this is what one week looks like working for an independent designer
Working for a small business and comes with a special kind of to-do list, one that varies each day, especially when said business is growing exponentially. I took notes a few weeks ago after each day at work to shed some light on my day-to-day and how i am productive.
M O N D A Y
I got to work a little earlier than normal because we’ve been on a sort of time crunch to get a big lighting order out the door. My boss is actually leaving this morning for Boston to deliver the order in person because it’s our first major commercial project! But the main reason is that we are saving a ton of money and shipper’s headache by delivering it ourselves instead of shipping it via a commercial carrier. She and her husband have also just arrived. We package the last few fixtures according to where they will be installed at the destination address. While we (me and two others) prep the van, my boss is actually wiring a lighting order for a client that needs to ship today as part of our regular production. Once both are complete, we meet at our “conference table” to discuss the week ahead since she and her husband will be gone. She also congratulated us on an amazing first quarter! We are supposed to get office margaritas because we exceeded our goal x 2.5! They gather a few extra lighting parts just incase something is scratched during installation, and they head out the door. Our production assistant isn’t scheduled for the day, so he heads out, too. I spend the rest of the morning handling open-orders and processing new orders from the weekend, and then i break for lunch around 2pm. Around 3pm, i leave to drop off that lighting order from earlier. It takes me about 45 mins since traffic is so busy downtown now that it is springtime in Savannah. I get back and answer a few emails from while i was out. I spend the next hour or so researching and designing for an upcoming lighting launch. I tidy up and head out late to miss the 5-oclock traffic since it’s gym day.
T U E S D A Y
I arrive to the studio before our building is technically open. After i unlock everything and turn lights on, i usually spend the first 30 mins to an hour reading through emails to prioritize the day. Lighting orders filtered in pretty steadily, so I had a stack of orders to process for production. Once i processed, i began assembling orders for production by pulling parts for each order to make sure we have what we need in-stock and note any parts we need to order. I begin production on a few orders by washing all the parts so that they are prepped for finishing and assembly. When I’m done i break for lunch around noon. After lunch i put together sample kits for the swatch requests i received that morning. The next two hours are dedicated to finishing up some graphic design i’m doing for emails our customers receive when they place orders through our website.
W E D N E S D A Y
I start the work day again around 9am by washing parts right away so that production stays on track, even though we are pretty behind (EVERYTHING IS FINE). Today is a bit here and there, just keeping up with emails and processing orders while sketching out new ideas for upcoming lighting production. I also finish up the new email designs and begin communicating with our web tech on implementing them and working through any modifications that need to be made so that it functions with the backend of our site.
T H U R S D A Y
My boss arrived back in town today. I wasn’t sure if she would come into the studio, but i arrived a few minutes early to tidy up anyway. Our space is kind of cramped right now since we are prepping for ICFF, catching up on regular production, and we are in the process of moving to a larger space. Oh, and that all has to happen by MAY. (again….IT’S GONNA BE FINE). It’s a little crazy around the studio with everything we have on our plates but things are running pretty smoothly since we’re all-hands-on-deck. I spend the rest of the day processing orders and prototyping a few new designs to present, probably tomorrow.
F R I D A Y
I spend the morning getting Katy up to speed on what’s been going on while her and Drew were out of town, and she gives me a list of projects to prioritize for the day. We have to do a lot of wiring for lights that need to ship by the end of the day, so i prep any lights that will be wired and begin to wash parts for orders that need to go out next week. The day is pretty busy while everyone tries to get on the same page again. We end the day around 5pm, ready for a refreshing break over the weekend to prep our minds for a busy next week! I have beach plans for tomorrow, and basically the rest of the summer…!!