Greetings from the Giant Deckchair team! We are taking the time to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard as it were) after a very busy few months to update you on all the amazing stuff we have been up to.
The biggest news is that we have FINALLY moved into our own premises. The process took much longer than we expected (and hoped for), but being given the keys was just the beginning. Whilst we had been planning the logistics for months, we knew there was no option for us to cease production as our lovely customers still wanted Giant Deckchairs! We only scaled back production around two weeks before we left our old building. The premises we moved into used to be home to a furniture business, but had been left empty for over a year, so as you can imagine, there was a lot of work for us to do.
The warehouse space was full of individual offices, so task one was to take them out to free up as much floor space as possible. All the salvageable and reusable parts were kept and repurposed by us, or were put on local freecycle and buy & sell groups - we hate waste. Once the offices were gone, the exciting work of putting up the mezzanine could start. The mezzanine space will house our printer, press, cutting and sewing area, along with our office and staff room. Utilising the height of the warehouse means we maximise the ground floor space, allowing dedicated work areas for each stage of manufacture, from cutting and routing to drilling and planing.
We are thoroughly insulating the building, not only to keep the team toasty, but to decrease heat loss, and increase the efficiency of our printer - it likes to be kept warm as it ensures a much better quality print. There is still a long way to go; with the new door yet to be installed; extra purlins in the roof to withstand the additional weight of the solar panels; and walls to be erected. Despite the mess and cramped temporary office / kitchen / break room we share, we are all so happy and excited for the future in our new home.
Before we moved we said ‘Bon Voyage’ and bid a fond farewell to our lovely Gen, who was an integral member of the team for 19 months. Gen and her family made the life-changing decision to up-sticks from Devon to move to the Shetlands. We keep in touch with Gen and are excited to share the news that her move is being televised as part of a new Channel 5 series, ‘Twice the life, for half the price’ presented by Kate Humble, which will be airing in the New Year. Be sure to check our future blogs for details of when it will be shown.
Gen’s departure left a big void in the team, so we were happy when our newest recruit, Bonnie joined the team. She brings with her a wealth of experience from her previous roles and will be looking after sales and customer service. Bonnie also brings with her our favourite team member (not that we are allowed favourites), Otto. Otto is a 2yr old Border Terrier, who, when he’s not kipping on his favourite jumper, will be found peering out the window overseeing the production team doing their thing.
Alex has been busy updating our instructions on how to build a Giant Deckchair. Whether you like to read each page before you start, work from pictures, or just like to go for it and hope there are no parts left over at the end, we think you’ll find these much easier.
Annette has been beavering away focussing on our sustainability and environmental policies as we are always looking at more ways to make eco-conscious decisions. She recently had a positive meeting with a Cornish social enterprise to discuss the small quantity of waste fabric we generate and how they could get involved in repurposing it - watch this space for more news of this great partnership.
Finally, before we get back to some proper work, we are now able to share with you news about the super new products we’ve been developing, our fabulous exclusively designed prints and our new website! You can view all of this by visiting giantdeckchairs.com.
Ben, Alex, Bonnie, Annette, Lee and Otto :)