So I spent last week on my hands and knees and in variously contorted positions drilling multiple tiny holes in MDF at the Conran shop in Chelsea. Me and a fellow Brighton-er Emma spent three days drilling the holes to thread wire into to give the illusion of grassy knolls for the Easter window display.
The hills provided a back drop for the wire bunnies and chickens the Conran had commissioned from the artist Julieann Worrall Hood.
The fourth day, which was supposed to be used to finish the drilling but we finished early, was spent ‘styling’ the kitchen section. We were given plates to sell and a table on which to sell them in an Easter fashion, involving a helluva lot of daffs, some eggs and drippy narcissus.
It was a fun/informative/interesting few days, think I’ve pulled my shoulder and my feet hurt but it was enjoyable to see the work that goes on behind the scenes at a world renowned design store. Would I do it again? Not for a bit, think my feet would fall off.
What I learned from working at the Conran shop…
1. My degree isn’t totally useless nor do I have to just become a product designer. I met a lot of people on both the shop floor and as part of the visual team who come from a plethora of different backgrounds. This has helped me chill the fuck out about my third year and remind me I’m not supposed to reinvent the wheel for my final show, nor become the next Max Lamb overnight.
2. There is an art to shop display, one conclusion me and my fellow window lackey Emma came to. Each singular product, though a triumph of design in its own right, really comes to life in a setting. The shop looked amazing. Betsey and the team are geniuses.
3. I need a larger set of overalls than men’s small, they looked big, loose and professional on Emma, on me they hugged and pinched and looked obscene, it was all tits and paint streaked arse.
4. Planting narcissus in £30 pots is fine if you work in shop visuals, if I did that at home my mum would kill me.
5. I never want to strip papery bits off three crates of daffodils ever again, I have both RSI and prune fingers. Floristry is sadly not for me.
Thanks to Betsey, Zoe, Vicky and the team who put up with/presided over us for four days. It was real.