BEHIND THE SCENES: LIKE NIGHT & DAY

I am obsessed by those ‘Day in the life of’ type articles about women who set up their own businesses and juggle it all with having a family. Now I find myself in a similar situation I thought I would share with you what it’s like trying to juggle it all.

The good news is that the majority of the time its fine. If it’s term time and no one is ill
it is perfectly possible to put in a good days work and manage all the other stuff around you.
The beauty of working at home is that you don’t have to spend hours and hours having meetings and there’s no time lost on travel.  I like to see my morning dog walk as my “commute” and my thinking time. After that I can structure my day around my work and other commitments and come out of it feeling that I have achieved a lot.

Not so the month of August! First of all I have to receive delivery of over 100 different styles of scarves from thirty different designers. They all need chasing and the bills all need paying. Copy and detailed product info for each of these scarves then has to be written and uploaded to the website which takes hours and hours and hours. When writing copy my brain only appears to work between 6am and 10am in the morning while the kids are asleep and no-one is around. Then I need to organise 4 days of photo shoots in order to get each scarf photographed in 4 different ways and to ensure we have model shots for the home pages of the site. After that I need to upload 400 different images to the website and all of this with an Internet connection speed that would leave people with super fast broadband weeping.

At the end of last August I promised myself I wouldn’t put myself or my family through that sort of stress again. This year I enlisted extra help in the form of two different work experience girls. The first was my gorgeous niece Milly who came for one week. She is 17 and was able to help with all sorts of tasks – everything from ironing, shopping for clothes for the photo shoots, editing my copy and sorting out all the pricing and labeling in the studio. The second was Olivia who is 20 and in her second year at Southampton University studying fashion and marketing. Olivia was with me for 2 weeks and was an absolute godsend. She helped on all the fashion shoots, did loads of work on Photoshop and masses of uploading on the website. With 2 of us doing what i had done on my own last year it was like night and day. Moreover just having the company of an extra person and somebody to bounce ideas of was such a welcome change.

I would like to think that both girls got an interesting insight into how the “back end” of a fashion retail website works and also picked up some new skills along the way. If you are reading this and know of anybody who would like to do work experience next summer or even in February for the Spring Summer launch please do put them in touch with me.

If you are reading this and thinking – she must be mad, it sounds a nightmare, then think again. I have loved this August and in a funny sort of way it’s quite a good time to be working, as there are so few people around. The trick is to get some extra help in and make sure the kids are busy. My youngest has been on a number of camps all of which he loved. Sometimes the older two were at a bit of a loose end but I think that’s a good thing as they were forced into making their own entertainment. Thank god for Pokémons – that’s what I say!
Harriet x