We are celebrating 20 years of Stormsaver! In celebration of this milestone, our marketing team sat down with our Managing Director and Founder, Lisa Farnsworth to talk all things Stormsaver.

Lisa joined forces with Michael Farnsworth to start Stormsaver in 2003. Having graduated from Nottingham Trent University and undertaken several jobs in sales, Lisa discovered her natural flare for selling. Starting as Sales Director, Lisa went on to be awarded ‘Inspirational Businesswoman of the Year’ in the Nottinghamshire Business Awards. Her talent, compassion for others and honesty led her to step up into the role as Managing Director in 2017, a role she remains in to this very day.

Read the full interview of Lisa below.

Matt: Firstly, thank you for agreeing to sit down with us today. I am sure you are as excited as we are about Stormsaver reaching 20 years! We asked Michael last week what three words he would use to describe the past 20 years. What three words would you use?

Lisa: Intense, exciting, challenging

Matt: Thank you. It sounds like a great journey! Can we you tell us how you spread the word about rainwater harvesting in the early days when it was a relatively new concept in the UK?

Lisa: The early days were a real challenge because so many professionals hadn’t even heard of rainwater harvesting. We were instrumental in creating a market that barely existed and it took time, patience and nerves of steel. We had the naivety of youth of our utter belief that water reuse could become the next big thing and I think that carried us through. People were infected with our enthusiasm and slowly we built up a base of loyal customers who shared our values and aspirations. It was a scary time because our livelihood depended on our success… no sales, no food on the table! But we were determined and that paid off.

Matt: I can imagine it was challenging. What would you say were the biggest challenges in the past 20 years and how did you overcome them?

Lisa: I think one of the biggest was admitting failure. We had a few attempts at diversification which were costly and didn’t work for the business but that taught us a valuable lesson that we still hold to now… Do what you know! We have since stuck to our core business and this year will see us expanding within this by adding new services such as roof and gutter cleaning and installation services, all for water reuse products.

It has been a learning curve, knowing when to make changes to the business in terms of structure and staffing and implementing these so that you bring your team along for the journey. The longevity of many of our staff is testament to our approach but it isn’t always easy. Growth and change is a huge challenge and managing it correctly and at the right time is key.

Finances are always a challenge but we have always had the ethos to operate organically and only do what we can afford. This is the second recession we are about to negotiate and we learned a lot during the first one so we are confident we will overcome this one too.

Matt: Equally, I can imagine there were some great achievements and highlights. Could you name your top three?

Lisa: Personally, winning Nottinghamshire’s Most Inspirational Woman of the Year in 2015 was an unbelievable experience. I really couldn’t believe that I was up there with all these incredible women across so many industries. Also, my time spent with WaterAid in Mozambique was humbling and life changing. I saw water poverty on a scale which was incomprehensible but seeing the positive impact made by WaterAid and seeing where our fundraising had made a difference was just incredible.

The final one might sound strange but arriving every day at work! Seeing a car park which was once empty, now full of cars. Walking into offices filled with amazing people, all with the shared vision to provide clean, clear, sustainable water for all and thinking “we created this… out of nothing”. I think the simplest moments are almost the proudest ones.

Matt: They sound great, thank you for sharing these. As Managing Director of a 35-strong team I imagine you get a bird’s eye view of every team. What is your favourite part of being MD?

Lisa: Being Managing Director is like juggling multiple hot plates all at once but I enjoy the thrill of that. I’m not sure I have a favourite part because I really love all aspects of my job, but I really get a buzz out of providing jobs and opportunities for people and seeing them grow personally and progress. I love being able to work with organisations such as Nottingham Trent University and giving back something to society. I also love the business side of my job, strategizing and implementation of change. I am a bit of a spreadsheet geek (everyone at Stormsaver will tell you this) but I enjoy data, hitting targets and understanding behaviours and habits. I also enjoy problem solving and helping our team to give the best customer service and that is where my true passion has been since the day we started 20 years ago. I didn’t want Stormsaver to be run of the mill, I wanted us to be the best at everything we did and to really make a difference. I want our clients to enjoy the Stormsaver experience and our employees to feel valued and significant.

Matt: For those who know you, will know how passionate you are about water conservation. Where do you think water conservation efforts are heading in the future?

Lisa: I think the everyone needs to be looking out for the phrase “water neutrality”. We are seeing exciting developments through consultations and working groups all of which are pointing towards mandatory requirements for water reuse and educating consumers in better water habits. I think water, like energy, is going through a sustainable transformation process which will see a future where harvested water is used, as standard, for all non-potable applications. Lets face it, if I am not right about this then it means that the predicted global water crisis will become a reality. We need to change now!

Matt: Finally, could you give us a sneak peak into the next five years of Stormsaver. Is there anything exciting on the horizon?

Lisa: This is Stormsaver… of course there are exciting things ahead. Firstly our 20th year will bring with it a whole host of celebrations as well as all of our team doing their bit to improve their environmental habits and support charities and local initiatives. We are commencing a number of Research and Development projects which will see us leading innovation in the water reuse sector using the most up to date technologies. As a business we will be expanding our offering to include more on site services including installation and we will be looking for engineers across the country so that we can help to drive down the costs of maintenance and make water reuse accessible and sustainable for everyone.

Matt: Exciting times ahead! Thank you for your time today.


Written by Matt
Water Reuse Specialist

My role as a Water Reuse Specialist means I get to keep up to date with all things water conservation. My favourite water saving tip is to turn taps off when brushing your teeth! I think rainwater harvesting and the water reuse industry is exciting, and I love sharing updates with our customers. View Matt’s Stormsaver profile here.

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Constructionline Gold Member CHAS Accredited UK Rainwater Harvesting Association Member Safecontractor Approved Waterwise Affiliate UK Business Awards Winner 2022