Meet The Distributor – Cara Samways

Cara Samways picture for meet the distributor blog

Carrying on with our ‘Meet The Distributor’ series, Cara Samways from Adinvenio Sarl, based in France, tells us about her journey to becoming a Millers Oils distributor. With a love for classic cars since she was a child in the UK, Cara travelled the world working in a solicitors and then for a consultancy company before settling in France. Read on to find out more…

Tell me about yourself

My name is Cara Samways and I’m originally from Barnard Castle in the North-East UK. I started my career in a solicitors and then spent 20 years working for a consultancy company providing geological services to the oil industry. I was based in the UK but as Commercial Director I spent a lot of time travelling round the Middle East and USA where we had offices.  A normal working week would easily reach 60-70 hours, so after a major life re-think we moved to France and bought a property complete with a 40m barn which is now the hub of our Millers Oils base in France.

We spent 2 years renovating the place and overseeing the works and from here we set up a business offering classic cars for hire. My interest in cars came about as my father used to race classic cars so from a very young age I spent a lot of weekends at the UK race circuits. I was that annoying kid on the little motorbike in the pit lanes!  I have always loved cars and speed.  We’ve had classic cars in the family for as long as I can remember, and I’ve still got my very first classic car (an MGB roadster) which I have had for the last 23 years.

What made you want to be a distributor for Millers Oils?

We found it difficult to find the range of classic lubricants that we needed in France for our fleet of classic hire cars and eventually found a Millers Oils distributor near Dijon.  Shortly after we became his client, he announced that he was emigrating and closing down his business, so the opportunity arose to take over his business which was a great fit with our already-established classic car hire.

What is your favourite Millers Oils product?

Running in oil! It’s amazing how many people don’t realise this is required or even exists. We have had several clients who have contacted us to discuss problems they have had with engine rebuilds and when we ask them “what running in oil did you use?” the response is normally a blank, quizzical face!

Have you got a memorable achievement or something you’re most proud of in your job?

The fact that we moved to a new country to set up a new business doing something we hadn’t done before and all in a second language! There was so much to learn, especially the French bureaucracy. It’s a good job we didn’t know how hard it would be as we probably wouldn’t have taken the plunge, but it was the best decision, and we are still here growing the business after 15 years and loving every day.  The key is to be open to new challenges as they appear and to evolve to accommodate the new world we now live in as best we can.

What sector are you involved in most?

It’s joint between classic and motorsport.  We started in classic as these were the products we knew and loved from our hire car fleet, but we branched out into Motorsport (so we had a reason to visit our clients at the circuits 😉).

What is your favourite meal after a hard day at work?

Veggie lasagne and salad with a nice glass of red.

Do you play any sports?

Not anymore, apart from the occasional climbing, but I do lots of walking when I’m out with our dogs and also when I’m out and about taking photographs which is my other passion.

What is your favourite way to start the day?

A nice long walk with my dogs before breakfast followed by a huge pot of green tea!

What city would you most like to live in?

I’m not a city person and would prefer to live in a town, preferably by the coast with easy access to cities.  Despite having been here 20 years, there’s so much to see so we still have lots of places to explore.  But at present, we want to stay in France and would like somewhere like Bordeaux or Angouleme with good access to transport hubs and facilities.

Who or what has inspired you in life?

Many different people have inspired me throughout my life.  I like talking to people, finding out about them and their life experiences, sharing ideas, and seeing how I can bring new ideas and energy into my own life.  Ultimately, my mantra is to be the best that you can be and to treat others as you wish to be treated yourself.  This has been my goal since setting up our business in France and I believe has played a key part in how successful we have been developing the business.

My other great inspiration is photography which I only discovered 3 years ago when I received a camera as a gift.  I have dreadful eyesight and never imagined that the camera lens would take me into a completely different world.  I have a great time looking at different styles of photography for inspiration and trying to emulate the same styles in my own work.