Our approach to business may be a little different to what you normally expect, in a world with next day delivery, and fast past hustle which is so often associated with running a small business. But here we like to do things slowly & intentionally, and we promise you will see the difference in our service & products. That is because we believe in the ART and JOY of slow making.
For this reason, our standard turnaround times are as follows:
**Please Note: this excludes shipping times.
Our items are all lovingly handmade to order in our studio in Manchester, so although things may take a little longer, it is well worth the wait! We try to adopt a slower approach to business by focusing on five main areas, and making these non-negotiable.
1. Purpose over profit
Now we aren’t saying that making a profit is not important to us, obviously we need to be profitable in order to keep our doors open, but this is by far not the only reason why we are in business. Our main goal is to help our clients create a lasting connection with their clients. To help them add value to their product or service and most importantly, create packaging & print that is mindful and creates a fully immersive experience for the end user. We want our business to support our family, as well as our employees' families. We want our clients to feel confident about the products and services they offer, and most importantly we want to create printed material and packaging that has meaning and purpose behind it. That tells a brand’s story, and ultimately creates a lasting connection between the brand and its consumer. We are also mindful of the planet, and how we can make our products more sustainable for the environment and for future generations.
2. Having clear set boundaries, and learning to say no
This is probably the hardest part for me because I really have trouble saying no, even if I really want to. Somehow I always feel as if I am going to let someone else down, and that it's somehow wasteful to turn down opportunities that come your way. But I am slowly learning that by saying no to one thing, I am actually saying yes to all the things that mean the most to me. For example, saying no to a rush order, means saying yes to my family knowing that we will still keep our weekends sacred. It’s saying yes to the customer who has been patiently waiting for their order to be ready. And it's saying yes to myself, because although we would LOVE to help everyone, sometimes it's just not possible without sacrifice to our own personal happiness & wellbeing.
Boundaries are also particularly important to me, as it allows me to see myself separately to my business and make more rational decisions, because my worth and value is not connected to my business. I encourage you to think of ways to include more boundaries in your business too.
3. To offer a better experience
Faster & cheaper is never better - somewhere along the line, someone is paying the price. We live for making & for our clients. We want to give you the best possible experience, and part of this is having enough space to make and work at a reasonable pace. Good things take time, and we really want you to feel the love that goes into making each and every one of our products.
4. To enjoy the process
This is a daily practice that I have to remind myself of over and over again! I find myself getting overwhelmed by all the moving parts of our business and tend to feel exhausted, stressed & directionless. But lately I have been reminding myself to focus on the process and not the outcome. This is very liberating for me because my mind is often a million miles ahead of my body & business. It's easy to feel dissatisfied when you are always focused on the future. So what I do is I see every task in my business as an opportunity. Sending emails is also a chance to connect with our clients, design work is also an opportunity to listen to my favourite podcast, be creative and bring something to life. By reframing things, you can find joy in the most unlikely places. Instead of rushing through these tasks to move onto the next and the next, I savour them and enjoy them for what they are. Somehow I manage to get more done, because I am not trying to multitask and I am fully engaged with the work I am currently doing.
5. Only do what is absolutely essential
Ok so I must admit, this is something that I am still working on and don't have it all quite figured out just yet. But I think the best way to have a slow sustainable business is to only do what is absolutely essential. The only way you can know what is essential is to know your core values. Just because you are “supposed” to do something, doesn't mean you should. We try not over complicate our process by having too many steps involved, we try and simplify and eliminate wherever possible. As I say, this is something that I am still working on, so I don't have all the answers figured out just yet. But what I am constantly doing is jotting down areas where I feel like work is hard, or not supporting our values. I will then figure out ways to simplify things and cut out areas that aren't essential or don't bring us joy.
My hope is that one day this becomes the norm for business & life, that people will start to appreciate slowness by not seeing it as a way of doing less, but doing a little less with a lot more intention.