Office space has been at the top my list this month, the renovation has been getting on top of me and I think it’s important to have some space to grow… And funnily enough, one of the spaces I looked at is in the next lady’s building, so I got to see her space up close (and I can confirm it is as gorgeous as it looks!).
Susie Young is another PR I have known for years, when I was at Eve (10 years ago now!), and she was the PR at Asos. Susie went on to develop her own Wedding Planning business (Knot & Pop) and has worked on many amazing events and collaborations since. She is one of those super talented, creative minds that makes everything look effortless. I asked her how she manages it all…
Whereabouts is your office space?
I have a great studio space in Seven Sisters that I studio share with Lamplighter London. We’re based in a warehouse with a mix of creative companies – from jewellery designers, to fashion photographers, sandwich makers, a bridesmaid brand and more. There’s a number of creative work spaces popping up in Seven Sisters so there’s a great community building.
I love my studio space – it’s flooded with natural light and has great beams and a useful mezzanine level for storage.
I have lots of our props and decs that dress that space to keep it visual and inspiring so when couples visit us they are excited by what Knot & Pop can create for them.
When did you take the leap into self-employment?
My business started in 2013 – I worked at Trace Publicity as Account Director prior to launching Knot & Pop, and it was seeing the passion that Lian and Rob had running their own business that made me wonder what I would do, should I go it alone.
Planning my own wedding in 2012, I noticed a gap in the wedding industry for a more modern minded wedding planner. It was always the event side of PR that I really enjoyed, yet I was looking for something with greater purpose and connection. As much as I love producing branded events, and still do a couple of those a year, I really enjoy the balance between brand events and private events – with weddings at the core of what Knot & Pop do.
Lian gave me great advice – saying that you can over-think taking the leap, and that the most important thing to do is just get started and see where it leads you.
I have moments when I know the easier path in life would have been to be employed by others, but there’s a buzz with having your own business that’s pretty hard to beat.
What inspires you in or around your desk area?
We have greenery and plant-life in the office and often flowers too, especially when left over from weddings and events – they need a good home after all!
It’s lovely to have lots of our props on show as it’s a reminder of past and previous events, and all the beauty and memories.
We have boxes of linen samples, paper samples, various candles (I am very particular about the right kind of taper candle!) stationery suites and pantone books. And it’s all these lovely tactile and tangible aspects that really help form and cement ideas.
Describe a typical work day for you…
It’s hard to describe an average day as it always differs, dependent on the stage of project.
At any one time we’re managing a number of events, some of which are in the early stages of venue quests, concepting and mood boarding, whilst others are further on in the process. So, there’s always lots of sourcing and costings to do, plus briefings for all suppliers and continual supplier and client communication to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Days are either studio based, out and about across London for client and supplier meetings, or travelling further afield. Whether to remote parts of Scotland, or France – if we’re needing to do site visits. It’s the variety that I love though.
How do you balance work and life as a freelancer?
I feel as though these days everyone is finding the balance harder to maintain.
Connectivity is both a help and a hindrance, as it can be difficult to build in down times with emails only a click away on the phone.
Having clients that span Australia to America, my working day can start from the moment emails are downloaded at 7:30am, and can continue late as West Coast America get into gear with their day.
I insist now, that if I don’t have a wedding at the weekend then my Saturday is free of work as it’s so important to have time with loved ones, friends and family to refuel and live life!
I do think though that many people who have their own businesses have an unnatural (and unhealthy) work drive and I definitely fall into that category!
What can’t you live without in your office space?
On the practical side, my laptop, main note-book, pen, and post-it notes.
On the pretty side, lovely scented candles – a current favourite being Earl of East London, Greenhouse scent.
How do you keep organised?
We have Ikea boxes that are divided by prop category, and styling kit needs. Other boxes for linen samples etc. A stack of magazines for inspiration – ordered by publication. I like to think that everything has a natural home to make things most efficient.
I try to keep printing to a minimum, but any essential documents are filed by colour coded client folders, that reflect their lead wedding colour.
Those essential ‘everyday grab items’ are kept close at hand in drawers – post-it notes, note-pads, pens.
I love Hay for stationery items – I have a few of their gold/gold tipped pens, tray organisers and note pads. I also have some rather fancy paper clips for client presentations and reports – with Present and Correct satisfying my stationery addiction.
How important is it that your office space are chic/ reflect your work?
Much like my home space, that is a reflection of my life and loves, my studio space also reflects my style and personality.
I think I’d feel out of sorts if I was working everyday in a bland office space. Surrounds, and feeling inspired by them, is really important to me.
In busy times though we have endless boxes that start building up with event deliveries – calm is restored in my mind when these things are neatly packed away!