What do you get when you cross a solicitor with a superyacht Chief Stewardess?
If you are like me and love understated luxurious organic beauty products then continue reading to find out what ex-chief stewardess Ruth Laver has been up too.
What was your last position? My last full-time position was working as the Chief Stewardess on-board MY Pegasus, 53m Feadship.
Where do you come from? I 'm from Newcastle-Under-Lyme, in the UK, which is of course land locked...but I grew up with a fascination for the sea and boats. My Mum is Irish so as a child we would travel to Ireland via ferry to visit her family...I was always intrigued by the ferry ride...I felt at peace at sea.
How long have you worked on yachts? For 7 years.
How did you get into yachting? After qualifying as a Solicitor in the UK, I decided to take a break from my career in Criminal Defence because I felt disillusioned by my career choice. I did some soul searching and realised that there were 2 things that made me feel happy, the first was skiing / snowboarding, the second was being in the sunshine. But it was May when I left my legal job, so I pursued the sunshine option. I'd heard stories from some friends of friends that had worked on superyachts, and decided to give it a whirl. To gain experience I worked on a Swan sailing yacht for free in Italy via Crew Seekers. It was there on the Amalfi coast that I first saw a super yacht, and I was mesmerised. I then landed my first job working as a Stew / Cook on a new build 26m Ferretti.
What did you like/dislike about your last job?
What are your biggest accomplishments? Travelling solo through India where I trained as a Yoga teacher was a great accomplishment, though I was very relieved to get in a taxi to the airport when my trip was over!
Can you work under pressure? Yes, I thrive under pressure. I loved working as part of hard-working crew, it was like a well choreographed ballet when things were going smoothly.
What was the most difficult situation that you have had to face? The owner of a new build yacht that I was Chief Stewardess on-board died a few weeks before the boat launched. His widow used the boat subsequently, and was grief stricken. The whole family were very upset, and it made life on- board very challenging.
What are your pet hates? Poor punctuality.
Tell me about the last time you felt anger on the job? I was pretty angry when a masseuse / stewardess would refuse to be involved in her stewardess duties! Classic princess mentality.
What do you do in your spare time? I really enjoy practicing yoga, reading, mountain biking, cooking for friends and exploring the English countryside.
What makes you laugh? Peter Kay is hilarious, and is essential for blue days.
What would you like to be doing five years from now? I would like to be settled, land based, running a successful business.
Where would be your favourite holiday destination and why? I deeply love New Zealand, the locals are pretty easy going, warm and friendly.
Where do like to shop? I decided last year that I would make a resolution to only buy from charity shops. But I still get my basics from Zara and H&M.
Can you recommend a service or a product that may be helpful to other Stewardesses?
- Jamie Hill, Life Coach. Jamie was instrumental in helping me to follow through with my dream of establishing my own business. We held all our sessions on skype, so its a really accessible service for yachties;
- http://leoniedawson.com/ - I use these life and business plans, they're great for getting motivated and focussed on your goals.
- http://www.mootu.com/ is an online counselling Skype service, which can be really useful if you're going through a rough time on-board. Working on yachts can be a very stressful and lonely experience, so it's important to have good support in place.
- http://myvirtualpurser.com/ is a great service for busy Pursers or Chief Stewardess'.
Have you met any famous people and what were your thoughts? I met the Queen when I worked at a theatre whilst I was at University. She was a very sweet little lady. Apparently she only shakes hands with people whilst wearing her gloves! It was fascinating to see her entourage, the ladies in waiting and the very security operation around this iconic lady. The following week I was introduced to Prince Philip, at St James' Palace, as I was awarded the Gold Duke of Edinburgh award.
What do you enjoy most about your job? I really enjoy the flexibility of running my own business, the creative process is pretty fun too; I've really enjoyed collaborating with creative designers on my new website www.superyachtluxury.com, and coming up with innovative ideas like my Children's Activity Pack.
Any advice for “newbies” in the industry? Make sure your Facebook account is private, and has an appropriate picture. Ensure that your references are going to say positive things about you, and be ready for the adventure of a lifetime!