Who Are We?

NoelleI'm the author of The Good Deal Directory and former Editor of Good Housekeeping magazine. My name is Noelle Walsh. The book is published by the Value for Money Company Ltd, which was set up in 1992 by myself, my husband, David Heslam, and our two partners, who have now retired.

The Good Deal Directory started off as a monthly newsletter in 1992, telling readers all about designer showroom sales and factory shops. This was in the days before factory outlet villages - there was only one at that time in the UK, now there are more than 40 - when the fact that manufacturers sold off overstock was a closely-guarded secret.

I was lucky enough to be invited on what was then the Anne and Nick Show on BBC1 at the time of launching the newsletter and sold 5,000 annual subscriptions in two weeks. At the time, I was working for The Daily Telegraph and used to come home at night to a pile of postbags bulging with letters and cheques!

My background is journalism. I started as a sub-editor on Cosmopolitan magazine in 1979, remaining there six years and leaving as News Editor in 1985. After short stints on a free London newspaper and then Working Woman magazine, I joined Good Housekeeping as Assistant Editor. In 1987, I was made Editor of Good Housekeeping, where I stayed for four years before going to The Daily Telegraph. I left the Telegraph to launch The Good Deal Directory.

We have published a 700-page book annually for 12 years, the 2006 edition being the latest. Four years ago, we transferred all the information from the book onto the website, which now receives more than 2 million hits a year.  The Good Deal Directory idea has also spawned an event: the Really Good Deal Fashion Sale when fashion companies sell overstocks and ends of lines to members of the public twice a year at Ascot Racecourse in Berkshire (temporarily under reconstruction so we have relocated to one of the racecourse car parks on the high street) and at the Yorkshire Event Centre in Harrogate.

In 2004, I bought a 3-bedroom house and furnished it totally from factory shops just to prove how easy it is - and how fabulous such a house can look. You can check out each room, gliding around it with a 360 degree camera, and checking out every item in the room, how much it cost, how much saved and where to buy similar items. Check it out at www.gooddealhouse.com