Today, we’re getting to know Swan’s very own Hope Starr! Hope is a Sales Co-ordinator here at Swan and has been since June 2019. A true keeper!
1) What are your daily duties and responsibilities?
“Well, I work on the Bulk side of Sales now, whereas I used to look after a lot of accounts that were Direct Dispatch. I did a bit of Bulk as well, but at the end of last year (September 2021), I took a total sidestep into just Bulk Sales. It’s been a big change as Direct Dispatch accounts keep you on your toes with daily problem-solving! Whereas working with Bulk Sales accounts means you’re working at a completely different pace. I have to manage the relationship as well as the stock-flow in order to monitor a required and successful balance.”
2) Describe your role in three words.
“It’s exciting, but not in a bad way, and building relationships with customers always keeps things interesting. And it comes in waves, like at the end of 2021, with Black Friday and the general peak season for us felt manic! It’s always busy, but it flows at a good pace.”
Hope had to think about this one, and here’s what she decided on:
“Investigative, proactive and data.” – she nailed it.
3) What do you find the most challenging?
“Stock organisation can be a challenge in itself so to add the constraints from China currently it has definitely been a tricky time but great to keep you on your toes.”
4) What do you love about the job?
“The people.” – We love this answer.
“We’re quite small, so Swan naturally has that lovely, family dynamic- and the banter is another plus! The social side of Swan is brilliant. There’s always someone making sure we’re doing something fun to drive the team spirit! Team bonding is essential.”
5) What’s your favourite Swan product?
“Definitely the Retro Dome Kettle. I have the Cream-coloured one at home! Because I love tea, it just keeps me going. I’d honestly be so lost without my Kettle! I’ve always wanted a stove-top kettle, and that’s why I love the look of the Dome Kettle so much- very farmhouse-y.”
6) What do you listen to on your way to work?
“My music taste is quite eclectic, spanning from folk through to heavy metal. At the moment, I’m listening to early Black Keys albums, along with the Bones of JR Jones and The Bros Landreth for a blues/rock hit in the morning. I was definitely born in the wrong era, as 1970’s rock is my all-time favourite- Led Zeppelin, Rush, and Black Sabbath are always top of my playlists, Fleetwood Mac too as Stevie Nick’s voice is so beautiful.”
7) What song is your guilty pleasure?
“I have actually got a guilty pleasures playlist- it’s a playlist full of tunes just for me. I’d say, Taylor Swift, although she’s not a guilty pleasure to me!”
“Right, okay, okay- it’s got to be Avril Lavigne – Skater Boy.”
8) Name one thing you’re grateful for.
“My Friends and Family, which is staple. I also think the pandemic has made me realise all the more how grateful I am for my health. I think it’s easy to take things like that for granted until you haven’t got it or a pandemic happens.”
9) One thing you want to achieve this week?
“I have a couple of customer meetings to prep for – in terms of covering supply, forecasts and lead times. This responsibility includes essential communication with Swan’s shipping department to find out what containers of stock are on the water or at port to calculate lead times to ensure fulfilment/stock supply remains high.”
“And, I’d love to tidy the house as well. I’ve got this spare room that just sits and accumulates items that have no place. It looks like a bomb went off in it.” – We are definitely with you on this one, Hope!”
10) What’s the one colour you would fill your house with?
“I love earthy colours- and I love the sea. Green and Blue orientated colours make me feel calm.”
11) What’s your favourite national day?
“I love a Pie, so I’d say anything around Pies. I love gravy- the pie is just a vessel for the gravy!”
12) What’s your favourite weird food combo?
“People find this weird- but on a Sunday Dinner, I put brown sauce on my Mash Potato.”
13) What’s your favourite film?
“I’ve got two. So, my first one is Practical Magic, and my second is When Harry Met Sally, just because I love the story. It’s so good! It’s Meg Ryan in her prime. She’s so beautiful- I love her!”