As you may already know, throughout May this year we held our very own #meetthemaker month, which included spotlights every day on the wonderful artists we stock here at iapetus.
We are now excited to share this special blog post with you, as we showcase our very own Meet The Team! We all hope you have fun getting to know the iapetus family and encourage you to pop into our Malvern or Worcester store to say hello in person!
Iapetus has been in business for (almost) 14 years and within that time, the team has changed and grown. The iapetus family are a bit of a crazy bunch (we would be the first people to admit to it!) and we all have a hand in running the shops on a day-to-day basis. We are the folks at the end of the phone when you call us, we are the ones packing up your web orders and we are of course here to wrap up your gorgeous goodies in-store, too!
If you are local to either of our stores you may recognise some of the lovely faces below, or if you shop online with us you may remember some of our names from the hand-written notes we put in to every web order. Without any further ado, here is the iapetus gallery #dreamteam!
1. How long have you been working at iapetus and what store are you based in?
G : I have been with iapetus for nine years! I originally worked in the Malvern store and then when we opened the Worcester store that became my main store.
Rex : I’ve been working at iapetus for six years now! I work in both the Malvern and Worcester stores.
Lynn : I have been working at iapetus Malvern for four years.
Hannah : I have been working at iapetus for three years, but did previously work here for about a year in 2013. I came back like a boomerang because everyone is so lovely here!
Ryan : Somehow I’ve not been fired from iapetus Worcester for four years.
Catt : I have been here at iapetus for just over a year and I am based in the Worcester store and have a few shifts in the Malvern store.
Leah : I have been with iapetus for just over a year and I am based in the Malvern store, with one or two shifts a week in Worcester.
Katie : I have been working here at iapetus for nearly a month now and I am based in the Worcester store!
Ella : I have been working at iapetus for a couple of weeks now and I mostly work in the Malvern store.
2. What is one of your favourite pieces we stock?
G : I have to admit to a slight addiction to Dawn Maciocia’s cushions …
Rex : Katherine Bree’s mismatched earrings – I’ve got three pairs!!!
Lynn : Anything with a cat on it!
Hannah : I love Katherine Bree’s chunky necklaces! I have to try them all on when we get the new collection in before they zoom out quickly out of the door!
Ryan : One of Dave Mckeen’s four drawer wooden boxes with a secret hip flask inside – gotta love a secret tipple!
Catt : Anything with a moonstone in it, or something to do with a llama – the festive felt ones are too cute!
Ella : Any of the Kutuu keyrings.
3. What’s your favourite job to do at work?
G : Organising. Be it stock in the cupboard, re-displaying the card wall or maintaining our extensive stock system. I’m very methodical, so a job going through re-coding a whole range of items – while it would bore the pants off some folks – I love doing so everything is consistent! Cooing over new stock especially the sparkly things would be a very close second.
Rex : I love opening our deliveries when they arrive – getting a sneak peek at the new stock is great!
Lynn : Chatting and having a laugh with the customers and helping them buy the right items and add-ons … basically I just like selling!
Hannah : My favourite job is changing and generally titivating the displays! I do love a good natter with a friendly customer too … not that that’s a chore!
Ryan : Apart from poking a bit of fun at my colleagues and chatting to the lovely customers we get, there have been a few jobs that I’ve found to be quite satisfying – such as working out how best to display the lovely Jo Downs shoaling fish. As one of the taller members of staff, over the years I’ve had to find enjoyment in doing the ‘tall person things’ that my vertically challenged colleagues can’t quite manage.
Catt : Anything to do with displays – whether it be re-arranging the jewellery cabinets or changing the window, I love displaying our stock to show it off at its best! Building our Christmas departments are always great fun too! It really gets you in the festive spirit and it’s all worth the celebration on the opening day!
Leah : I love doing the displays and have been able to do more recent window displays in both Malvern and Worcester.
Katie : I’m not sure yet, as I haven’t worked here for long but I do like getting the web-orders together (as long as I can find everything!).
Ella : I enjoy doing the web orders!
4. How do you take your tea?
G : Green tea with jasmine (bag left in) in the morning then a normal cuppa (just milk) for ‘foursies’ in the afternoon.
Rex : Earl grey, please! No milk or sugar!
Lynn : Chai tea, 2 sweeteners and milk.
Hannah : A proper tea with milk and half a sugar, with a side of chocolate (it’s always Rex who brings the chocolate … never me!).
Ryan : A bit presumptuous that I don’t take coffee! I like my tea with two sugars (because I’m not sweet enough) and some milk. I also go through phases of drinking coffee which I take with two sugars and milk.
Catt : I love a good cuppa of Earl Grey tea, 2 sugars and a drop of milk in my favourite floral mug!
Leah : Earl Grey to get me going in the mornings and then a fruity tea thoroughout the day.
Katie : It has to be tea with one sugar and a splash of milk. It is the superior way!
Ella : A tea with one or two sugars and a little milk.
5. If you could learn to make anything we stock, what would it be?
G : I’d be intrigued to see the thinness of the saw Dave McKeen uses for his wooden boxes. Having a go with a laser cutter that some of our greetings cards and light boxes have been made with would also be good, although probably not something I should be let loose with! I have an image of a massive ‘evil genius’ laser, but I suspect the reality is a little less impressive.
Rex : I would love to be able to make the Nick Hubbard team’s teeny tiny charms – the amount of detail in them amazes me!
Lynn : Probably anything by Linda Lovatt. I like the idea of using random pieces of items to create something different and lovely.
Hannah : I’ve always fancied having a go at artistic black smithing, so a day with the amazing team at Belltrees Forge in Scotland would be fab!
Ryan : I find this one a tricky one to answer to be totally honest. There are some things that instantly spring to mind such as Justin Duance’s wooden rings or Ian Roberts’ fantastic clocks which I’m sure both would be interesting to learn how to make. However if I think about it more there are plenty of other smaller items that seem simple but must have a real knack to make them – such as carving one of the Tilnar soapstone elephants. There are also some suppliers that I think it would be fun to spend a day learning from them in their workshop after having good chats with them over the years and from admiring their work – such as Fi Mehra, although I think I’d just annoy her to the point of being kicked out!
Catt : Anything to do with ceramics, so Tregear Pottery comes to mind first – not only is it gorgeous but its all hand thrown and painted. I would just love to have a go at pottery anyway!
Leah : I love the stationery we sell here from Paper High and I’m currently trying out some book binding techniques of my own!
Ella : Anything by Dawn Maciocia!
6. Tell us something interesting about yourself.
G : I’m a pirate.
Rex : I have a teeny papillion-cross-chihuahua puppy called Casper who spends most of his time trying to be as naughty as possible!
Lynn : I think everyone knows by now that I like cats and David Bowie – I have been lucky enough to meet him twice.
Hannah : I have a one year old daughter called Juno. She is by far and away the most amazing thing in my world!
Ryan : I was offered to have my legs published in a book. Unfortunately, I turned it down. The world wasn’t ready!
Catt : I love painting and sketching in my spare time and I was an artist for the Worcester Stands Tall project last year. My giraffe was called Angelica and I was sponsored by Worcester Cathedral.
Leah : I studied illustration as my degree and currently have a book that I wrote and illustrated on Amazon called The Surprise!
Katie : I enjoy painting in my free time. I mainly use poster paint with a splash of acrylic here and there. I’m far too critical of my work and teen to paint over it the next day if I’m not happy. If I was doing that in acrylic, it would be too expensive! I also have a chocolate cockapoo puppy called Freddie and that is a completely relevant and interesting point!
Ella : I own the worlds cutest dog (sorry Casper and Freddie, but Archie is the cutest pup, no competition).
7. If you had to choose an occasion and gift from iapetus, what would they be?
G : I really love helping a couple with their engagement or wedding rings. It’s something that they want to get just right and I love that we can help folks get the ring they really want.
Rex : I love helping people pick new baby pressies – something special for a brand new human! The David Fussenegger baby blankets are sooo cuddly and soft!
Lynn : Probably birthday and jewellery. We stock a whole variety of wonderful sparkly goodies.
Hannah : It always makes me smile when a child comes up to the counter with one of the pewter or soapstone heart charms for their mums, and stealthily pays for it with their own money, so cute!
Ryan : I didn’t realise that we sold occasions! Honestly though – I’m going to take this question as which is my favourite occasion, which is wedding anniversaries. I find it really heartwarming when we have couples who come in who have been happily married for a long time. In regards to gifts for wedding anniversaries, I always think that its important to get something that has a special meaning to your partner or to you both as a couple. Or I would advise to be creative and give something a special meaning. One of my favourite memories in the shop was helping a couple who, for each anniversary purchased a new reasonably priced wedding ring for each other to wear for that year. I just thought that it was a wonderful and unique way to show their continued love and commitment to each other.
Catt : I’m a very sentimental person, so even just a small thank you means a lot. And for that I would recommend the Kutuu charms and keyrings – you can make it really personal.
Leah : Sophie Smith’s ceramics really jump out at me as a housewarming gift. I love the party crows! That would be a good birthday gift too!
Katie : Probably a gift for either a birthday or an anniversary. Especially if they are eager gardeners – the wind chimes by Sunlover are beautiful and each have their own individual chime.
Ella : All of the engagement and wedding cards are lovely!
8. What has been the best customer feedback you have had?
G : While it is always nice to receive a little something from a happy customer. I think the best thing has been getting to know our regular customers. Especially when they come back to tell you that their purchase you helped them with last time was really appreciated by the recipient.
Rex : A very lovely customer bought me some gluten-free biscuits as a thank you – needless to say they didn’t last for very long!!
Lynn : Being thanked for helping them, and listening and making them feel they can chat to me about anything.
Hannah : One Christmas I organised two of our prints to be framed then gift wrapped and handed over to a lady’s relative as Christmas pressies, as she lived far away. The customer called back after Christmas to say how much they had loved the prints and how helpful I’d been. I was really glad I’d been the one to pick up the phone that day!
Ryan : I find it hard to answer this question without sounding like I’m blowing my own trumpet. I think the best way for me to answer, is that I’ve met lots of lovely people working at iapetus over the years – I think the best feedback that I get is seeing these same customers return to us again and again and building up a friendship with us rather than just being another face in the crowd to each other.
Catt : I recently had a customer visiting Worcester from Australia. I sorted out a selection of gifts for her to give to her grandchildren, and she gave me a little felt koala to say thank you – I thought it was very sweet.
Leah : I always love chatting with customers to get an idea with what gifts they’re looking for. They are always so thankful when I am able to help them find the perfect pressie!
Katie : I haven’t yet had any significant customer feedback because I’m still fairly new. But I hope to experience some soon!
Ella : Bella the Golden Retriever was very grateful for her treats!
9. Work wise, what are you looking most forward to this year?
G : Ah, well! After 9 years with iapetus I’m actually about to go on maternity leave, but I’ll look forward to popping in occasionally with my mini-me, catching up with my colleagues and eyeing up the new things.
Rex : Christmas! Always Christmas! I’d wear my Christmas jumpers all year round if I could – the more glitter the better!
Lynn : Introducing more people to us and helping them with the right purchase decision.
Hannah : More new Katherine Bree jewellery for me to make lovely window displays with (and to try on!)
Ryan : Most of my colleagues will probably say that they are looking forward to Christmas, whilst the rush of Christmas is quite fun, and helping people find the perfect Christmas pressies is very satisfying, I’m a bit of a secret scrooge. I think I’m mostly going to be looking forward to seeing some of the new items that we tend to get in around the autumn period.
Catt : Christmas! I’m just ready for twinkle lights and glitter!
Leah : I would hopefully like to help with someone’s wedding rings!
Katie : We will just have to see what the year brings. Although, Christmas is always fun – I’m excited to see the stock we get!
Ella : Christmas. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone’s Christmas jumpers.
10. Describe iapetus with 3 words!
G : Supporting independent makers!
Rex : Shop of wonders!
Lynn : Interesting, different, fun.
Hannah : Celebrating talented people!
Ryan : Handmade unique craft … (or really weird staff?).
Catt : Quirky, friendly and fun!
Leah : Handmade, gifts and fairtrade.
Katie : Original, colourful, passionate.
Ella : Cute, authentic, heartfelt.
Anybody who works at iapetus has well deserved their role and will make friendships for life! No matter what we’re doing, it’s smiles and positivity all round!
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