THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING YOUR OWN DESK
In 2015, we got the keys to our first 'studio'. It was dark and it was cold but it was near our then factory and best of all, it was really cheap. We did our best to make it a nice place to work, purchasing the finest desks gumtree could offer for under £50 and even got a coffee machine, but as they say, you can't polish a ... Anyway, one year later, we moved to a funny little space in Battersea. It's not the Ritz from the outside but it's (slightly) warmer, and flooded with natural light. And, we've upgraded from gumtree to Ikea desks. The photo above is taken just after we first moved in, after spending the entire weekend putting it together with my uncle.
Last year, the team in our funny little Battersea studio grew from 5 to 10 people and at the same time, we started thinking more about our culture as a company. We're really proud of our entire team, and the atmosphere in our studio. Even though I get jealous that I'm not on the What's App group everyone shares, I love that there is one. Everyone works hard and is nice to each other. When we interview we make it really clear that it's not all Insta-glam. We all have to take the bins out, do the washing up and get told off by Molly for not leaving our desks tidy at the end of the day. But on the first day when you need to start actually building your own desk that the humbling side of working for a startup hits home.
It's not about making a point, we just don't have anyone to make them for us. There have been a few mishaps along the way, but it's always funny and it's a great icebreaker for anyone joining the gang. What we realised as we grew is that actually needing to make your own desk requires a few things that we really value - patience, attention to detail and the willingness to ask for help. Anyone can build an Ikea desk, it takes basically zero DIY skills - all you need to do is read the instructions and be patient. (If you can't already tell I'm a big fan of Ikea. In my view, it's one of the greatest design concepts in history.) You can literally furnish your entire house with a return trip to Wembley and a screwdriver - it's mad.
I digress. The thing is, you're going to spend a fair bit of time sitting at that desk, so if you can't be bothered, or you skip a step, you're the one who will have to deal with the wonky draw or the wobbly legs. In a small way, I think it encapsulates the equally great and terrifying thing about working for a small company - it's all on you. It can be hugely rewarding and incredibly humbling all at the same time. As we grow, it might not be realistic to expect that we will always build our own desks - one day we might even be able to afford desks that aren't from Ikea - but I hope that we can keep the 'scrappiness' in our team spirit that's got us this far.
We'll be hiring a few new people again this year. So if you're reading this and agree with the sentiment - keep an eye on our jobs page, there may be a screwdriver and some oddly named Swedish furniture with your name on it.