In our regular series, those at the top remember when they were still at the bottom
Hi, Daphne! Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Daphne Diluce, and I would describe myself as a transformational artist, and designer. They call me the branding Queen! I have about 12 super skills that I weave into help people through branding. The transformation can be incredible. I am also recognized as a peace ambassador.
What was your #MyFirstMcJob?
Woking in my parents’ market shop in Penzance, age four and a half.
How did you get that job?
My parents used to import and export everything you could eat, plant or grow. I was on the shop floor at a very early age. I remember my first customer was this elderly gentleman who wanted 12 lettuce seedlings. We sold potted plants in packs of 12. I remember getting my little hands, taking out the seedlings, folding them into wet newspaper so the seedlings didn’t get damaged and the roots stayed moist, and putting it in a bag.
What else did you sell?
Every kind of fruits and vegetables you could imagine. Grapes used to come in packed in big barrels of cork. My dad would distribute smaller quantities to all the little stores through Cornwall in his van, and my mum would be on the shop floor selling to the town and managing the staff, she was a wonder woman.
How long did you work there?
Until I was about 16.
How much did you get paid?
In the spirit of our hardworking family, I worked without pay or pocket money. As time went by, I wondered why others were getting paid while I wasn’t. Determined to prove my worth, I took on a job at a nearby hairdresser’s. They indeed missed my help. I was excited to earn £3.50 per hour but my excitement turned into a mishap when I unintentionally scalded my mother’s head while washing her hair.
What was the most memorable moment?
I remember my mother was arranging a big batch of Italian tomatoes in the street, a car drove over them, and the tomatoes went everywhere. The juice splattered every passer by and my mother went absolutely nuts. It was the funniest thing ever I’ve ever seen!
What skills do you still use today?
By the time I was 12 I could run the whole business. I learned to be confident with people and to remember what people liked, like one lady who always came in for ripe bananas. I learned maths because you had to do arithmetic in your head. I learned signage because I used to draw all the signs and put them on the fruit, which aided my graphic design abilities. I had learned how to manage staff, stock-taking, cashing up, ordering, and controlling stock. I also learned to cook because I had all the ingredients in my fingertips and a little brother to take care of.
Are you contact with any of your old customers?
Sadly not, because I’ve moved away now. I’d like to think some people remember me!
Why is alumni important to you?
One of the most cherished values in my life is cultivating profound, harmonious, and deeply connected relationships. Throughout my personal journey, I have always embraced the role of an unwavering and loyal friend who stands by your side forever. However, the lessons I’ve learned have revealed that not everyone shares the same desire for lifelong friendship, even if their fondness for you is genuine.
What would happen if you went back and did a shift at the shop today?
I think I’d really enjoy myself! I think I’d start to get better business alliances with the local hotels and restaurants to see if I could supply them with specialist food.
If you could go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice, what would you say?
I’d say: “As you embark on this beautiful journey, I encourage you to embrace the enchantment that surrounds you. In the midst of your experiences, allow the magic to be captured through photographs and immortalized within the pages of your journal. Each snapshot and every heartfelt word will become a cherished treasure, weaving together the tapestry of your story.”