A Day in the Life of Rachael Lamb
Tuesday, May 6th, 2008 at 11:17 am
Posted by Jenny Hudson
Today’s feature follows Rachael Lamb through a day in her life. Rachael is a talented designer of jewellery and bags and runs the hugely successful Hannah Zakari online store. Grab a brew, sit back and read on.
Scott’s Porage Oats and Peppermint Tea
I’m usually woken up by my husband’s alarm going off at around 7:30, if it wasn’t for this I’d quite easily sleep until 9 or later every day. I lie in bed looking at my wallpaper (it’s very nice!) through bleary eyes and think about the day ahead, what I need to do, what I meant to write down last night but forgot, and if there is enough milk for breakfast.
I run Hannah Zakari out of my flat so I don’t have far to travel to work, just from bedroom to office via the kitchen. My day usually starts with a bowl of Scott’s Porage Oats and a peppermint tea in front of my computer. I use this time to read through emails and print off any sales that come in as well as looking around some of my fave websites and Facebook, MySpace, etc to see what has been happening and if I have any messages on them. One of the best places on the net just now (in my opinion) is Polyvore, it’s one of my favourite morning rituals to check what people have been using Hannah Zakari items for.
The Working Day
I work on my own all day every day – luckily I like my own company! Sometimes it feels like I spend more time in front of my computer than actually designing and making stuff, but that’s due to the success of HZ so I don’t complain too much about that! On a typical day the main part will be made up from packing orders and taking them to the post office which can take a good few hours during busy times, the rest of the day could be spent checking in new stock, taking pictures, ‘gimping’ them and listing things on the website, doing some promotion, speaking to current designers or looking for new ones – there is always something to do.
I’m lucky enough to have a big office space, so I have separate areas for different tasks – a table for cutting fabric and sewing, my jewellery area with all my beads, chain and pliers and another bit for packing up orders. Despite this, I always seem to run out of space and no matter how much extra storage I buy, I outgrow it in a matter of weeks.
The first thing to get neglected when HZ really took off was my own line so now I try to make time each week to work on my own designs and to look through my favourite internet shops for fabric and supplies for that – I have favourites that I could spend hours on if I let myself and am totally addicted to searching for (and buying) vintage/interesting buttons!
Left Overs for Lunch
I go to the post office around 2pm every day and will have my lunch around this time too. Sometimes I might pick something up from a local deli but it usually consists of left overs from the night before (today I have Mexican – yum!). I use this time again to read online papers or go on my favourite forums while I eat and try and relax a bit before starting up again in the afternoon.
Around 5 pm I usually wind things down for a bit and will meet John or a friend for a latte and a gossip at my favourite local coffee shop, but I don’t think I ever really finish work! It’s very unusual for me to go home and relax after this and am regularly seen still sitting at my computer until the wee small hours getting stuff finished off. Even if I wake up in the middle of the night I’ll pop through to the office and see if the site is busy, check if there have been any sales to exotic addresses in different timezones or just other night owls. No matter how hard I try to break this habit my good intentions never last more than a week!
If I’m not working at night I am usually decorating my flat, maybe when this is finished I’ll start to put my feet up in front of the telly more often, but I doubt it somehow!
I love working for myself, I couldn’t be luckier with what I do for a living and it suits my nature very well as I enjoy the freedom of being able to choose my own hours and be my own boss. I’ve learned a lot about myself since I started Hannah Zakari – good and bad! – and I’ve also taught myself a lot of new skills, not just craft related but business skills like buying, marketing, and accounting (maybe one day I’ll even master The Spreadsheet, but I won’t hold my breath!).
It can be tough being on your own for long periods of time sometimes and it helps if you can stay positive after a hard day. I am very lucky that I have some good friends to keep me on an even keel when things are slow or I’m having a confidence crisis – it helps to have someone who doesn’t mind listening to you ranting and reassuring you at times.
Made In The Shade
This month I will be exhibiting at Made In The Shade, a collaboration between Glasgow Craft Mafia and Creative Entrepreneurs Club at The Lighthouse in Glasgow. The event is shaping up to be *the* place to shop in Glasgow on the day (no mean feat!) and will be showcasing some of Glasgow’s best young design talent – I’m excited already and planning lots of lovely one of a kind and new pieces to be unveiled on the day which I’m having lots of fun making! Sat May 25th, The Lighthouse, Mitchell Lane, Glasgow.
Thank you Rachael!