Meet the Team...
Founder of Unique Home Stays, Sarah puts the ‘m’ in multitasking. With a background in farming, Sarah spent a good few years travelling the world before settling in Australia for 12 years. She returned to her beloved Cornwall in 2000 with the seed of an idea for a luxury holiday company. Sarah launched Unique Home Stays identifying a niche in the market for exclusive holidays and began the task of nurturing the business from her living room – also juggling a day-job and the demands of three then young children – Morgane, Josh and Bryce. Possessing a wealth of knowledge and understanding on anything to do with luxury holiday markets, Sarah is not one to rest on her laurels and constantly explores new ideas to drive the company forward. Renowned for hatching a new idea a day, Sarah’s enthusiasm, unbounded zeal and passion for the company is contagious!
Originally from a small Norfolk town, Jim took the long road to Cornwall via Scotland, Northumberland, Essex and Buckinghamshire, the lure of the rugged countryside, Cornish Zephyrs and tumbling skies bringing him to the county fulltime in 2004. Before joining the posse of ladies here at Unique Home Stays, Jim was a commissioned officer in the Royal Air Force, but in his time has worked as a production planner, data analyst, researcher and project manager as well as a plant surveyor! A calming influence in the Unique Home Stays hub, when he’s not in the office Jim’s a bit of a fresh air enthusiast and can often be found exploring the county camera in hand. Father to Ella Mae, Jim’s passions are many and varied, but include geocaching, real beer and folk rock. When the Cornish winter descends, he likes nothing more than curling up on a comfortable sofa in front of an open fire with a good book. Great with analysis, explanations, figures, contracts and legal issues, Jim aspires to the role of Company Sports Prevention Officer - purely on the grounds of health and safety of course!
Globe-trotting Kahdine is a Cornish lass with a sense of adventure! Favourite destinations include those not on the usual tourist track: Indonesia, Bora Bora and Brazil among others and when she’s not globe-trotting, Kahdine is usually planning or talking about her next trip. Other times, Kahdine can be found mucking-out her menagerie on the farm – dogs, horses and prize hens all feature large in her day to day life outside work. Kahdine has also run the London Marathon but denies allegations that this was purely a training session for her shopping trips to the Capital! Prior to joining us here, Kahdine worked for seven years in the financial services industry.
Jess is originally from Wales but after a year or two travelling the Antipodes, Jess headed back to the UK to the equally beautiful Cornwall which she loves (although she does tend to pine for warmer climes during the long, dark winter months)! During her career, Jess has enjoyed an eclectic selection of 'character building' jobs eventually working as a journalist on the Cornwall Today magazine before finally joining Unique Home Stays. With an eye for design and detail and as our longest serving staff member (besides Sarah), Jess is an experienced veteran of the company and knows what’s what with properties, interiors and the things that appeal to our Owners and Clients alike.
With a degree in Media and Linguistics, Claire graduated from Cardiff University in 2000 and went to find those infamous golden pavements of London town. She started work as a runner in a Post Production facility and her claim to fame was polishing the Oscar once a week before reluctantly returning it to its case. Moving on through the ranks, Claire worked at the Whitehouse film editing company in Soho for six years before the call of the sea and her lovely husband lured her back to the Westcountry. Claire loves living in Cornwall and enjoys walks on the beach, kayaking down the river on a lazy summer's afternoon and cycling all around Cornwall’s beautiful countryside. When not writing copy, pitching stories to editors and journalists and working on the Unique Home Stays marketing task, creative Claire also has a side line in making cushions, bunting, and anything else she can fashion out of a piece of quirky fabric.
Accounts and Administration
Lucy grew up in the fresh air and green dales of North Yorkshire and enjoyed the stylish offerings of Harrogate before she and husband Neil, tempted by the sun, sand and surf of the Cornish coastline, moved here some years ago where they now enjoy a more relaxed way of life by the sea. Lucy has had a varied career, although predominately specialising in sales and accounts management. After a number of years with Unique Home Stays and with a keen eye for accuracy, Lucy now looks after the administration of accounts and payments for Unique Home Stays Owners and Clients and can handle any payment queries that might arise. When not making payments or answering questions, Lucy is often found juggling buggies and bottles for her daughter Amelie.
Accounts and Administration
A Cornish maid born and bred, Dani loves all things equestrian and prior to coming on board here at Unique Home Stays, managed a livery. Dani quickly established herself as the ‘can do’ girl here at Unique Home Stays and now divides her time working with Lucy on accounts administration, assisting with property enquiries and organising orders and hamper deliveries for Unique Boutique . In her spare time Dani can be found mucking out her horses, enjoying a water-side gallop along the beach and generally making the most of the great outdoors with her four dogs in tow.
Property Advisor Supervisor
Catherine is another true Cornish maid. She comes from a farming background and although having a reputation as Unique Home Stay’s own well-dressed and stylish glamour-puss about town, Catherine is equally happy kicking back and relaxing at home on the farm. From enjoying rural walks with one of her six dogs in tow, to reclining sand-under-foot during warmer months, Catherine is a wealth of insider knowledge on Cornwall. Now heading-up the Property Advisor team, Catherine is on hand to answer the more in-depth queries as well as further developing the excellent customer services of Unique Home Stays.
Cosmopolitan Sam was born in Italy and grew up in London until the charm of Cornwall persuaded her family to move here almost twenty years ago. A passion for horses and all things equine means that she is often to found mucking-out in her wellies or taking part in local eventing and dressage events - the rosettes speak for themselves! Sam has spent much of her career within the hospitality industry including an exotic stint in one of Dubai’s amazing Ramada Hotels. After undertaking a renovation project to restore her traditional Cornish farmhouse to its former glory her keen interest in beautiful homes and architecture transformed into a real craving for finding the beautiful and the unique. After some time with Unique Home Stays as a member of the Property Advisor team and then as our in-house trainer, Sam now looks after New Member enquiries. As a result, she spends a significant amount of her time visiting gorgeous and exceptional properties the length and breadth of the country. When not enjoying visits to those wonderful properties, Sam devotes as much of her time as she can to her son, James.
Drawing on her varied experience in property management, tourism and marketing, Julie indulges in her love of unique and wonderful property as a Unique Home Stays Property Consultant. A self-confessed foodie, Julie relishes whipping up gastronomic feasts using delicious fresh produce from North Cornwall and beyond. Italophile Julie particularly adores Italian-inspired food thanks to her regular visits to the island of Ischia in Southern Italy, and is bewitched by everything from the language to the wine, sunshine and the people. When not seeking out and visiting unique properties in Cornwall to add to the portfolio, Julie loves to spend time with her family and is happiest when surrounded by her family and grandchildren or walking the Cornish cliffpaths.
Originally starting out in the world of luxury hotels, David worked his way up the in the heady world of hospitality; running top hotels and high-end restaurants in Jersey and Scotland, before the lure of life as a country squire took hold of him. David has worked with Sarah and Unique Home Stays since the business began over 10 years ago, and has remained a hugely supportive advocate of the company. He has recently joined the team here at Unique Home Stays to act as a highly experienced additional point of contact to enhance our working relationships with our property owners. With a zest for life and a penchant for fine wines and golf, David relishes the chance to meet with our property owners as much as they adore meeting him!
Originally from Maidenhead, home counties girl Clare, migrated to Cornwall in 2007, drawn by the west winds, beautiful scenery, outdoor lifestyle and the cool Cornish vibe. A foodie at heart, if she’s not checking- out the numerous local eateries, Clare is probably whipping up a storm in the kitchen. Clare’s extra-culinary activities include cycling and beach-walking, Clare loves nothing more than throwing body-board, walking boots and dogs in the van of a weekend and sleeping under the stars with her boyfriend. With a background in administration, Clare’s an organisational whizz too and another font of Unique Home Stays property knowledge within the Property Advisor team.
Originally from London, newest member of the Property Advisor team Vicky recently graduated from Swansea University with a degree in Classical Civilisation and English Literature before the lure of fresh countryside living drew her to Cornwall. A self-confessed bookworm, Vicky loves curling up with a good book and losing herself immersed in the literary classics. With a thirst for adventure, Vicky is a keen skier and loves nothing more than hitting the slopes whenever time out from her busy life allows.
Self-confessed perfectionist and proclaimed king of tech-talk by all at Unique Home Stays, Dave is our IT systems consultant and guru. Raising the male compliment by 100% when he’s working in the office, Dave thanks his lucky stars that he’s not always in the same locale as all the girls. Meanwhile the girls see it as their duty to make Dave’s life as interesting as possible with a never-ending stream of suggestions for tweaks to the Unique Home Stays systems to improve efficiency! Dave has been developing the IT side of the company almost from the start. He designed and implemented our bespoke systems and is responsible for the on-going development of the website. His efforts ensure that we have a reliable, efficient, secure system that is not only capable of handling queries, bookings and payments 24/7 but that looks great and displays our properties to the fullest and best extent. During those rare moments that he manages to escape from in front of the computer, Dave can be found throwing caution to the wind snow-boarding, mountain biking and hill walking or pursuing an altogether more leisurely in-depth, academic (really) study of the merits of various locally brewed delicacies with Jim and Mike!
Choreographing the photography for Unique Home Stays and transforming the property pages within the portfolio, is our very own ball-room dancing Mike. Strictly professional behind the lens, Mike travels the length and breadth of the UK composing and capturing exceptional pictures to ensure that Unique Home Stays properties are show-cased in the best possible way. When not behind the lens or taking to the floor, Mike likes to partake in a spot of fly-fishing and cricket. Dual-based in Cornwall and Berkshire, Mike has also been known to assist Jim and Dave in their on-going academic studies on occasion!
The Office Cat
The only other full-time Unique Home Stays male member of staff, Ollie truly is the cool top-cat around town and has the girls in the office wrapped around his little claw. The king-pin of the office felines and master of all desktops that he surveys, the office simply would not be the same without him. Ollie arrived at Unique Home Stays unexpectedly, when as a kitten he was cruelly thrown from a passing car. After a period of R&R he recovered from this trauma to rise rapidly up through the ranks to become Sarah’s right-hand cat. When not attending meetings or inspecting work output and quality (usually, and amazingly with eyes closed from the lap of Claire or Jim). Ollie also tends to be found checking what is available on the lunch menu, sleeping in the warmest corner of the office or lording it above the feral kittens in the garden (Although much to Ollie’s disgust, these are not so feral any longer)! Ollie refuses to confirm or deny the rumour that he turned down the role of Puss in the new 'Puss in Boots' movies.
Careers with Unique Home Stays
Join the team...
Interested in joining the Unique Home Stays team? Then take a look at our Careers with Unique Home Stays page.