My Lush experience; from Happy Customer to over the moon Employee.


My first experience of Lush was just about 10 years ago, when I saw the bright colours of the merchandising, the display of the boxing hares with the words “fight animal testing” and of course that unforgettable smell. The fact that I had been a vegetarian the majority of my life and having lived in South Africa for the first 14 years, where products like this were reasonably rare and high priced, not to mention the fact that I was predominantly covered in dirt and chillin’ with animals as a kid so bathing and cosmetics wasn’t high on my priorities list. I only learned what my mothers concealer stick was after I had moved to England and someone was using one before a games lesson in year 9. As if the shock of emigration wasn’t enough, I had to find out concealer wasn’t a lip balm? So many things were learnt in the coming years and the Internet, bloggersphere and High Street became my jungle. 
As my earnings increased after leaving school and managing to work and study full time, my interests and cultural experiences increased as did the yearning for more. For the past 6/7 years, I’d been a Barista and as much as I love coffee and the amount of opportunities the industry offered, my learning and understanding of running a business became stale.

I was made redundant 3 days before Christmas as a Barista working from a sweet little setup from the back of a Piaggio Ape in a small town called Rugby. The job had perks and was enjoyable, I got to experiment with incorporating more of a creative aspect into the everyday workings of the business and learned what true OCD is. It opened doors for networking and opportunities for future business. But it wasn’t something that was going to last, and I eventually got bored and frustrated. I had become too comfortable with being uncomfortable and if not for being let go, I’d hate to see where my head would have been now. However it taught me so much that I will never forget and I’m thankful for that. So on Christmas Eve, feeling slightly lost and confused, I still needed to grab a couple of Christmas presents and something to perk myself up too. Because I’m just not good at shopping with a deadline, even if it is an annual thing, I’m just not great, okay?


Amy, my best friend and I drove to Coventry and as soon as we arrived we went straight to Lush. The store was super busy and had a positive energy as soon as you entered the store. I picked my things whilst being consulted by a couple of the staff members with Amy also being talked through the appropriate products for her. The conversations were friendly yet casual and honest with fantastic product knowledge and easily one of my favourite experiences when shopping for others as well as myself. We went over to purchase our choices excitedly and the items were wrapped up whilst they were still having a friendly chat and a few laughs over casual Christmas and retail banter. Overall we left happy with the whole experience and continued discussing it all the way to the car. By the time we arrived, we had both agreed that we couldn’t wait to use the products and that it would be amazing to work there because of the abundance of positivity that left with us from the whole atmosphere created by the staff and the products combined.

Shortly after the New Year, I got myself a waitressing job that another friend Bex told me about, just for a few months to see me through until I would find the right job that would fit around my personal business goals with the Birmingham Film Festival and Sneakerclub UK. Plus one that would benefit me in a positive way (ways even I wasn’t totally sure about but I felt like I would know when I saw it), whilst also paying the bills. After having had the experiences with working for companies with ethical principles that didn’t particularly match my beliefs, I restricted myself somewhat in where I would be willing to work and continued my search for that job. I went for a couple of interviews at other places that I thought would interest me and fit that category. Only to turn them down when it got to crunch time. All this time, my subconscious was still toying with the idea of working for Lush. I continued looking online for any available vacancies at Lush, however the only available roles were out of my “realistic zone” so I continued on my search.


Then, after running out of my Tea Tree Water I lasted a week without it and nearly had a nervous breakdown, consulted the website for anything else that I’d like and definitely wanted a bath bomb for my new fancy bath in my new flat. So convinced Amy that another Lush trip was due. We again, drove there, reminiscing about our most recent experience that previous Christmas Eve. We wondered over my eyes zoned in on a poster in the window. I was in gleeful disbelief, immediately got my phone out and took a photo and showed Amy. Then proceeded to have the exact same experience as before. Had a cheeky mention of the job role and told them I would be applying as soon as I got home and then left feeling totally and ridiculously excited to type up my cover letter and amend my CV. That evening, I did just that and sent off my application proudly. Then continued to wait for a response.

That week I had been having problems with my iPad/iPhone storage and Internet. Struggling to send and receive emails, iMessages, texts, really anything based around communication. Plus in my flat, I only get signal at the window in my lounge. So I was having a tiny excess build up of anxiety brought on by being excited/nervous and also frustrated with my devices. The day of the application deadline, I started to worry as I hadn’t heard anything. I finally managed to sort out my iCloud storage and low and behold I had received an invite to a group interview at 10AM that morning. I was devastated, because it was what I had feared most. I had not received the email on time and I was halfway through the interview, but 20 miles away sat in shock on my sofa. Wondering wether or not I was going to go into a catatonic state or full on body sobbing I made a quick decision after doing a bit of both for five minutes. I immediately called and and after a few unsuccessful attempts I finally got hold of Davey, the manager and explained everything. He was super cool and understanding and arranged another interview for Saturday and I couldn’t wait! 

That Saturday I hopped on the train after a delay (Sod’s law), arriving ten minutes later and practically ran to the store. Arrived and shortly after introducing myself to a few new and familiar faces, I went upstairs into the Lush scented cloud and sat comfortably in my chair across from Davey and Paige and proceeded on with the interview. Looking back, I’m not 100% sure I remember it. I tend to not dwell on interviews after completing them for long. I just know I had a great time and about 20 minutes after I left, I had a call back inviting me to a trial shift that afternoon. I was so nervous but also excited, because I knew that that showed in my interview, it magnified in my head x100. So I went home, got some paperwork and got back on the train after a coffee and had a read through of the Lush Times (the Bible of Lush products).


Once I arrived back and found myself feeling slightly stressed (which comes with the territory of using experience from previous jobs and attempting to make it translate well into what I was doing at the time) although I was mostly confident in my actions and decisions. After completing a few different tasks and scenarios, we went back upstairs and I was told that I would hear back after Tuesday and regardless of the outcome, they would be happy to give feedback regarding the interview. Then they surprised me with a gift set, which was a really kind gesture! I was super surprised by that. I then set off home with my gift set and my hopes to get the job increased by 110%, excited to use the products and even more excited to find out if I had got the job.


So on the following Tuesday, I had just started work at my waitressing job and I got the call I had been waiting for. Davey started it off with “I’d like to give you some feedback regarding the interview”. My heart sunk, but I somehow managed to cover my premature disappointment and responded something along the line of “okay cool” and he eventually told me that I got the job and I can’t even remember my reaction. It was pure joy. And I handed in my resignation at my little part time transition job later that evening after my shift.

Lush as a business, had me hooked me from the start. From the atmosphere in store created by the knowledgable and friendly staff who know their products and are really trying to give you a fantastic experience overall if you let them. Then I float toward the products and packaging design, boasting a grand selection of incredible fresh vegan and vegetarian products to suit all needs. For me the most important bit, their ethics as a company and the campaigns they fight for, all of which are in depth and transparent with their business. Their ideas of business are highly commendable and should be looked at as an inspiration for all companies in my opinion. And I feel I have the knowledge and experience based on 10 years of working within a selection of companies in multiple industries.


Lush campaigns have mostly aligned with the campaigns I support and have been supporting for my entire life. I am their fan and loyal ambassador, through and through. The fact that I now work in one of their stores, is an amazing opportunity and I’m so happy to be there and get up and go to work in such a creative business with such a fantastic team who all show support for one another and are filled with an incredible amount of energy, you can’t help but feel positive being there. It’s only been 3 days so obviously there is still a lot of training and a lot of work involved that I don’t even know about yet, but I get a great vibe that makes me want to be a better person and business owner/leader now and continuing into the future. And this is the perfect addition to my ongoing experience. And look forward to the experiences!

That was super long and I’m sorry if I waffled. But I am apparently quite over editing this as it should of been posted almost 2 days ago now. I’ve been very good at doing all my other things on my to do list as a form of avoiding finishing and posting this post. I even booked in the doctor and went to about 3 meetings. Any way expect another post soon!

Love

Skye

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CALLING ALL CREATIVES! Birmingham Film Festival

I originally wrote this post a few days ago, but I found out that I got a job at Lush in Coventry as a Supervisor, which is something im also stupidly excited about so I will be writing a post about that! Plus I was super busy sorting bits out that I forgot to actually post this! 

  

The Birmingham Film Festival is one of my favourite current and ongoing projects. And if you haven’t heard about it yet, read on! I am super excited to be the Lead Creative, Event Co-ordinator and Blog Editor (which will be launching incredibly soon, so keep checking my Twitter and the Festivals for updates!). On how I managed to find myself in this position, I will write a separate post in the near future and I will also include a little more about my involvement and goals within the film industry. But back to the festival! 

This will be its first year and we are looking to make it fantastic. With submissions from all over the globe, now having received entries from over half of the countries in the world, it’s Birmingham’s only International Film Festival. And the best bit is that an incredibly diverse array of creatives will be running the scene. Each day will be different from before and boast a vibrant buzz in the creative heart of the city. 

There will be 3 days of features, shorts and documentaries showing in the main theatre which will be the beautiful, Mockingbird Theatre that is situated within one of my favourite places in the world, the Custard Factory in Birmingham. Seminars, conventions and Q&As with special guests. Distributors, producers and press from all over the world will be on hand to see the films screened and be available for the guests to network with. All films, all genres and all people are welcome.   

 

As well as all of the above, there will be a hearty line-up and continuous stream of live entertainment that will continue throughout the weekend. And selection of amazing artists will be creating Limited Edition t-shirts that will be released and sold running up to and during the festival. To which the sale of each one sold will be split between the artist, their chosen charity and the festival (in order to cover costs and sales tax). The original pieces will be exhibited throughout the festival and then later will be available to buy at a charity auction, where the proceeds of the pieces will be split between the artist and a charity of their choice. Live art installations, drink and draw evening, film related pub quiz, a Coffee Stall Pop Up, boutique stores and an array of great and wonderful food vendors to satisfy the hangries and the foodies.

Other events and networking opportunities will be announced closer to the date. Including seminars, Q&As, conventions and expos. These will be free to enter. There will also be a large selection of the industry’s top companies and film schools will be in attendance for advice and careers opportunities. There will be special guest judges from many different areas of the industry who will be reviewing all the nominees and selecting the winners. Awards will be handed out at a Gala Awards Ceremony at the end of the festival, to which everyone is welcome to attend.

Birmingham Film Festival is a collaboration. And every artist, creative and film maker involved will be working towards creating a common goal of promoting the arts and their own skills in a positive and creative atmosphere. It will be different every single day and we will be creating the atmosphere with your help. It’s a Film Festival, we gotta create the scene! 

We are still looking for more film makers, bloggers, musicians, artists, comedians, poets and anyone else who would like to discuss any other exciting bits we’ve got going on. So email me at skyedraws@icloud.com or comment below, tweet me, send parchment via carrier pigeon. And if you are looking to submit your own film or documentary, information on submitting and to submit go here. Which ever way you choose, just make sure you do it. There will be something for everyone so keep the dates in your calendars which are the 25th, 26th, 27th of November. Running up to the festival I would like to create a blog dedicated to the artists, musicians, film makers and all others involved. There will be anything and everything regarding the festival and we will be running prize draws and such for readers, including tickets, original art works, prints, merchandise and more! 

  
So as you can probably tell, there is a large to do list, but the pros of checking off a section on my list, will (pretty much with all the will power I possess), turn into a blog post. I have so much planned for the blog and the festival it’s unreal. But I am driven by the excitement of having this down right cool and amazing (yet equally terrifying) opportunity. And I am motivated to the point of working at strange times and having problems with falling asleep because I’m thinking of so many different tasks and ideas. One thing is for sure though, I can’t say I have nothing to do or that I’m bored. I have to say this again, I am so grateful for this. It’s my biggest challenge yet and I am ready for this jelly, B. 

Love

Skye

 

Sneakerclub Clothing UK and lil ol’ me

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I am wearing the Sneakerclub Clothing Bespoke Handmade Noir Black Cotton Bomber.

Earlier on in the year, I hopped on the train to Birmingham to have a meeting with a couple of the founders of the Birmingham Film Festival to discuss, you guessed it, the Birmingham Film Festival. (I will be posting about BFF soon so subscribe to be updated.) It was a wonderfully crisp and sunny spring day in the city. Upon my arrival my first goal as per, was getting a coffee from my New Street Station usual stop, Joe’s Coffee. I then ventured down into the Creative Quarter that is the wonderfully colourful and inspiring heart of the city, Digbeth.

I happily sipped and merrily strolled down Digbeth High Street, having a quick yearning stare into COW Vintage, but continued on due to forced restraint by empty purse. As I was taking snapchats of the sights and blissfully sipping my coffee, unaware that this snapchat would result in recording a video of myself dropping my coffee on my phone, temporarily making it unusable, to my dismay not being able to save what could of been comedy gold of my reaction. Utter devastation.

But shortly after that I was distracted by my arrival at my destination, the beautifully historic and characterful Custard Factory. Home to a plethora of new start-ups and independents and a few bigger names such as ASOS. It boasts a fantastic creative and working atmosphere. From artists and screen printers to bespoke handmade clothing and graphic design houses. It’s one of the most friendly and creative places you will ever go and you’re bound to find something (or more realistically, too many things) that will make you stop with delight and admiration.

As I wondered and darted round the courtyard looking my usual weird self, photographing the venue and taking notes for the festival, I got talking to a couple of guys (and mostly a Great Dane/small horse. I was in my element.) who work in the Barbers opposite the reception. Whilst talking about the festival and being asked what I’m doing which tends to happen a lot, a suave and genuinely polite guy approached me. He introduced himself as Ant and explained that he has designed a range of genderless clothing and he noticed me from a distance and couldn’t help but approach me and ask me a couple of questions.

I was intrigued and reasonably taken aback by his cool, not creepy compliments on my personal style and his appreciation of me wearing no make up. (The make up thing was eye opening, because I always judge myself on the fact that my skin is horrid when I don’t wear make up blah blah, but it isn’t at all and I need to have more confidence in myself, we all do, because sometimes the things we are most vulnerable about, can be our strong point and it just takes others, even complete strangers to make us realise it!) We continued chatting about a few of his ideas and Ant briefly explained what the whole company is about he asked me if I would be interested in discussing modelling and perhaps being the face of the brand. I, of course said yes as this to me is an opportunity I’ve always wanted and I could not pass it up. I needed to continue on with my meeting, so we said our goodbyes and I (on the inside was having a tiny squeal of disbelief mixed with excitement but trying to act cool) casually walked back to the café to carry on with festival planning. Then later that day I added Ant on Instagram and arranged a coffee to discuss the opportunity further.

A few days later I was back on the train to Birmingham and again whilst making snapchats of my walk down with my coffee I had a tiny breakdown due to jealousy of a crowd of well dressed people flocking in my direction each holding purple vintage kilo sale bags filled with what I assumed to be more clothing delights. I walked through holding my head and coffee cup high, whilst continuing down my usual route to the Custard Factory making snapchats of my emotions brought on by the purple bags. I made my way to reception and asked for Ant. I was taken round to the greatly decorated seating area to where Ant and I greeted each other and promptly got to discussing my role within the brand, to the preferred styling and everything in between.

We went through the samples of what I would be wearing and I was so impressed. Every piece was thoughtfully and carefully constructed. With no ties to any gender these pieces are perfect staple garments that can be worked into your own personal style and will compliment anybodies wardrobe. The concept and clothes were sold to me in a heart beat. Halfway through the meeting another cool cat strolled on into the room. A gent by the name Of Kacey Jones, the man behind Dark Traits, a brand with a fantastic array of beautifully finished hand made hats, check it out here. We were generally chatting and realised that I knew the face of his company, he was a regular customer from when I was working on a cool little Piaggio Coffee Cart in Rugby. Matt Robinson is the owner of the ever so popular Mr Robinsons Barber Shop in the small town of Rugby where I am currently living. A small world getting even smaller with coincidence. So after a great afternoon of discussions and chatting, I left Ant to the planning of the shoot and I went home excited to await further instructions and dates and times of the shoot. Shortly after that I was hopping on the train again for the shoot…
For a sneak peak here of what happened behind the scenes video of the shoot for my collaboration with Sneakerclub Clothing UK click here. And I will be posting a more in depth post on the company, the amazing clothes and of course, the man behind the collection. I’ll be posting on Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat (iamwwolvess) more often so follow me on there for more updates!

I am still slightly in a happy/shocked state, I was clearly in the right place at the right time for this one. And I can’t explain my gratitude towards Ant for being such a great guy to work with. And I can’t wait to see and help the brand grow.
Let me know what your thoughts are towards the concept of genderless clothing and what you think of the clothes in the comments below.
Love

Skye

I actually did it…

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Hello, welcome and firstly, thank you for reading my first post.

This post has been put off and shunned by me and it didn’t deserve that. However the first post is a lot less scary to write when I’ve already written the next one because of my seemingly excellent ways in which I’ve persistently distracted myself from completing a version of this one that I was even remotely happy with. (I am the laziest perfectionist you will ever come across.)

Better late then never, as they say, now that there is nothing holding me back and all I wish to do is write all the other posts I have in mind and get this bad boy online.

My name is Skye Morgan, I’m a South African currently living in a small town near Birmingham in the UK. I am a Creative Collaborator. I dabble in illustration, I adore analogue photography and my therapist is a pen and paper. My cats are my children and my career is my baby. Coffee is my blood type. I live for festivals, art, music and film. I’m addicted to clothes, shoes and hats and I have a growing collection of pot plants and film cameras that are my pride and joy. This blog is a place for me to write and review my thoughts, current projects, past projects and future projects; a digital sketchbook and journal collection of my personal experiences ranging from emigration to retail management and anything else I might find inspiring or of particular interest.

I’ve been preoccupied with other areas of my life needing urgent attention to which I put my blogging and entire creative side of me on the back burner for far too long. I’m the type of person who needs to lock myself away from the world for a little while in order to create anything and recharge. It’s like I become a different person, when finally pushed and feeling motivated, I can manage to push myself further than I expected in the first place which in turn, makes me happy and more likely to continue. But I was thrown into a few things that took the urge to continue with my previous blog away for years followed by procrastination and excuses on my part (more on these interruptions later) up until a few months ago when when I was made redundant and something in me fired up. And has since been growing stronger and acting as the driving force behind two filled to the brim sketchbooks and an abundance of researching and planning has finally lead to a starting point I am happy with. I don’t particularly strive to achieve an end goal but to rather focus on the development and progress along the way. To keep planning and doing, with no end in sight. A completely different approach in comparison to the rest of my life.

I’ve started this blog in order to mainly better myself through my subjectivities and passions and give myself an added reason to start and finish projects and upload for feedback. It is also a showcase of my creative processes and my attempts to understanding them and myself. I’ve lived more lives in the past 24, nearly 25 years than I ever thought I would and there are things that need to be said, subjects that should be addressed and experiences that will be documented. And my hope is that my blog becomes the light out of my darkest hours. And I have a few ideas that have been with me for what feels like forever and I can’t wait to finish what I started.

So I’ll keep it short and sweet for now so I can get to writing the good stuff!

Love
Skye

If you’re interested in collaborating  email me at: skyedraws@icloud.com and feel free to ask me anything in the comments below!