Following on from Becky's 'A Year at Blueleaf' in last month's Browse, we catch up with a bit of an old-timer (at least in terms of time spent at Blueleaf!), our Traffic Manager, Sarah.
Over to Sarah to think back over her decade with the team...........
It was December 2006 when I first became aware of Blueleaf. I was looking around for a new challenge and approached several agencies in the Chester area to see what project manager roles were out there. I met with Adrian who explained that there weren't any vacancies as they didn't have project managers at that time - that really surprised me and I must have said something right as Adrian asked me to come back in January, to see if I could fit into the team.
Initially, I worked on a few bits and pieces including setting up a template for new business proposals and was sat at the meeting room table as there was no desk for me! I started working with a few clients alongside Adrian, including British Cycling who had been a client of Blueleaf's since the start. After a couple of weeks, space was created in the office for another desk for me to move away from the meeting table and I knew I was there to stay!
Since then, I've gone through a lot of changes with Blueleaf - as with all agencies, you need to be adaptable and change to what the market is asking for. Blueleaf has changed in terms of its offering - back in 2007, we were classed as a 'full service' agency, with a lot of our business coming from printed publications. Nowadays, we focus solely on the design and build of ecommerce websites. I have to say, there's a certain relief in not working with print - I always used to hate receiving our print samples as if you spotted anything, it was too late to change it! The only print we do now is our Inspiring Great Retail report and we receive great feedback about it - I think some people like to receive something tangible rather than viewing everything online. Click here if you'd like a copy - shameless plug there!
I've worked in a few different roles in my time here at Blueleaf and have had at least 5 different job titles - project manager, account manager, operations manager, operations team leader, traffic manager (I think that's all of them!). I've moved office location twice and moved desks too many times to remember. I've worked with over 50 clients and have an annoying habit of remembering just about every client Blueleaf has ever worked with, whether I've directly worked with them or not.
My current role is team leader for the operations team, also encompassing the role of traffic manager - I'm the person who plans the work into our studio, dealing with the never-ending demands of the project managers! Having been a project manager myself, I understand how tough it is to make sure everything is delivered on time and within budget so I do my best to fit everything into the schedule. It's a juggling act and no 2 days are ever the same, but that's what I love about Blueleaf. You never quite know what's going to come your way over the course of the day but you go home feeling you've accomplished a lot (most days anyway!) - it's part of what keeps me here!