Category Archives: Blog

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A day in the life of our coin collector, Rebecca Burke

 

Hi I’m Becky (or Shoebecca to some).

I am approaching my 1 year work anniversary (presents welcome) as a Production Co-ordinator for Creative Emporium and Argon Promotions.

Day to day I am processing orders for the lovely account execs, and overseeing production of these to ensure that our clients receive high quality products and garments delivered on time. My role involves a lot of interaction with pretty much every department within the business on a daily basis which keeps me busy!

The main challenge of the production role is problems! Spanners in the works can crop up at every turn and this can sometimes mean delays for our clients which we don’t want. So when a problem occurs it is our job to look for solutions which can be tricky, but well worth it in the end when everything is resolved.

My favourite part of the job is receiving positive feedback from clients and hearing how their events were. Good feedback makes us feel fab and makes all the challenges worthwhile. My other favourite part is the people I work with (especially my production pod pals!). Cheesy I know, but everyone is so friendly and supportive and this really makes a difference to the job.

If I could be any celebrity I would be Blake Lively because she’s just amazing. There is also still a part of me who wants to be Lauren Conrad from The Hills (don’t judge).

Picking a favourite song is too hard, so instead I’ll share one of my all-time feel good films which is Click. If you haven’t seen it before beware, it’s a crier.

That’s enough from me, time to hear from somebody else and so I nominate a little lovely from the Uniform department….Ebony it’s your turn.

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A day in the life of our resident DJ, Nick Hancox

I would like to take the opportunity to ‘thank’ Jameson for calling me out for this – he obviously knows how much I like unassumingly talking about myself.

But anyway, let’s kick this off! My name is Nick and I work next to the big blue wall of Argon Promo. I’ve been here almost 3 years now so I’ve sat in pretty much every seat in the house. My job role here is to make sure our awesome clients are getting great products delivered on time for their various needs. I also make sure the guys here are kept nice and busy with incoming enquiries and we’re providing a top service!

It sounds like a cliché but every day is different – which is the challenge! Sometimes you can be working on ideas for developing a client range – or you can be trying to shoehorn a huge t-shirt order in to our in-house print department. We work with a lot of retained accounts (such as print agencies) so it’s really great building relationships with customers and trying to develop their offering to their clients too. It’s all about working together!

My favourite thing about working here is the people. I know I’m not the first and won’t be the last to say it but there’s a great vibe and it genuinely feels like working with all your friends (we work hard though!)

If I could be any celebrity – I’d be that Robert De Niro chap. I think I’d just be constantly talking to myself so I could hear my own voice. He’s a pretty good actor too I guess (Taxi Driver being a personal choice). If we’re picking favourite songs, according to my iPod its Asleep At The Wheel by Transit (sorry guys they had to get mentioned somewhere) and as resident Argon DJ I make sure we’re always listening to what I (and only I ) think is good.

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Anyway I’m taking the pin out of the grenade and throwing it to the lovely girls in production and nominating Rebecca ‘Shoobs’ Burke for the next instalment. Bye for now!

 

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF OUR CREATIVE GENIUS, JAMESON ROGAN

Well hello there, my name’s Jameson (like the whiskey!) and I’m the junior designer/artworker here at Creative Emporium. When I’m not climbing hills, drawing or cooking I can be found hammering away at my keyboard visualising vectors and locating layers.

I¹ve been with this lovely bunch 7 months since moving to Leeds from the gem of the North East that is Teesside (home of locomotion, safety matches and most importantly, the parmo!).

Every day at Creative Emporium has a different and interesting challenge.  My main role as a junior designer/artworker is to help the artwork team with a vast array of tasks. This could include lending a hand to Kris, the King of artwork by making sure jobs are adhering to client’s brand guidelines. I can also be found designing collateral that delivers our client’s message with a visually impactful punch! Recently I’ve been working strenuously on large tenders with Christos, Creative Emporium’s very own Greek god of design!

The challenging aspects of the role will always be juggling jobs and meeting tight deadlines, but that¹s all part of the fun and nothing beats the feeling of seeing your work completed and a happy client.

The best thing about working at Creative Emporium is definitely the people. I’ve made some good friends here in Leeds and I get to work with them!

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If I could be any celebrity, it would have to be one of my favourite designers/artists Felipe Pantone, as I’m in awe of the work he produces. Or Tom Hardy because he’s Tom Hardy. My favourite song of all time is a toss up between Baby by Donnie & Joe Emmerson, as it is reminiscent of road trips with friends, or the classic Stand by Me by Ben E King.

I’d like to give a big thanks to Lauren the 3rd for nominating me for A Day in the Life blog post! It’s now time to hand the baton over to the affable Argonaut, Nick!

Fairtrade Fortnight 2017

Creative Emporium Does Fairtrade Fortnight!

Fairtrade Fortnight

With Fairtrade Fortnight starting today and running until Sunday 12th March, it’s time we told you what it’s all about. Fairtrade is an intrinsic part of who we are and we want to let you know just why it’s so important to us and the products we sell.

What is Fairtrade?

Chances are you’ve heard the word ‘Fairtrade’ used before but do you know what it really means? If not, it’s time to put this word on your radar and keep an eye out for it in all aspects of your life – from what you eat to the clothes you wear.

In essence, Fairtrade is about ensuring the farmers and workers throughout the chain of production get a fair share of the benefits and are treated as equally as those at the end. It ensures they get improved terms of trade and a better deal when it comes to their quality of work and earnings.

It’s not about charity; it’s about making sure people get what they deserve. When a product carries the Fairtrade mark, it means the producers and traders throughout the supply chain have met a certain set of internationally-recognised standards.

These guidelines ensure that the imbalance of power within trading relationships, the injustices of conventional trade and unstable markets are all eliminated as problems. It helps the farmers and workers to improve their lives significantly.

Foncho's finca near Rio Frio, Magdalena (near Santa Marta), Colombia. Photo: Eduardo Martino / documentography 01.10.2013

What is Fairtrade Fortnight?

Organised and funded by the Fairtrade Foundation since 1997, Fairtrade Fortnight takes place once a year and aims to raise awareness towards Fairtrade products and what it means to follow Fairtrade standards. The promotional campaign first began in Scotland and aimed to get every supermarket throughout the country stocking Fairtrade products.

This then expanded to the rest of the United Kingdom in 1998 before expanding internationally to countries including Canada, New Zealand and Australia. As part of Fairtrade Fortnight, events take place online, and all over the country at exhibitions and in stores.

Why Fairtrade?

Fairtrade is without a doubt the most ethical way of producing items. It ensures no one is neglected along the production and manufacturing line, and helps impoverished towns and individuals build a more successful, prosperous and consistent livelihood. It’s not about charity but about ensuring workers getting what they deserve and being entitled to fair conditions.

Fairtrade promotional products can have a great impact on your brand and company, showing that ethical behaviour and corporate responsibility is at the heart of what you do. If you want to show you care, this is the way to do it.

What products do we sell that are Fairtrade?

T-shirts:

If you haven’t already, it’s time to get to know Neutral; a pioneer of Fairtrade certified clothing. Every product which they produce is manufactured and certified according to the highest environmental, social and ethical standards in the world without compromising style and quality. Nothing feels as fashionable as Certified Responsibility; the knowledge that what you’re wearing is doing good throughout the production chain.

It doesn’t have to be tricky making clothes sustainably, thanks to Certified Responsibility helping to guide brands through the supply chain, ensuring everything from the cotton field to the final product is guaranteed to the highest of standards.

The 100% organic cotton is certified by GOTS. Wastewater and waste from the garments is treated according to the requirements demanded by the EU Ecolabel. Additionally alongside Fairtrade requirements, factory workers are able to work in conditions that meet the international labour standards set according to the SA8000. Furthermore Neutral is also compliant with Oeko-Tex certification. The production facilities in which the garments are produced is powered by renewable energy so no stone is left unturned or product left un-certified.

Cotton shoppers:

For a chic and eco-friendly all-in-one carrying solution, there’s also the Green & Good™ Fairtrade and Organic Cotton Shopper. Forget paying 5p for plastic carrier bags; these re-usable bags are made from unbleached natural cotton in India.

As well as being heavy duty, making them great for carrying both large and small items, they’re also biodegradable making them particularly friendly for the environment. Organic, recycled and fair trade, there’s plenty of good wrapped up into these ethically sourced bags.

Chocolate bars:

It’s one thing enjoying your chocolate bar, but it’s another thing knowing it’s Fairtrade. These chocolate bars are luxurious and high quality, but also completely ethically sourced ensuring that the cocoa-growing communities are never left without.

If you want to make a strong and positive statement about your brand, these are a great way to do it thanks to the digitally printed flat leaf label wrapped around the bar.

Over the next two weeks keep your eyes peeled for our further blog posts and promotional products!

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A day in the life of our wannabe Adele, Lauren Stewart

Hi there! Thank you to Sarah Morgan aka Morgs, aka Cat Lady, aka Lady with the Magic Hair, for putting me up to the blogging challenge!

So here we go….

My name is Lauren – the third Lauren to arrive at CE! It’s all very confusing! I’ve worked with the lovely folk at CE for the last 4 months as an Account Executive, and every day brings a new surprise or challenge to my desk! Whether it is sourcing a brand new piece of technology, or providing a bespoke merchandise item for a one off event – I’m your gal!

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I spend the majority of time speaking with lovely clients from BBC and intu amongst others, as well as the suppliers that we use to provide their merchandising requests. Everyone is so friendly and the relationships we build are really special.

The most challenging part of the role is juggling all the different jobs you have happening at the same time. From day to day I could be working on up to 20 jobs with a variety of different clients, and knowing what stage they are all at is a job in itself! But once the order is in and everything is agreed, thankfully the lovely Production girls do the rest of the hard work – Team work makes the dream work!

One of my favourite things about being an Account Executive is coming up with creative and innovative ideas for our clients. When someone comes to you with a brief of “I’m looking for something fun, new and exciting, but doesn’t cost anything”, you know you need your creative cap on to come up with the perfect thing. And 9 times out of 10, our team does!

Time for the random questions….

If you could be a celeb, who would you be and why?

I think I might be Adele – she’s a ginger power house, sings like an angel and parties like a legend. I feel like I’m halfway there…if only I could get the singing part!

What’s your favourite song of all time?

This is a horrible question, there are too many to choose just one! If I had to narrow it down right now, I’d choose one of my all time favourites because it makes me cry every time I hear it – “I’ll See You in My Dreams”, by an old school musician called Joe Brown. He used to headline above the Beatles back in the day! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKyCqZWdwHM.

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Thanks for your time and for reading my random gibberings. Have a fabulous fun filled day!

Jameson, while you are my favourite whiskey, you are also my favourite Junior Artworker and design magician – so for that reason, you’re up!

Lauren x

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A day in the life of our very own cat lady, Sarah Morgan

Hi, I’m Sarah (or Morgs if you like) and I’m originally from the best city on Earth: Newcastle-upon-Tyne. I graduated from Leeds with a degree in Geology but have stayed away from rocks ever since and instead dabbled in retail and eventually settled in my job here at Creative Emporium!

I have worked here as an Account Executive for 5 months and the best part of the company is definitely the amazing and lovely people I get to see 5 days of the week! Everyone is supportive of each others ideas, and so happy to help each other.

My day-to-day involves dealing with both existing and new customer’s requests and enquiries and supplying them with all their merchandise needs. I mainly work on the University of Manchester account, as well as doing bits and bobs for our other lovely clients such as BBC and DPD. I’m passionate about all things environmental, which is something I’ve channelled into my work by putting forward eco-friendly merchandise to my clients whenever possible.

My favourite part of my role is creative brainstorming and coming up with quirky and interesting ideas for clients, rather than the standard merchandise that some people think we’re limited to. Rather than a pencil, how about a pencil that grows into a tomato plant when you’re done? There are endless weird and wonderful promotional merchandise options and I love researching these for clients!

The most challenging part of my role is juggling 100 things in the air at once, but when you manage to pull everything off it is a great feeling and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

My hobbies include swimming, the occasional pub quiz, watching the football, and spending as much time as possible with my cat (I’m a real crazy cat lady). My cat Nelly is spoilt rotten and I spend a lot of my day boring my team with stories of her shenanigans.

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If I could be a celebrity I would definitely be Beyoncé for obvious reasons.  I’ve seen her live 4 times and not ashamed to say I’ve cried each time! She’s amazing and I love her.

My nominee for the next Day in the Life blog is my lovely Team 2 partner in crime: Lauren Stewart.

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A day at sea with our trusty eagle eyed guardian of the galaxy, Kris Eastwood

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see” said Henry David Thoreau… and in my role it truly is about what I see. In the ten years plus that I’ve been here, I’ve sure seen some! I’m Kris by the way and I have a double hitter of a job title in Senior Artworker / Brand Guardian. I started out as a junior here in a sizably smaller incarnation of what we have now. I’m a swift stroller in terms of how I arrive each morning and that’s been true since the day I was interviewed when I slightly disproportionate map concealed the true length of the journey ahead. These days I’m better known for my eyes. Some describe them as the windows to our soul but these bright blues bear more similarities with a colossal fishing net, cast out over a vast sea of visuals capturing all and retaining its mighty hold.

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Once upon a time I did it all, from initial visuals and amends to approving proofs and preparing print ready artwork. I set up separation’s, ran transfers and all that in between. I now work alongside some zealous shipmates who help me navigate the choppy waters of initial visuals whilst the separations and transfers are done in our adjacent unit across the way. Once the visuals are complete, they are canon-balled over to myself for a super strong eyeballing to ensure that everything is all on-brand and equally important — possible!

I use an ancient golden compass to help define what is on-brand and off-brand and that’s been a trusty aid in my time aboard this ship. That might concern anything from an exclusion zone or minimum size to a colour or typeface. All in all it means I need to have a far-reaching grasp on each and every brand that we work with, which is where the brand training and inductions come into play. Ask what I received for ones birthdate last year and I’ll be walking the timber beam in a blindfold but rack ones brain for the Pantone reference of a client from our vast and abundant fleet and I can pin point that with the tip of a sword.

The challenges come thick and fast and often I do have to batten down the hatches preparing for the storm. Artwork will always be ruler of these seas and it does mean other internal tasks are given a momentary heave ho. Yet I do come back to them when opportunity knocks and the tide has calmed once more.

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For those involved within art and design I’ve often found that there’s always a hunger for ‘satisfaction’ and in this role that would be my chosen characteristic. We have the ability to take a scattering of rubble, bind that together, shine it up real swell and leave it looking like long lost treasure. We untangle the nets of untidy briefs, sweep the decks and generally ensure its all shipshape, on-brand and looking handsomely. We flourish with our fix of appreciation and consume that in abundance creating some remarkable gems that would shiver anyone’s timbers. Basically I don’t let the substandard pass, until they’ve been chiseled with precision, akin to the beauty of a traditional mermaid figurehead.

Over the last six months, I’ve had the opportunity to mentor a duo of new starters and truly enjoyed working with the privateers that I have been dealt, showing them the ropes and welcoming them to the crew here. I coordinate a scheme with a local social enterprise which scours our ocean floor for any useful scrap resources. One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure and that’s the case here as all our tubes, bobbins and pots are collected and averted from their otherwise landfill destination.

Away from the Crow’s Nest, you might find me frequenting one of our intermission establishments.  I’ve been able to acquire a quartet of games for our ‘room of ruckus’, with a pool table, a ping pong table, a table football and a giant draughts board! I’ve been known to spend many a lunch-time out there and one day they may even re-label one of the cabins in my name.

If I were to overthrow the life of a famous landlubber I would choose the one known as Chris Pratt. Not because he is the actor I adore most — that distinction lies elsewhere… but who wouldn’t want the opportunity to ride alongside velociraptors, battle aliens with a psychotic raccoon and a giant walking talking tree whilst chanting “everything is awesome” over and over again. All this is without citing the forthcoming act of being lost in space with Jennifer Lawrence, playing Cowboy’s with Denzel and the whispered role he has in the next Avengers flick.

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Even though we’re all hand hoay, we treat our ears to a shivering sum of tunes from near and far. You’ll often find us joining in with Craig Charles and the folk over at the BBC in their sixth form. To name a song that stands above all others is a testing task and one that changes like the wind but were I to choose today, it would be the mighty Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here”.

Next contributor you ask? In the spirit of this transcript… Ahoy Captain Morgan!

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Team CE take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks!

As part of our ongoing commitment to raising money for our partner charity St Gemmas Hospice, some of the team recently tackled the Yorkshire Three Peaks!

The walk is a blister inducing 24 miles covering Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. Beautiful views but a hard earned hike in order to see them!

The team undertook this monumental effort last Saturday waking up at 4am to ensure they were at the start line nice and early! The walk was completed in 10 hours and 45 mins, not bad considering the mixed ability of walkers – from the superfit to the self-confessed couch potatoes, everyone worked together to get to the finish and a well-earned drink in the pub!

Our intrepid explorers!

Our intrepid explorers!

For all the stat fans out there, see below for some key facts:

3 peaks
62,026 steps
4000 calories burnt
532 floors
Countless Blisters
10 Broken nails (and two lost ones!)

Overall the team managed to raise a fantastic £1747.00 (and counting!) Well done to everyone involved, here’s to the next event!

If you would like to donate, please visit our Just Giving page by clicking here

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A Day in the Life of Our Quiz Master and Cooking Legend Lauren Faulkner

Hi! I am Lauren / Lozza or Faulks as some people might call me! I am a Mad Mank originating from Mancunia as Tony Wilson once said ‘This is Manchester, we do things differently here’. I have been with CE for over two years working as an Account Executive within the Uniform Team. As well as keeping my team giggling throughout the day, I currently oversee six of the uniform clients, including two of the teams largest clients and overall providing uniform to almost 300 sites. This involves dealing with any enquiries from clients, providing ideas for new ranges, putting together presentations to show clients how good their uniform range could be as well as dealing with day to day production flow.

One of the most challenging areas of my role is managing various roll outs of uniform, as we are often faced with very tight deadlines and copious amounts of garments however this is also one of the most rewarding parts of my role because as a team we always pull it out of the bag and it is great to see the end result! It is definitely worth the challenge!

My favourite aspect of my particular role has to be presenting new ideas to clients in a variety of way to ensure the clients have the best product range possible for them. I enjoy watching a range develop and seeing this through to the end, it is so rewarding!! Working at CE over the past two years has allowed me to work with some great people on a daily basis who are always willing to help and share their wealth of knowledge, no matter how busy they may be which adds value to a job in my opinion.

If I could be a celebrity I would definitely be Shirley Bassey – she has a banging voice. My hobbies include being an experimental cook, occasionally taking part in quizzes, spreading my sarcastic humour and photography. I love to travel and when I do, my camera is always a must have for the journey! As well as these, I enjoy different genres of music but if I had to choose one song as a favourite it would HAVE to be Moonage Daydream by David Bowie.

My nomination for the next day in the lift of has to be Josiah… PEACE!

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A day in the life of our leading lady and make-up extraordinaire – Charlotte Hooper

Hi!  I’m Charlotte Hooper or more commonly known Hoops, Chaz, Charlie or Hoopy – (use that one at your own peril!) I have been with CE 3 and a half years – I began my journey as an Account Executive and I progressed up to my current role as Account Manager, where I now look after 12 of our UK and EMEA accounts. I have a lovely team of 3 ladies and gain regular support from my Account Director with any issues that may arise. My main role is to manage my team effectively and ensure we meet the agreed margins and targets, as well as fulfilling client strategies and of course maintaining our close relationship with our key contacts across the various clients.

Although I have gained experience over my 3 and a half years of being with CE, I still come across challenges within my role such as relinquishing control and handing over certain orders to other aspects of the business. So in short – I’m a control freak! One of the most stressful parts of the job is dealing with courier services – they’re extremely difficult at times. I do however, think my problem solving abilities do manage to overcome these challenges more often that not with the help of our amazing production department.

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Without question, my favourite aspect of my role is building and maintaining relationships with my clients, getting out of the office to meet new people and being thrown in the deep end and tackling new experiences! I enjoy working on a project from the initial briefing stage, seeing this through to the end and gaining feedback on how the items have been received. I now also love managing a team of people, discovering their goals and ambitions and helping them work towards them any way I can.

I love working at CE as it gives me a chance to work on such a broad range of different types of clients, it has been such a valuable experience. From retail high street brands to corporate entities and sporting manufacturers, I get to deal with all of them!

If I could play music at my desk all day, although I have too many favourite songs to pick only one, anything by Adele or the Dirty Dancing soundtrack would be my winner! If I could be a celebrity I would definitely be Scarlett Johansson or Jennifer Lawrence. They’re both amazingly talented, focused and beautiful and they can both have a good giggle and don’t take themselves too seriously = #girlcrush #lifegoals!!