Meet Tsega Yehedego, Rigby’s financial director and one of our longest-serving members of staff. Tsega joined the Rigby team nearly 10 years ago and quickly became an integral part of our operation during the brand’s extraordinary renaissance. Read on to learn more about Tsega’s journey with Rigby in this month’s Campfire blog.

When did you start working at Rigby and what was your role?

It was back in early 2014, the year we moved into Pensbury Place, and I first joined Rigby as a freelance accounting consultant. The business was going through the early stages of its rebirth under Marc’s stewardship and the accounts were very complex, so there were some snags that needed to be worked out. I had my own management accountancy consultancy and was invited in to support the financial director at the time. We worked on that basis for nearly a year and then when the FD retired, Marc asked me to become a permanent member of staff and the new financial controller.

What made you decide to join Rigby as a full-time member of staff?

In Rigby, I saw a very young company that had so much energy and potential. Marc was young and was faced with a monumental task of rebuilding such an historic brand, but I really liked his approach and attitude. The (then) small team was passionate, determined and nothing was going to get in their way. It was exciting to see orders being placed and I started rolling out the accounting system that I’d developed for Rigby. We were all taking our first steps together, but the environment was so supportive.

Can you tell us about some of the challenges you faced along the way?

It was a steep learning curve; I’d never worked in manufacturing and certainly not in the gun trade before. My experience was in totally different sectors, but of course the accounting principles are the same, so it was a case of learning to fit in. I used all my knowledge to support Rigby and when the first auditors came in it was nerve-wracking, but we succeeded. I learnt a lot from that first auditing process, and it helped inform how I developed the finance side of the business. The second year was far smoother, and with lots of learning and support from inside Rigby we’ve grown from there.

What’s been the most rewarding thing about working at Rigby?

Overcoming the different challenges and supporting the continued success of the business. I was solely responsible for accounts for such a long time and I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved. More widely, it’s just been amazing to be part of Rigby as it’s grown and thrived – it’s a little like a family all coming together to raise a child. Everyone had a shared aim, to take Rigby back to greatness, and every single person in the company was working towards that. We made a profit in year three and ever since then we’ve just grown and grown. To take the brand from virtually nothing to that in three years is just incredible, and I’m so proud to have played my part.

Why do you think Rigby is such a success story?

As well as that idea that everyone is pulling in the same direction, it’s also a lot down to good leadership. Marc is the best director I’ve ever worked for; the staff love working here, the clients trust him and he’s brimming with energy. He’s young but he’s all over every detail and no question or problem is ever too small for his attention. But crucially, it’s all done in a way that is open and approachable.

There is no politics here – I’ve previously worked in lots of big corporate companies in London and the office politics made life stressful and distracted people from the work. If I cast my mind back to when I started, being at Rigby was like a breath of fresh air – it didn’t matter how hard the work was or the hours, my head was clear, and I found I could work to the best of my abilities. That environment means everyone, from gunmakers and engravers to finance and office, supports each other with a positivity that oozes through everything.

What do you like to do when you escape the office?

I like to go to the gym and relax with a steam and spa afterwards. I love to exercise, and I love putting my health first. I also like to watch films and take my time to cook great food from scratch. I’m afraid the team here at Rigby has given up on trying to get me to shoot or hunt! They know I’m a steady hand on the tiller of the accounts but not quite so confident with guns. Marc gave me a rifle to hold once, and I was quite happy when it was time to hand it back to him.

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