Interview with Jane McEvoy, fired from The Apprentice 2012
Interview with Jane McEvoy
MSN had a chat with Jane about junk, selling techniques and Duane Bryan.
Was your apprentice experience everything you expected it to be?
I don't think I had any expectations. I watched the last series and thought it was brilliant. It was just the weirdest experience ever, but in a good way.
What was your highlight and lowlight on The Apprentice?
The food task was definitely my highlight. I was just so at home. I knew where I was at in the production; we were really late starting, but we managed to produce twice the amount of the other team. It was great to win, it was great to drive a Porsche and it was brilliant.
My low point? I know nothing about vintage furniture. I felt completely out of my depth so I did all the donkey work; I was sanding furniture, painting furniture and then I was outside all day getting people in - and did a really good job of that. We got loads of people into the shop, but the problem was they were going out saying the stuff was c**p.
Sum up how you think you were managed by Laura Hogg?
She's a lovely girl, but I think she got the strategy all wrong. It wasn't for the lack of trying; she's really, really nice and she's so enthusiastic. But it was very clear that Tom got it right - he knew the Brick Lane crowd and it paid off for him. Laura made a lot of mistakes, but so did a lot of people. We went the wrong route in the type of up-cycling we were doing as well. I don't think anyone on our team stood out; anyone could've gone.
What did you think of your fellow contestants? Is there anyone you're striking off your Xmas card list?
I wonder who you're referring to! Look, I suppose on that task there was a bit of tension between me and Duane Bryan. He was doing a bit of screaming at me, and I wasn't very happy about that. But at the end of the day we shook hands and it was just water under the bridge.
I have no problems with Duane now; it's just that you're so stressed - I think we worked a 20-hour day on that task - and I suppose tensions run high, but we're fine now. There's no animosity or anything.
Do you think you were fairly edited?
They're creating a show at the end of the day. They're creating something that people have to want to watch so you have to be able to take the good with the bad and accept whatever comes out. Their job is to create something that has people saying they can't wait for the next episode. Whatever way they edit it is up to them.
Of course you want to see more of your good bits, and less of your bad bits, but unfortunately, life doesn't work that way so you just have to accept whatever comes out and make the best of it.
Looking back, what would you have done differently on this task if you were project manager?
Something I was saying all along, but which didn't make the final cut, is my saying that we should be buying better furniture. It was something that was really clear to me, maybe because I wouldn't buy the stuff we were selling anyway.
I thought we should buy better furniture and I was nearly crucified for it because they were like: "we're not spending more money!" That wasn't Laura's strategy so fair enough.
Gabrielle Omar, Laura Hogg and Jane McEvoy
Lord Sugar was quick to jump on the £10 worth of goods sold by you, and Karren Brady criticised your "aggressive" selling technique. Would it be fair to say that, over your time in the show, selling didn't seem to be your forte?
I would absolutely, completely not agree. If you look at the second task where I was selling - the boys sold 3,000 units to Amazon; I sold 7,500 units to Amazon. I also sold an awful lot at the zoo in the first week. I can sell. I can't sell if I'm not passionate about the product. I'm not the sort of person that can stand on a stall and sell rubber gloves. I just can't do that sort of selling.
I can do the kind of selling where, if I love the product, I can get completely behind it, I'm really good then. I can sell my soups - I have an exciting new product launching baby soups. I'm strong at sales - I just can't sell junk furniture.
I felt guilty going around to people; I don't think it was "aggression", I think that was picked up the wrong way. It was more desperation; I just didn't know what to do. And if you can't get behind something, it's pretty hard to convince someone else to.
How badly was your confidence shaken by some of the things Lord Sugar said about you in the boardroom?
That was really difficult to take, I have to say. I did take a serious battering, but that hasn't stopped me. I have a seriously amazing product and an amazing brand coming out and I'm going to sell my million units. He might not ever want to invest in me, but I'm going to prove that I know what I'm about in my food business.
I know it's early days, but who's your tip to win?
My tip to win is Nick Holzherr. People may shine later, and I could be completely wrong. But he's good at The Apprentice tasks; he's very quick thinking, he has good, basic principal business knowledge and I think he'll do well in the process.
What would you have done with Lord Sugar if you'd won?
I won't go into that because that's not what I'm doing now! I have a much more exciting project now; I'm so passionate about it. I absolutely love my branding and I think it's going to be really successful.
What's next for you? Are you looking to do TV, like Kate Walsh?
I feel very comfortable on television so I wouldn't rule anything out. But food is what I'm passionate about, it's what I love so next for me is launching my brand and getting it out there. I already have a national listing in Ireland so it's about cracking the UK market for me. I'm very happy about what I'm doing and I hope I'll be a success in the future.
Episode four: recap
This week, Lord Sugar challenged the teams to source second hand items before selling them at a profit. Laura Hogg put herself forward as the project manager for Sterling, while Tom Gearing was the man for Phoenix.
Laura's strategy involved a good deal of 'up-cycling' in terms of painting and dressing up what she bought. Meanwhile, Tom insisted that his team keep costings as low as possible so the items he bought were sold more or less as seen.
Back in the boardroom, Phoenix had total sales of £1423.50 with a total spend of £360.10 so a total profit of £1063.40. But Sterling had total sales of £1444.25 with a total spend of £660.76 so a total profit of £783.49
Lord Sugar was very impressed with Phoenix and treated them to a 1940s vintage party where they are taught to Swing dance. Laura brought Gabrielle Omar and Jane back for the final showdown.
Lord Sugar told the trio he wasn't impressed after they overloaded their shop with furniture so it "looked like a tip" and revealed Jane had the worst sales figures, only pulling in £10. From that moment, it was clear she was doomed. Jane McEvoy was fired.