Our colleague Heidi Padoin has been busy chatting with several of the women from our team, and has written the following post:
About the writer
My name is Heidi Padoin, I have recently transitioned into the Marketing Team at JK, from my previous position as a Customer Service Assistant.
I’ve worked for Just Kampers for nearly a year and over this time have experienced the working environment of various departments, all of which are home to exemplary female staff.
International Women’s Day is an opportunity to focus on all the achievements of our female colleagues, and recognise that without their hard work, the company just wouldn’t be the same. I have previous knowledge and experience with maintaining classic cars and it’s great to be working as part of a company whose values and focus aligns with my own!
To kickstart the week, we're chatting with Amber Homersham. Amber has recently started her new position as a Purchasing Assistant, but has worked for JK a number of months already. She started off in the warehouse, quickly mastering picking and packing and has now moved upstairs to join the purchasing team. With two departments under her belt, this will now give Amber a breadth of experience that she can carry with her as she progresses with her career.
Amber has an interest in VWs, and cars, in general, which is something she wants to explore in her future, but isn’t yet in a position to do that. She’s made it clear that she does want a classic car of her own one day, but it can be tricky to go about it when you’re not sure where to start. Her dream car is a MK2 Golf, in particular a GTI, but we all know how desirable these are in some circles, and to get hold of one can be quite expensive.
Car shows are a regular part of Ambers home life, she regularly attends them alongside her boyfriend, Jake Kennedy, who works in the warehouse at JK HQ. Amber was interested in cars long before she met Jake, but their mutual interest has certainly worked well for them. Her passion for cars was much broader before, but since meeting Jake and working at JK, her attention has been steered more toward the VW side of things.
Car girl in an ordinary world
For Amber, her hobby has been pretty isolated, which is interesting. No one else in her family shares the same passion. In fact, she did jokingly suggest what the reaction of her parents would be if she decided to bring home a MK2 Golf and we can't repeat it!
Of course, this is just the reaction of parents who care, and something a lot of us can relate to. Some people look at a classic car and just see an old bit of metal - and that’s okay!
Still, it’s inspiring that for years none of Ambers peers felt the same about cars, yet she kept her hobby close to her heart and she’s now able to explore it freely.
I empathise with Amber, as I'm in the same situation as her; it’s harder to enjoy car shows to their full effect when you don’t have a car of your own to drive around and show off. There's nothing quite like taking your pride and joy to a show and being a part of a large community.
The VW scene is great to be involved in, and to have your own car really helps you feel like you belong to something. Amber mentioned that, outside of JK, most of her friends don't share the same interest in cars as her, but this isn’t unusual. It’s a common (although incorrect) opinion that most women don’t have an affinity for cars, so it can be difficult thing to share amongst female peers.
Amber did say that she thinks that more of her friends would probably be inclined to show an interest if there was more representation of normal women working on cars in the media. Something that the majority of manufacturers and companies do not market towards, and something we’re certainly working on ourselves here at JK.
Breaking the stereotypes
Before Amber worked for JK, she was in a different warehouse position. At this job, she undertook a training course, where she obtained her forklift license, which is a pretty cool thing to have.
It didn’t go unnoticed that Amber’s role was unusual for a girl to undertake so enthusiastically, and at the time she was probably the only female in that warehouse to be operating a forklift. Amber said that on one occasion a visitor saw her using the forklift and walked over to watch. The visitor said that she was in awe of what Amber was doing and wished that she had a skill like that.
It’s clear that unusual things can offer unexpected inspiration. Amber suggested that if more women saw representations of themselves doing jobs that aren’t considered 'normal' for women, we’d probably see a rise in women applying for positions they wouldn’t have previously. Not only that, but taking part in hobbies that they may not have before.
I think this is largely true and that Amber is a great example of this. Maybe it’s worth considering marketing things, that are often considered for men like tools and car parts, to everyone? Again, this is defintiely something I'm helping the rest of the JK Team to work on.
As the week unfolds, we’ll be speaking to other women from different roles within the JK Team, and asking who inspires them and how they inspire others. Amber finds inspiration in all the women who work at JK HQ, because she sees they have confidence to live and breathe their hobbies without fear of what others may think.
This attitude is inspiring not just within JK but everywhere, and will probably be a common theme within the rest of the ladies here at Just Kampers!