So, I was going to do an all singing, all dancing video of the new studio with fancy pants background music and everything… but I have had to put my Speilberg career on hold to complete orders, because obviously they take priority.
But, I do feel like I have to blog about it (aka show off haha), we have been in this space since April so if I leave it any longer, it will be old hat so here I am doing just that. I will get around to that video though, I promise!! As well as product videos too, they are on the everlasting list of things to do. (If anyone has any tips on videoing products or studio tours, please get in touch, I could really do with the help).
Ok, so let’s start with outside. The building is almost an annex to a main building which gives me the best of both worlds really. We have lots of privacy and my own space but also some great neighbours that we can enjoy the odd chat with. I can also blast my fave music when we are really busy which really helps without annoying anyone, well apart from my pooch but I think he really likes The Jam to be fair.
The Business Sign
I made my own sign which I am pretty pleased with for an amateur, it was really easy actually. I bought a piece of clear perspex from a local hardware shop with great guys who cut it to size for me. It cost about £2.50. I backed it with a piece of white vinyl and then designed and cut the wording and shapes with my cutting machine. I applied them and got my fab husband to put it up for me, and voila I had my very own sign. Pretty much zero cost and took about half an hour from start to finish.
We painted the windows and doors ourselves as they were a really gross brown colour. This definitely took longer than planned and I wanted to punch myself in the face for organising the activity on several occasions but I am glad I stuck with it as I am super proud of the outcome.. I know I know I need to get out more. I used some outdoor paint from Wilkos and I was really pleased as it only cost £12. Absolute bargain!
Secondly, the kitchen area. Totally thrilled with this space, I managed to make it pretty but it is also really functional. All glasses are washed after glittering and before I personalise them. It is also where I obviously make all the coffee I consume and that all important lunch. 🙂
The ‘Glitter’ Table
Just to balance things out, I am going to be real and show you the gritty desk where all the glittering is done. Believe me, it is not all sparkly before things are finished… well actually it is all sparkly and that is the problem at times, finding glitter down your ear may sound cute but I can assure you it is not! All glasses are prepped here and glittered with several layers of glitter. Each layer is left for hours before the next one is applied, so this does lead to a bit of a mess. I do make sure I keep a good stock of glasses ready but some glasses are made completely from scratch, depending on the design. Glasses do not leave this table until they have a diamante finish and centre embellishment. They are then re-located to the stock shelves.
I always make sure I have plenty of pre glittered glasses ready so that I am not keeping the customers waiting so my next picture is of that station. It really does help to keep the flow going well although, 17 colours across three different designs can take some organising. Luckily efficiency is my middle name. 🙂 The empty shelf next to the stock shelf is for when orders are made and ready to go to Joan to pack. But, as I cannot work on blogs when I have orders, this space is cleared down.
My desk is next. This is where I chat to customers, print off orders and customer labels, print the greeting cards and generally complete most admin tasks. I also prep each order before it is made in this area. Oh, and I drink coffee here, lots and lots of coffee.
I do have an office at home too though so lots of work behind the scenes goes on there too. In fact, research, development and design and art work goes on at home as studio time is based around actual orders and only orders.
You’ll notice that I have some leafy plants (peace lillies, trailing ivy and kalanchoe) scattered around the place. I love plants and love how they can soften an area in an instance. They make the place look pretty and keep me inspired and creative. And, there is a little bit of the florist left in me that just loves them.
Personalised Glasses and Sweet Jars
The next space I created is where I actually personalise the glass and sweet jar orders. Each order is split into non gift wrap, plain gift wrap and personalised gift wrap depending on what the customer has chosen and made in date order. Glasses are allocated from the stock shelves and then passed over to Joan who wraps and packs at the packing station. All my packaging inserts are on this desk along with gift tags and other essential materials to make each order.
The Packing Station
As mentioned, when each glass is made, it is passed over to the packaging section for Joan to wrap carefully and send off to our fab customers. She is very vigilant about each package and I am really lucky to have someone in the team who cares so much. She has her own section. All bubble wrap, boxes and packaging supplies are kept in the cupboards here too. I am a neat freak so this is exactly what it looks like before and after packaging shifts. Neat area, neat mind which is just how I like it.
After the notebook orders are prepped and printed at my desk, they are put onto this station where all notebook supplies are kept. Then twice a week, when my workflow dictates which is currently Monday and Wednesday, I work on all notebook orders. As a side note, I am loving how much the notebook orders are flying in at the moment. They are as popular as I had hoped to be and I have only launched two product lines.. I have a gazillion more to do yet!
Finally, an overall view of the office from the entrance. I honestly love this new space and even though I always have, I truly do love working here.
I hope you have enjoyed seeing behind the scenes at The Sarky Cow in the ‘Cow Shed’. Hope it gives you an insight as to what we get up to and how we process and make orders.
Till the next time…