Some emotional preamble
It doesn’t happen often, or maybe not quite often enough, that you get the chance to work on something you truly love.
Back in the day, before I became a designer, I used to build Harrier Jump Jets. I loved them. They’re beautiful to look at; an honest-to-god magnificent feat of engineering.
I eventually stopped making them when I realised that at some point the Harriers were expected to leave the shop floor, and I wasn’t too happy with what they were being used for after that. So, like everyone else in the design industry I did the natural pivot from building war planes to designing services. Right?
After a lot of years in the industry I finally started my own design studio, Reply, in the summer of 2019.
And I love it.
I love the work that we do, and the difference we make. I love that I get to do that with Jonny, my partner in life and in business (cheese).
I didn’t have a long term plan to start my own studio when I founded Reply. I just knew what I wanted to work on, and how I wanted to work. So, I started Reply. Just like that.
And it worked! The last two years have been like a dream, working with some incredible clients, and an even more incredible team in Mills, Paul, Jonny and all the partners we’ve collaborated with.
Our work over the last two years has helped the survivors of gender-based violence. It’s helped protect women and girls from online sexual exploitation, helped support medical professionals in war zones, helped find solutions to cut the carbon footprint of inhalers, helped improve the rehoming process for rescue dogs (and puppies!), helped train countless charities in service design, helped train design students in design ethics, helped tackle digital exclusion, helped a counselling charity improve their services, and so on and so on, and wow we’ve done a lot in two years!
Reply has been more successful than I ever imagined. We smashed our five year goals in a matter of months. We’ve worked on exactly the type and scale of projects I’d hoped we would. I finally got to work with Jonny again (more cheese).
But now it’s time for a change. Well, in a way. There are some things that I won’t change about the way I work. I want to make sure I’m working with a team that I respect and admire. I want to be working in a space where I know I can make a positive impact, and where I know I’ll be able to look back and say things are better now than they were before, because of the work I did. And, sorry if this is soppy, Jonny and I want to work together. We met at work, we encourage, and support one another, and we drive each other to do better. We inspire each other, and two of us is better than one of us (too much cheese?).
That’s quite a list of requirements for a job role, and I thought for a good while that Reply was the only way to meet them.
Here’s the big news
Well, the exciting news is that in October, Jonny and I will be joining the astonishing Snook team as co-Chief Design Officers. It’s a job share role, where we’ll get to work together with some of the best and brightest in design, development and research in the country. I honestly cannot wait to get started. They’ve spent the last 10+ years tackling some meaty projects in the charity sector, local and central government, private sector, and in healthcare and housing. They’re brilliant, lovely, and care so deeply about their work. It’s going to be great. I genuinely can’t think of any other role that would have torn me away from Reply, except maybe becoming She–Ra.
That means we’re beginning to wrap things up at Reply. We’re finishing off our projects, and again, rather than be sad, every day is feeling like a bit of a celebration. We’ve formed great relationships with our clients, and we’re invested in their work, and it’s been so heartwarming to hear how pleased they are for us in this new move.
We’ll have more to say on this in the future I’m sure, but ultimately, the takeaway is that I’m so grateful I’ve had the opportunity to do something I love for the last two years, and I’m so grateful that I get to join a team where I know I’m going to love what I do.
Thanks for reading! Oh, and Snook is hiring, so, hit me up if you have questions about any of
their our roles.