There's nothing like a typical week at BIDBI and as my business grows, my role continually changes. New people join us and bring with them specific skills and expertise, that have enabled me to focus more narrowly on the things that work well for me (and hopefully BIDBI!).
After our group Early Bird Meeting, at which we briefly run through our individual and team achievements and share news, I then move on to a catch up with our sales team. I'll talk through any creative or complex bag projects with them and suggest different ways of making the best bag style for a particular client or brainstorm different print options. We ring the bell when a new sale comes in, which also serves to wake people up on a sultry, hot summer afternoon!
A main focus for me throughout the week is the creative development and production of our own brand label Talented. I work closely with our new team members Emilia, who's my right hand woman on this new and exciting project. She's heading up the marketing and order progression whilst John, our International Operations Manager makes sure that our totes arrive on time from the fair trade factories we work with. Richard, one of our in-house designers at BIDBI works with me on putting together my rather random drawings to make them work for print. He's incredibly patient and this week it was tested to the full when I had to get my drawings, inspired by the Royal Birth, into a print format el pronto and pinged over to our distributors all over the world to see and feed back on by close of play Friday! Job done, we will then begin printing them next week and they'll be on sale within 10 days. With our own design and print facility on site, it means we can work very quickly. It also helps me to stay very close to the medium, which is a real luxury and makes my job as a designer so much easier.
Emilia and I will also be attending trade fairs and visiting clients with our travelling totes! I'm lucky enough to have been to New York, Las Vegas, Tokyo, Berlin, Paris and many cities in England over the past year. As a result, Talented Totes has been an amazing, instant success and we're heading off to the next trade show: Pure London next weekend. We've been both planning and prepping for weeks for a trail of shows this summer.
A walk down to our print room to say hi to our hard working printers and supervisor Alan is one of my daily delights. I love to see what's in production and what's literally hot off the press! This past few weeks have been punishing for our printers with scorching temperatures and lots of heat from the gas fired dryer, needed to dry and cure inks, and transfer presses used for digital printing.
Key team catch ups and one-to-ones are dotted throughout the week. I meet with Dominic, our new General Manager, towards the end of every day as he proposes new procedures and we discuss strategies for the next chapter of BIDBI. Together with Alan, he's building a new warehouse for us, which is number one on my wish list. About every two weeks I head down to London for client meetings. Other than that I try to keep my week as free as I can so I can connect with our BIDBI or Talented Totes customers.
There's never enough time of course and sadly my Macbook often accompanies me home where I will be tap tapping for a couple of hours until John tells me my dinner is ready. My new jogging regime keeps my overworking tendency at bay and blows away any worries in a heart beat. As soon as I settle down on the settee, usually to be put in a state of terror by a foreign crime drama ( I'm a big fan of Spiral, The Bridge, The Killing and Wallender), our cat Bobby takes residence inbetween me and John until one of us nods off. A day ends and another one begins with Bobby wailing for his breakfast before we head off again on the 15 minute drive to BIDBI to face another day at the print-face!