A Day In The Life Of Snapdragon
We caught up with Jane, the founder of Snapdragon and keen gardener, to find out more about a day in the life of a notonthehighstreet.com seller.
I work in a purpose built wooden workshop in the field behind my house. I started at the kitchen table in 2005 and then, when that got too much, I bought an airstream caravan and moved the business out into that. In 2009 we took on staff and built a proper wooden workshop which was extended in 2013.
I start each day by walking my dogs in the hills above Loch Lomond. It’s a great way to clear my head and plan the day. It also tires out the dogs and makes sure that they curl up for a sleep when they come down to the workshop.
Fast order turnarounds are really important to us so by the time I get into work, Valerie, who runs the office and dispatch area, will have printed out overnight orders and divided them into separate piles of sewing and printing. Our orders differ radically through the year – Mother’s Day is all about embroidered mirrors, Father’s day printed travel mugs, and the end of term personalised notebooks.
At the moment I’m working on a range of products which will be made in the UK for us, using Scottish woven linen, and which we will then print to order in the workshop. The first of these, a gorgeously simple wash bag, has just been launched on notonthehighstreet.com. This has meant collaborating with a wide range of other businesses, from linen mills and zip makers, to machinists and pattern cutters. We’re very proud to be making things completely within the UK and producing high quality exclusive products that can’t be bought from anywhere else.
We have a core team of five in the workshop. Valerie runs the day to day business and Val, Fiona and Isobel work on sewing and printing. I tend to do a bit of everything while driving the business forwards, dreaming up new products and looking for exciting opportunities.
At busy times of the year our team swells to 16. It’s usually a mixture of local mums and teenagers keen to get a bit of extra work that fits in with their lives. We take on work experience students from the local school, Balfron High, and are currently working on a project to mentor their sixth year art students, helping them with creative enterprise projects.
For me, creativity is really the driving force behind the economy. It’s incredibly important that school pupils get the support they need to develop their creativity. We’re also setting up a fund to actively support creative entrepreneurship in the local economy.
Most days, I finish in the workshop when my daughters get back from school. I join them for a cup of tea and a natter about the day before we make dinner.
Aside from Snapdragon my other passion is gardening (Snapdragon originally began as a cut flower business). I’m in the middle of transforming the garden, changing it from serried ranks of cut flowers to a more exciting and innovative nature garden. At the moment it’s blank beds, covered for the winter to deter weeds, but in my mind it is already ablaze with colour and alive with butterflies.
To find out more about Snapdragon, visit their notonthehighstreet.com store now.