So for those of you that don’t know, we are based in a lovely Barn in Woodham Walter. Surrounded by fields and horses. From the outside you’d be forgiven for thinking that not much goes on here.
Stepping through the door, you are literally entering a different world, which takes everyone by surprise. The embroidery machines constant whirling (sounds like your head is in a washing machine). With the heat from the presses, where clothing, tablecloths, bags and mugs are being branded with customers unique and colourful logos. The vinyl machine buzzing along cutting the artwork. The shelves are full of almost every colour of vinyl, glittery and even camouflage and denim.
The display area which has the most imaginative pieces, USB’s galore, tote bags, engraved crystal glasses, branded confectionery (something I want) clothing and even stress balls (something I need)
Entering into the office area which is where the magic happens, is completely manic, the phone ringing constantly for new orders, or to thank us for the recent orders (obviously). The staff are sitting at their desks, writing up quotes, invoicing, sorting out lots of last minute orders and best of all, finding inspiration for our customers. Some of our customers we have come across are the most organised people, they know exactly what they want and need, how many, in what colour and what their budget is. Others however have absolutely no idea, which is why we offer our brilliant bespoke service. All we need to know is who your target audience is and we will come up with some brilliant inspirational items which put smiles on lots of our customer’s faces and in turn your customers too.
The Barns vibe is always buzzing, energetic, lively and fun, with couriers coming and going throughout the day. Customers coming in to see us and stopping to have a coffee and a chat. The deadlines are constantly upon us. We haven’t missed one yet! Which no doubt is the reason why we have so many existing clients that come back to us each and every time.
Outside is a different story altogether, a farm, with lots of horses, dogs, tractors and the resident comedian Bridget (who owns the farm) often seen singing at the top of her voice to her animals. So if you are on the phone to us, it’s not the boss that’s making that loud strange noise, its ‘almost’ always coming from outside.
This is actually the view from our window.
So there’s the big boss, “Optimization Executive for the Northern Hemisphere” Emma Harris (MD)
“Commonwealth Branding Solutions Specialist” Karen Hughes (me, of course)
“Global Dynamic Applications Consultant” Steve Morton
“Lead apparel operations technician” Julie Dallard
And our part time “Implementation Facilitators for the North Essex Region”, Sarah, Sienna, Phil and Big Steve (for when we are really busy)
OK so these aren’t our actual job titles, but they look great on a badge!
We have such a variety in our sort of business, starting with the individuals who may just need some items of branded clothing, going right through the board to our international customers with whom we make all sorts of delights for, from foam hands, flags, swimming caps and giant clocks to hundreds of branded plants with recipe cards. Quite a few of these end up on various television programmes (am v proud).
We also cater a lot for schools and are getting new ones all the time, not just the branded clothing though, the lanyards, the pin badges even the bespoke awards for special occasions. I would like to add that every single one of our customers are treated the same, no matter how big or small their order, they each receive a personalised helpful service which always gets to them perfect and on time.
We work closely with a few select charities too. The rotary club, which organises local events in Maldon such as the Maldon mud race, the fireworks night and the Christmas fair. We took great pleasure in being a big part of the mud race, supplying the merchandise and manning the stall for the day which was great fun. Come and see us next year.
The David Randall Foundation which is a charity close to our hearts. It has grown remarkably over the last year, it’s always organising events, fun days and merchandise. Everybody involved in this charity works extremely hard and the happiness that it’s accounted for is truly extraordinary. For further information visit www.davidrandallfoundation.org
We’ve recently started working with Farleigh hospice by helping them with their 100 for 100 which was a great idea, getting 100 business to raise £100 for their Christmas day. We had a fab evening at our race night and raised well over our target amount.
Ok, not exactly fun fairs and seasides, more like exhibitions and networking. We love an exhibition, meeting all those new people, getting involved with different communities and businesses and finding out what it is that REAL people want from our sector. We have a lot of fun but work extremely hard for these events. It always seems to pay off as we usually come away with lots of new customers and also having met other businesses that we can work closely with. The great thing for us though is that the people we meet always remember us and we do them (probably because we never stop talking!)
We are involved in 2 main networking organisations which are great, work really well and have a lot to offer. The Maldon Business Association and BNI. We will shortly be organising our own breakfast networking event in the barn, where you can come, meet lots of different people from various businesses, locally and much further afield, have a look at our work where we will show you how we do specific orders, or you can just eat the food.
So the moral of this blog, is to choose the right path to being happy with the people you work with which is why you should always come to us, for a personalised service with fun friendly and professional staff who will bend over backwards to get you want you want and in the time that you want it. Customers really are our top priority and one thing Emma teaches everybody is “we never say no” which is why we are so busy every day. Take a look at our website and if there is anything you want to know (or you just want to say Hi) then get in touch, don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page.
I might even send you a free gift!