I'd been staying with my boyfriend's relatives in London whilst at LOOK, but they couldn't let me stay for these two weeks, so I decided to commute from Southampton. Mad I hear you say.. well not as mad as the fact I couldn't get ANY accommodation in London for less than a weekly rail card would cost (£150, ouchh!!) But then again, that is all my return journeys and unlimited tube. I have to get the train for an hour and 10 minutes, then it's a 15 minute tube and a short walk. I've discovered it's not actually that bad either, I think my body is getting more used to the early mornings and long train journeys. I get up about 6am and get in at 8pm.. So yeah a very long day but so so worth it! I usually fall asleep on the trains too so that's fine! It just makes it worse now that it's pitch black when I wake up, and getting dark when I get home, and also freezing cold some mornings! Is it just me or has it suddenly turned to autumn overnight in the UK?!
Anyway. The night before I started I was mega excited but also really nervous. As i'd done a while project on TB I knew everything, from their financials, to their customer, to their products, everything, and actually came to really love the brand and what it stands for. I felt as if I was going to Santa's grotto at Christmas, going to their head office to see how everything was run! I was mainly nervous about the travelling, and the fact I was going to be in the buying department, which I'd never experienced before, and I had no idea what a buyer actually did really!?
For the first day I opted for a smart dress, ankle boots and a blazer. I had no idea what the dress code was so I decided to go smart. The traveling actually went fine, I left plenty of time and I'm used to Waterloo and all the tubes now, and the office was really easy to find (very easy to find in fact, it has a giant lobster on the door!)
It was the weirdest thing entering the building. There was a man at a small table, bright green walls, and bits and bobs everywhere. There was even a moving robotic dog that I actually thought was real!!
A quick snap I took of the reception area when I was leaving one day! :
He told me to head to the 3rd floor reception, so I headed for the lifts. Inside was loads and loads of lit up buttons, each which made a different noise when you pressed them! I was definitely entertained by this!!
At this point I thought wow, I love their head office already!! TB is such a quirky brand and so far I had not been disappointed. As I got the the 3rd floor I was confronted with a huge, open plan office, that was on a balcony to the canteen downstairs. I'd never seen any office like it, there was music playing in the background and it was full of hustle and bustle. I signed a visitors book, and was greeting by Rosie, who is a womenswear buyer. It seemed very manic, I was taken to a row of desks and introduced to alot of people in a short space of time! The first thing I did was drop my stuff off at a spare computer, and then went to the first floor, which is where the production department were based. It seemed like I had dressed a little too smart as everyone was actually dressed quite casual! There's me thinking everyone would be top to toe in TB!
I was taken to a room FULL of clothes and accessories.. I was very excited to see all these beautiful clothes! TB is an expensive designer brand, but their products are always so gorgeous and beautifully made. I was introduced to a couple of others I would be working with, and was told there was a meeting in a few minutes, so I had to sort out some rails of clothing ASAP. It was all very 'chucked in at the deep end' but I tried my best to be helpful! I was ushered out of the room when the meeting began, and headed back upstairs. It was all very busy and I was slightly overwhelmed! Here are a few snaps of inside the building..
I know this is strange, but the ladies toilets were also really crazy! Including barbies on the walls..
You can see the all the plumbing behind a plastic wall, mad! And there's even a notepad and pen for doodles if you get bored..
I LOVE these mugs so much!!
For the rest of the week I've been on cims and working on excel to help them out with entering styles and costs, and finding out all about their role in the company. One day I got shown around the showrooms, which are rooms dressed like mini shops, filled with current and next season clothing and accessories that companies can come and visit, and pick what they want to sell. I even got a sneaky peek and the spring/summer 2014 collection that has already been made and being photographed soon. I can't tell you what it was full of though as I signed a confidentiality agreement and it's all very hush hush, but it looks as if their new collection will not disappoint! I've been doing little odd jobs too, such as filing, and towards the end of the week they were running out of jobs for me! I started doing some research on the new spring/summer 14 trends and made a few mood boards for the buying team.
I've found out that they get 75% off Ted Baker products, (wowee) and can even 'hire' out pieces for an event or just to wear, then give back after, how amazing is that! Sounds like such a great place to work!
It's been a very tiring week, but I love being in the Ted Baker office, it's such a great atmosphere, all the girls are really lovely, and I'm learning alot about what buyers do. It's surprisingly alot more financials, codes and costings than I expected, but at least I'm getting the experience, and then I can decide weather it's something I'd be interested in doing in the future. I hope you enjoyed my update and all the pics of the Ted Baker HQ, I'll let you know how my second (and last, phew) week of work experience goes..