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Editorial blog

24 hours as….Jo Bray, Managing Director – Sales & Marketing at West Design Products

01 Dec 2018

Jo Bray, Managing Director – Sales & Marketing at West Design Products, tells us about her day.

Your day

What time do you wake up and what does your prework routine look like?

When I wake up depends solely on my children – if I am not awake before 6am, then I’ve had a lie in! First thing I do every morning is check my emails and then it’s all systems go with the kids - breakfast, getting them dressed, sneak in a quick shower for myself and then I take my youngest to nursery while my husband takes eldest to school in the opposite direction.

You get into work – what does a typical morning look like for you?

I get to my desk for about 8am and usually a significant number of emails have come in just since leaving home at 7.30am. The early part of the day is catching up with the management team, covering things like customer feedback, areas of improvement and product launches. I also still have a handful of my own customers that I like to try and see in person as often as possible, too.

What time do you take lunch, and what do you do on your lunch break? What do you typically eat?

Lunch can happen anytime between 1pm and 3pm. Normally I run out and get a healthy sandwich before ruining it by buying something naughty too – which I do share with the rest of the office! I like to be able to leave the office briefly as I am currently residing in an enclosed office with no windows to the outside world!

How does a typical afternoon take shape?

I’m spending a lot of time over in our new offices, designed to be a creative hub for West Design in Dorset. However, on a day-to-day basis in the afternoon, I will meet with my PA and we’ll discuss things like charitable events we’ll be taking part in, upcoming awards we’re nominated for and staff incentives.

What time do you leave?

I normally leave the office about 5.30pm to make sure I get to nursery before they lock my son in!

And what kinds of things do you like to get up to in the evening?

What I would like to do and what I actually do are two very different things! Quality time with my boys takes priority - the dinner / bath time / bedtime routine kicks in as soon as I am home. As all parents will appreciate, those three things alone take a remarkably long time, so I then end up collapsing on the sofa to multitask - catching up with emails while watching telly!

Finally, what time do you typically go to bed on a work night?

It varies, depending on how many emails I need to respond to, but typically I can shut off and be in bed by 11pm.

A bit about you

How did you come to work in your current position?

I originally trained as a journalist with the intention of becoming a sports broadcaster and was living in Liverpool. However, after a Sales Rep in the Northern territory left her role, the family business came calling and I haven’t looked back! From there I took on a number of Key Accounts and moved back down to Kent to help in Head Office. When the business acquired docrafts in 2016, I moved to run the office in Dorset – no mean feat with two very young children in tow - but it’s a decision I wouldn’t change for anything!

What advice would you have for someone looking to get into your particular industry?

That you don’t need to be an arts and crafts whizz to get into the industry. It’s always good to have an appreciation for the sector, but there is so much more to it than being good at arts and crafts yourself!

What are the best parts of your job?

My staff. I know everyone will say a similar thing, but I really cannot underestimate the team I work with, across all the West Design sites. We are incredibly fortunate to have a great workforce.

What are the most challenging parts of your job?

Looking to build the team and change offices is proving to be a personal challenge at the moment. As well as this, along with most companies, forecasting and planning for the future during the uncertain economic times we’re facing is demonstrating to be a little tricky to navigate.

What does 2019 hold for you?

Hopefully a wonderful start to life in our new offices! We also have some amazing partner collaborations that we will be announcing in 2019 and I know the whole team are incredibly excited to showcase these – we know you’re going to love them, too!

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