For many young people, like myself, work experience is usually a much needed break from school but consisting of copying, printing, filing, copying, printing, filing over and over and over again. However, as the White Eames Chair that I sit in as I write would suggest, my time at Sweetpea and Willow has been slightly different….
On Monday the 9th of July, my experience at Sweetpea and Willow began. As I strolled up to the dull, prison-like warehouse I began to expect the worst but the moment I stepped through the rock-heavy doors into Showroom 1, I found the perfect definition for the saying ‘ugly on the outside, beautiful on the inside’. What a relief!
Now, from my time working with Sweetpea I have found that when people shop for furniture they often try to match what they want with who they are. But when I stepped into the office I found that the same could be said for employees and their workplace, in this case, ‘ugly on the outside, beautiful on the inside’.
My first day was spent working in the warehouse dealing with the new furniture for showrooms and deliveries. Here, I worked with Tony, the delivery guy whom many of the Sweetpea clients will no doubt be familiar with for his cheery persona and steely build along with his showpiece baseball cap.
For any clients who find themselves in the clearance section anytime soon, look out for the butterfly bed and the King-size double lying next to it, if you’re impressed with the structure and sturdiness of them, you have yours truly to thank for I was the Noah to the Ark that is these beds
On my second day at Sweetpea and Willow, I was given the responsibility of price tagging items in clearance, notice the running theme of my work in the clearance section, I think it’s a hint! “Get that Work Experience kid out, he’s useless!”. I took to my new job very keenly but having got through half of the many items in clearance I was told to change the tags to a more formal, typed up label. Though this was a blow to my days as a price tagger it did teach me about the meticulous nature of the business to make everything perfect for the customer and if Jessie J is reading this I can assure you, Sweetpea and Willow DO care about the price tag!
The middle of any working week is always a huge milestone, and no less important for my time at Sweetpea and Willow.
On Wednesday, I was given the hugely important role of accompanying Tony in the van and I took pride in my job as a Sweetpea and Willow delivery guy as I slept my way to Beaconsfield, Surrey, and Guildford and around London. Although these long journeys showed just how far-reaching this business was around the UK, albeit the South-East, nothing will compare to shock of seeing a chair on a warehouse shelf labelled ‘Sold order to Russia’. Now that was a surprise!
Thursday, the day I began and hopefully ended this blog. I began this day by helping with the office clean up and setting up the offices for Sweetpea and Willow’s sister company Beautiful Modern Thing. I also did my first Coffee run, something which, had I been working in a larger high street store, would be a common and boring feature of my work experience which made me think of my fellow students and what they might be doing.
Would I change my work experience? Not for the world!
As I set off on my second day of deliveries to Braintree and Norwich I will be smug in the knowledge that my time at Sweetpea and Willow is without a doubt one of the UK’s leading fantastic French furniture company!