By Sharon Gubby
Ever seen a Design Team Call post and wanted to apply but wondered what it’s really all about? I’ve been on the EllieBeth Designs UK DT for nearly 2 years now and the whole encounter gives back so much more than you might imagine it would, in ways that I certainly never expected.
My first thought when I saw Rachel Blundell’s call for her first Design Team – and I dare you to put your hand up if you haven’t thought the same when seeing the call for new DT members – was “oooh free stickers from my favourite shop” and all for doing something I truly love and makes day-to-day life pretty. And yes, having a DT package each month is a real treat but amongst the fun, and we’ve had a huge amount of fun, there is a purpose to a DT, and it requires a level of commitment and time to be part of a team and represent a brand that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
Rachel’s advert for a DT came back in late 2015. I was looking for something to feed my creative soul as our children grew to need me less during the day. So one day, after I’d packed them off to school, I sat down to face the application questions and so the journey began!
Being asked to showcase how you plan and explain what you think you could bring to a Team is a process of self-reflection in itself – I had to answer questions about what I used for planning and productivity; provide a short background bio; show what my social media exposure was like; explain why I wanted to be part of the Team and what I thought I could bring to the table. It made me think critically about all of these things examining why I do what I do and how I would showcase the products from EBDUK in my day-to-day process. I would say the most important thing to do when applying is just to be yourself and be honest about who you are and what you do. There is no right or wrong in planning and the search for the right team is about finding people who naturally fit the brand and ethos of the business rather than picking people who have a great following but are going to change to fit in because they want free stuff (!). As a team member we’re given a great trust that we will be a positive influence on the business and how it appears to the wider community – after all this is someone’s livelihood we are influencing. It’s a bit like trusting a babysitter with your firstborn! A team that provides honest and constructive feedback on products and their place in the planner community in a way that helps build the business and keep it fresh and viable is essential. Our team has evolved and changed over 2 years but we’ve developed a strong core that allows for the natural ebb and flow of members due to personal circumstances and their ability to commit changing, as well as the business needs.
There are currently 8 of us in the EllieBeth Designs UK Team. We couldn’t all be more different and that’s when the fun starts. We all plan in very different ways, even when using the same planners and as a group we keep ourselves organised while showcasing the EllieBeth brand across the whole spectrum of planner styles and sizes. We were chosen because we are all individuals and bring a varied perspective to the team from our daily lives. We compliment as well as contrast each other and I think we would all agree that we’re not the same planners we were when we started. We don’t always agree but heated discussion can fuel the creative fire in a Team as much as warm and fluffy oohs and aahs over new art work and pretty layouts can. And we’ve definitely all grown creatively from the experience.
So what do we as a DT do?
Each month we’re gifted products personally chosen for us and our creative planning styles by Rachel to use in our day to day planning. Part of our commitment when we join the team is to provide opinions on new designs, help promote sales and events and, on an individual level, commit to regular weekly tasks such as recording planning videos, posting our layouts on Facebook & supporting IG challenges. I have an additional role as Team Lead to answer questions from the rest of the DT about ongoing events etc.
In addition to this we provide some customer support at the social media level for Rachel, answering questions about specific products from the wider community and showing how products can be used “outside the box”. This allows Rachel to focus on product design and keeping the brand fresh, current and evolving. We get to see new designs before they’re released and give her feedback on what we think will work with the current trends in the community as a whole.
It sounds like a lot of work but it’s mostly an expansion of what we’re all doing already and it’s great fun!
So, if you’ve ever thought of applying for a DT don’t hesitate. Do it! It’s a fantastic experience and a voyage of discovery. We’ve learnt and grown together and I have Team members now that I’ve been with since day one whom I consider amongst my closest friends. We’ve laughed and cried together, been away together and supported each other through the trials & tribulations of life and always have each other’s backs – all because of beautiful stickers!!
I’m newly enrolled in the over 50 club and live in rural Hampshire UK with 2 teens and my darling Husband. I guess I’ve always been a planner at heart, my teens will recite in great detail my stories of angst and teenage envy every time my friends at school came back from their exchange visits to France with the most wonderful homework diaries with tabs and bright colours and pockets to store things in while I was relegated to the ranks of a plain academic diary in black and white.
Fast forward to being a Mum & having to manage the myriad of school meetings, sports matches, ballet lessons, exams and medical appointments to keep track of & in a moment of divine intervention I stumbled onto Erin Condren’s website & EllieBeth Designs UK stickers and faith products and that was it. Hooked & just a little obsessed with planning.
Social media links
My IG @ronniescraft