Meet the team: Janet Potter

Do you want to see the faces behind Christy? Each week we are doing a Q&A with our wonderful team. Meet Janet, Head of Customer Service at Christy, in this weeks meet the team.

Meet Janet, Head of Customer Service
Meet Janet, Head of Customer Service (in the pink)

Name

Janet Potter ( no relation to Harry)

What is your background

Started work at 15 as an office junior, best experience for anyone, teaches respect, understanding of other people’s roles, needs, and who has sugar in the coffee! It takes you a long way.

What is your role at Christy?

I am currently Head of customer Services.

Describe a typical day in your shoes?

There are no 2 days the same as we are planning and reacting to customer demands both internal and external and that often means you have to deal with the here and now and can’t always finish the job you started. We interact with every department to make sure we service what the customer would like when they would like it, often a challenge but we do manage. Meetings can often take up a lot of my time.

What’s the best thing about working at Christy?

Birthdays. As we have cake (only joking), camaraderie, support, product of course and people.

What is your biggest achievement so far?

Implementing SAP for the business in 6 months time scale. Followed by getting the Championship Towels on centre court with the finalist names on for the 1st time.

What is your favourite Christy product and why?

900TC Sateen. Sheer luxury, so soft and you just feel special as soon as it touches you.

What is your favourite quote/book/podcast?

(Quote) Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today. Book (Agent Zig Zag)

What is your hidden talent?

Not sure I have found it yet…Not singing for sure!

When you are not at Christy, what is your favourite thing to do?

Watch Rugby, Live Bands, Seaside & Drink Gin.

Who inspires you?

The Queen

If you were stranded on a desert island what would be your 3 luxury items?

Radio, Face Cream, Sunglasses

What’s your favourite desk snack/drink?

Chocolate Biscuit. Cup of Tea

Are you a morning person or night owl?

Both. Wake up singing (badly) and never know when to go home when I am out.

In next weeks meet the team, we introduce Niharika!

 
 

Acts of Kindness: Mental Health Awareness Week

The Mental Health Foundation have conducted a new survey on kindness and the effects that acts of kindness have on you and others. Evidence has revealed that kindness towards others also has a benefit to your own mental health and well-being. It reduces stress levels, improves your mood, self esteem and overall happiness.

Mental Health Awareness Week
Mental Health Awareness Week

What are the benefits of kindness?

  • Kindness feels good! It encourages us to be active and helps build support networks
  • Kindness creates a sense of belonging
  • It keeps things into perspective
  • One small act of kindness can lead others to show kindness

As showing kindness is an all round positive experience for everyone involved, lets explore different acts of kindness.

Acts of kindness at home and in your community

  • Call a friend
  • Send a note to your neighbour
  • Write a letter to a family member
  • Offer to help an elderly or vulnerable neighbour
  • Tell someone that they are appreciated

At work with colleagues

  • Set up a virtual coffee morning
  • Ring someone you don’t normally connect with often and see how they are
  • Praise a colleague for something they have done well
  • Mention that you are there for someone

In public places

  • Observe social distancing and follow the latest government advice
  • Pick up litter and dispose of it
  • Say thank you
  • Be considerate to others

Be kind to yourself

  • Allocate time to yourself, to do the things you enjoy
  • Eat healthily
  • Make sure you get enough sleep
  • Relax!

Most of all, remember that you are not alone. Life is full of swings and roundabouts so it is important to reach out to someone if you feel like you need a helping hand. Talk to a trusted friend, your doctor or visit a helpful website such as mind.org.uk or samaritans.org.

We would love to hear your acts of kindness! Comment below with a feel good moment you had after showing kindness to yourself or others.

 
 

Meet the Christy team: Merchandiser Jemma

Meet Jemma

What is your background?

I have always worked in Retail, starting my career working for the sports company All:sports, where I made the transition from store management into merchandising. I then started my employment with Christy 15 years ago in the merchandising department and have never looked back since.

What is your role at Christy?

Merchandiser

Describe a typical day in your shoes?

A typical day spent in the Christy office could be anything from sales analysis, stock forecasting and product enrichment for web sites or reviewing our beautiful range designed by our very talented Design/PD team for the future seasons. Oh and obviously working through the many emails that filter through during the course of the day.

What’s the best thing about working at Christy?

Without doubt the best thing about Christy (aside of our amazing brand) is the people. We all work well together and it’s a pleasure to work with such a great team! It is like having a second family.

What is your favourite Christy product and why?

I’ve had many different towel ranges over the years but for me it has be the Renaissance towel. This range really does as it says, it’s luxurious and timeless and some of my Renaissance towels are now 15 years old and they still look and feel as good as new! I’m also partial to a bit of brushed cotton bedding in the Winter months and for those who know me well know I’m always cold.

What is your favourite quote/book/podcast?

I love this famous quote, which I’m sure you’ve all heard before but it’s now more poignant in our current times – ‘Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass……It’s about learning to dance in the rain’.

What is your hidden talent?

I used to play football for Stockport Ladies (my hometown) and although I’ve not played for a long time, I can still do a few tricks with a ball at my feet.

When you are not at Christy, what is your favourite thing to do?

Spending time with family, which now in these difficult times makes you realise how precious they are. I’m also an avid football fan, so I spend a lot of time supporting my team and watching football.

Who inspires you?

At this difficult moment in time, anyone working on the front line, putting their own lives at risk to help save others, especially those that are going above and beyond for others in need.

If you were stranded on a desert island what would be your 3 luxury items?

I don’t like silence, so it would be something I could play music on. A large bottle of water to stay hydrated and without question my large Renaissance bath towel!

What’s your favourite desk snack/drink?

You can’t beat a good cup of tea and a chocolate digestive or two.

Are you a morning person or night owl?

Definitely a night owl and I always function better after a good 8 hours sleep!

 
 

Iris Flower: In The Garden With Lucy

Although we may be in lock down, it is still important to be in touch with nature. Whether it is an orchid flower on your window or a daffodil in your garden, lets appreciate their beauty. This week in the garden with Lucy, we are showing our love for the Iris flower.

Dwarf bearded Iris flower
Plum Wine Iris Flower

This little stunner is a dwarf bearded iris called ‘Plum Wine’ and when it has its moment it is amazing. It is so velvety and rich and its shape is very elegant and exotic.

Irises have often inspired artists, from early Japanese art to van Gogh to Sir Cedric Morris (who also bred many beautiful irises). Little wonder when they turn up looking like the best dressed girl at the party, oozing otherworldly glamour.

Watercolour Iris flower painting
Watercolour Iris painting

Heather’s beautiful painting captures this elegance and grace wonderfully, along with their irresistible colour and sinuous foliage.

Get creative with Christy and have a go at painting your own watercolour Iris flower. Art is a get activity to relax and take a breather! See our Senior Designers video of painting the plum wine Iris below.

Which flowers do you love? Comment below and let us know which flowers you would like to see being painted into a beautiful watercolour piece by heather. Or send us some pictures of the nature you are enjoying at your home during lock down!

Every month we will be having a giveaway to win one of the original watercolour flower paintings. To be the first in the know, make sure you sign up for our newsletter! You can see all our latest ‘Get creative with Christy’ videos on our Youtube channel here.

 
 

Meet the Christy Team: Heather Bilyk

Get to know our Christy Product Developer, Heather B, in this weeks meet the Christy team!

Meet the Christy Product Developer, Heather B
Meet the Christy team: Product Developer, Heather B

What is your background?

Originally I graduated as a surface pattern designer from Liverpool John Moores University but I soon fell in love with product development. I have been working in buying/product development roles for the past 10 years and have worked on a wide range of products from baby toys, to cookware and even the exciting world of DJ equipment! I have been at Christy for over 3 years now which has flown by.

What is your role at Christy?

My role is product developer across Christy England bed linen and filled product.

Tell us about a typical day for you at Christy?

Most days involve a lot of communication with suppliers. We have suppliers all over the world from Pakistan, India, Turkey, Portugal, China and here in the UK. You have to be quite well organised in product development so there are a lot of spreadsheets such as range plans and critical paths. I also like a list – its helps me to keep on top of my daily jobs. There is always a lot to manage from negotiating costs, to creating production specifications to checking samples/labels/packaging. We get involved in all aspects of the products journey and plan the timelines accordingly.

What’s the best thing about working at Christy?

The best thing about working at Christy is the people. I am so lucky to work with such a fantastic team, we have such a laugh together and there is always someone there to support you if you need it. The designers are so talented and it’s always very exciting to see their creations come to life. My favourite part of the job is managing a product through its lifecycle from concept all the way through production and into stores and online.

What is your biggest achievement so far?

I always feel a big sense of achievement when we exhibit at Heimtextil in Frankfurt. It’s the biggest international trade fair for home and contract textiles. We have a massive 2 story stand – basically the size of a large 3/4 bedroom house! It’s always a proud moment to see everyone’s hard work come together and presented in such an amazing way for everyone to see. It makes me proud to work for Christy. Especially the show in January this year as our stand was very impressive and had a lot of people talking and taking pictures.

What is your favourite Christy product and why?

I love the Agnes throw, we have it in charcoal and we use it to snuggle under when we’re watching a film all together at home. Treacle our Labrador is always trying to steal it away from me!

My other favourite was our Gatsby bed linen in navy. It’s stunning – I love anything art deco and was so excited developing this range. It’s a gorgeous jacquard from Portugal with a cotton sateen reverse – very soft and luxurious.

What is your favourite quote/book/podcast?

To be honest my love is music, so my favourite books are usually music based. I love to read about the Manchester music scene in the 80s/90s and also autobiographies. I’m currently reading Elton John’s. My favourite quotes are song lyrics. I have framed song lyrics all around my house.

What is your hidden talent?

I can make a chicken out of tea towel!! Haha! Other than that I think cooking. I love to cook and my partner Lee is a very talented home cook – he’s been teaching me and now I’m getting pretty good at making healthy home cooked meals for us. During lockdown we’ve been trying to perfect our baking and I have to say our chocolate orange brownies and carrot cake are pretty special!!

When you are not at Christy, what is your favourite thing to do?

I live in a little village in West Yorkshire which is surrounded by fabulous countryside and wildlife. Most weekends are spent exploring on long walks with the dog and then usually followed by a drink in the local pub!

Who inspires you?

At the moment there are a lot of people who are incredible as well as inspirational. In the current situation we find ourselves in there are a lot of people going above and beyond to help others and keep us all safe.

Someone like Captain Tom Moore is also a huge inspiration showing positivity, determination and strength to do something to help others. I think he has made us all stop and think.

If you were stranded on a desert island what would be your 3 luxury items?

Something I could play music on, a bottle of gin and a Christy superior soft touch pillow!

What’s your favourite desk snack/drink?

It’s got to be a good old builder’s brew! I’m known to be quite fussy about my tea. I like it strong and not too milky. I have a stash of extra tea bags in my drawer in case someone makes me a weak cup of tea!

Are you a morning person or night owl?

Definitely not a morning person! It takes at least 3 hours and 2 cups of tea for me to come round in a morning!!

Who would you like to get to know more about in our next meet the Christy team?

 
 

The Foam Flower

Our lovely Lucy and Heather have been at it again this week! Bringing you this gorgeous spring bloom. With its delicate pink flowers and luscious green foliage what is not to love about the Foam flower? 

Foam flower
Tiarella cordifolia

This delicate beauty is the foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia) and at the moment it is flowering its tiny head off. I’m absolutely enchanted by it, especially its intricate detail and miniature stature. It has a shape similar to a much bigger spire like a delphinium or a hollyhock but in such tiny scale that it is fairy-like. Its colour is delicate too: palest pink with just a flush of a deeper pink. As if that wasn’t enough it has beautiful leaves too which long outlast its pretty flowers.

How to paint a watercolour foam flower

Watch as Heather paints this gorgeous flower with watercolour paints. Be inspired to get creative with Christy! See the finished master piece below.

foam flower watercolour painting
Foam flower watercolour painting

If pretty pinks could be your thing check out our Jaipur velvet accessories in Dusky Pink. Blush in our Brixton towel and Pearl in our Luxe towel are both lovely delicate shades and the towels both have bit more of a contemporary feel, great for a Spring refresh.

 
 

Meet The Christy Team: Helena Mead

Meet Helena Mead
Meet Helena Mead

Welcome to meet the Christy team! This week, we are introducing our Head of Product Development and Category Management, Helena Mead.

What is your background?

I’ve been at Christy for 10 years now and have worked across a variety of different product areas which has meant I’ve had the opportunity to experience lots of different aspects of the business from developing product for top high street names, to working on our iconic Wimbledon towel to being part of the in-house teams working on our three brands – Christy England, Living by Christy and Kingsley. Before I started in product development I worked in homewares buying at Bhs but I always wanted to be involved in the actual product development so I was very fortunate when the opportunity at Christy came along. And even longer ago than that I studied textile design and design history at university so I have always been lucky enough to work in my chosen field.

What is your role at Christy?

Head of Product Development and Category Management.

Tell us about a typical day for you at Christy?

Because my role works across so many areas very few days are the same. Not only do I work with the design and product development teams, but I also work closely with sourcing, marketing, merchandising, supply and our sales teams. A typical day could involve anything from a development meeting with the design and pd teams, phone calls and meetings with suppliers, a strategy meeting with the sales team, tradeshow preparation with the marketing team and a collection sign off with all departments.

What’s the best thing about working at Christy?

The people, the product and the heritage. I’m part of a brilliant team who support each other through good times and tough times, and make each other laugh pretty much every day. We get to develop great product ranges across all our brands, and through careful product sourcing we can be confident that not only are we developing great quality product but it is sourced responsibly ensuring the environment and the people making the product are respected and protected at all times. Lastly, it’s great to work with a brand with so much history. It’s our 170 year anniversary this year and it’s satisfying to know we are still producing homewares to be proud of in the same city that it started in all those years ago.

What is your biggest achievement so far?

It is always rewarding to see our product in the press, on-line or even in TV shows such as home make over programs and even Downton Abbey, and it is always good to see any collection signed off and launched after all the hardwork that goes into designing and developing the range by the team.

What is your favourite Christy product and why?

That’s a tricky one – I can’t choose just one! Our Jaipur accessories are really soft and cosy and come in a gorgeous range of colours. And I love the colours and textures of our Brixton and Carnaby Stripe towels and Fina mats – all of which have I have at home.

What is your favourite quote/book/podcast?

I enjoy the Mary Portas and Desert Island Discs podcasts. Mary Portas and Lauren Laverne are inspirational in their own right and they interview really interesting and inspiring people across the business and cultural sectors. I read a lot but am hopeless at remembering names and authors. At the moment, having moved fairly recently most of what I read is to do with garden planning and decorating.

What is your hidden talent?

Er, I don’t think I’ve discovered it yet? Perhaps, that I used to be grade 8 cello and piano when I was younger and can just about remember the Elgar cello concerto, although I’m a bit rusty these days.

When you are not at Christy, what is your favourite thing to do?

At the moment, whilst we’re on lock down, it is spending time with my family when I’ve finished working – walking, film nights, trying to home school with my daughter. I also like to garden, run and do yoga to relax. In normal times I enjoy pretty much the same things – just without getting my head round how to teach phonics – plus going to the cinema, galleries and out for food and drink with friends and family.

Who inspires you?

From a work and business point of view, Mary Portas. Her book, “Work Like A Woman” is really inspiring and she talks a lot of sense when it comes to the world of work and to communicating and working with those around us. Also anyone who has the confidence to stand up and make a stand for the environment and for human rights. For such young women, Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai aren’t held back by worrying about what others will think and have had a huge impact in their respective areas. Oh and David Attenborough, who is simply a living legend.

If you were stranded on a desert island what would be your 3 luxury items?

Anything I can listen to listen to music on. Sunglasses and sunhat – are they a luxury or an essential? An outdoor survival book, and if the sunglasses and sunhat aren’t a luxury a Christy Cabana beach towel.

What’s your favourite desk snack/drink?

My team would say flap jacks and cookies from the canteen, obviously chocolate, and I’m known for grazing throughout the day so I also normally have fruit and nuts squirreled away too, plus water and several cups of tea.

Are you a morning person or night owl?

I think I am a late morning person these days! It takes me a while to wake up in the morning but equally I am definitely not a night owl!

Join us for our Meet the Christy Team Q&A next week where we will be introducing Amanda King, the Christy Visual Merchandiser.

 
 

Confused about filled bedding?

Are you confused about filled bedding? With so many options out there when it comes to bedding, it can be easy to get confused. From mattress protectors to mattress toppers, even the best of us can wonder what the difference is. Fear not, there is no need to be confused about filled bedding any longer, let us help you to get it right!

Are you confused by different types of filled bedding?

Mattress protectors

Protecting your mattress and your health.

Mattress protectors are important for two major reasons; for keeping mattress free of stains and preventing exposure to dust mites, microbes and other potential allergens.

At Christy we have mattress protectors available in four sizes that fit over your mattress and secure with an elasticated edge. Plus, with a soft quilted face they are not only practical but also super comfortable.

Mattress toppers

A mattress topper is often overlooked but they can work wonders on ensuring that you get a great nights rest. They offer an added layer of plush comfort, making your bed a relaxing haven.

Our luxury mattress topper is pure bliss to sleep on. With elastic corners for added security and a well padded face, you won’t want to get out of bed!

Duvets

Too hot? Too cold?

Considering we spend so much time in bed, you would think that we had the art of sleeping and the perfect duvet sorted. But which is the perfect duvet for you?

At Christy, our duvets come in three different togs and two different fillings to suit your sleeping style. To help you get your duvet choice down to a T, we have created a full duvet buying guide here!

Although the variety of options can be daunting, it creates the perfect opportunity to build a sleep space perfect for you! You can pick and choose what you want out of each item, whether it is to give you extra comfort whilst you snooze or to prolong the life of your mattress. Or perhaps both!

 
 

In The Garden With Lucy

One of the positives to have come out of the current situation is that those of us lucky enough to have a garden or access to a green space are really appreciating the benefits of a bit of “nature therapy”. It has a very calming effect on me and makes me smile to see the flowers still blooming and the new shoots of Spring continuing to come through. In the garden with Lucy is inspired by some of the little gems that Mother Nature is sharing with us, with a little Christy magic along the way.​

I’m not bad at growing things and Heather our Senior Designer is brilliant at painting things, so together we are bringing you the best of what is blooming in my garden this week. ​​

The beautiful Pasque flower
The beautiful Pasque flower

This amazing chap is the Pasque flower, so named because it flowers around Easter, ‘pasque’ comes from the word ‘paschal’ meaning ‘of Easter’. This year it was bang on time! Its stunning rich purple petals and bright yellow centre make it a joy to see, especially when bathed in the glorious sunshine we’ve been having. Heather has picked up on its exuberant colours and its beautiful feathery foliage.​​

Heathers fantastic watercolour Pasque flower painting
Heathers fantastic watercolour Pasque flower painting

If you would like to be in with a chance to WIN this beautiful, original watercolour painting you can head over to our competition here. All you have to do is tell us your favourite flower!

If, like me, you’re inspired by this luscious colour check out Crushed Grape in our Prism towels. Or for a slightly softer take on the colour try Berry in the Renaissance towel and Orchid in the Supreme towel.

 
 

Meet The Christy Team: Senior Designer Heather Hackett

If you saw our ‘Meet The Christy Team’ blog post with our Head of Design, Lucy Ackroyd, last week you will already know that we have an amazing team. This week, we are introducing Heather Hackett, our incredibly talented Senior Designer in our ‘Meet the Christy Team’ Q&A.

Heather Hackett: Christy Senior Designer
Meet Heather Hackett: Christy Senior Designer

What is your background?

I have been working as a textile designer for the past ten years designing for a number of different brands before joining Christy almost a year ago now. Hand painted watercolours are my speciality and I have been lucky enough to use these skills throughout my career. I studied textile design at university here in Manchester and have travelled around the UK since for different jobs.

What is your role at Christy?

My role at Christy is Senior Designer.

Tell us about a typical day for you at Christy?

I work in the design department with other designers and product development. Every day is different from initial design concepts, research to painting and drawing the designs. We can be in the studio, out on research trips or exhibitions which can take us all over the world.

What’s the best thing about working at Christy?

It’s an inspiring place to be. The people I work make me laugh and smile almost everyday. There are always some kind of sweet treats in the office which can mean extra trips to the gym are needed. I have learnt a lot since working there one of the most important things – how to make a proper cup of tea (apparently you need to squeeze the teabag).

What is your biggest achievement so far?

The launch of the first designs I had done for Christy this year felt like a big achievement. Seeing my work displayed at our first show put butterflies in my stomach. It felt like a new milestone in my career and something I couldn’t have done without the lovely team around me.

What is your favourite Christy product and why?

I love the Brixton towel range. With the deep jewel colours and fluffiest soft feel they are the snuggliest thing to have after a long day.

What is your favourite quote/book/podcast?

My favourite book is “everything I know about love” by dolly. She writes in such a beautiful way it made me laugh out loud and cry out loud, couldnt put it down.

What is your hidden talent?

I can bake to an extent. I make some killer cupcakes, they are nowhere as good as my mums but I would say above average.

When you are not at Christy, what is your favourite thing to do?

I love exploring new places, walking, running, eating (especially eating). I also love a good glass of wine!

Who inspires you?

I am pretty obsessed by Instagram. and follow a number of amazing watercolour artists including a favourite helen dealtry. I love all things textiles including embroidery, so the amazing beading and embroidery of dolce and gabanna and ralph and russo. I’m a bit geeky and like to work out which technique they have use to create the effects, I blame my mum for this. I recently visited a May Morris (daughter of William morris) in Edinburgh, the hand embroidery was absolutely mesmerising I don’t think I could have been much more embroidery geek there! 

If you were stranded on a desert island what would be your 3 luxury items?

Is a phone allowed? So I could call my family, watch yoga videos and repeats of friends . Otherwise a puppy as a friend, a lovely bottle of wine and my sewing machine.

What’s your favourite desk snack/drink?

Any kind of chocolate.

Are you a morning person or night owl?

I would have always said a night owl! But during lockdown I have been getting up early to run, the parks are so peaceful and tranquil at that time so maybe I have changed haha!

Feeling inspired by our Senior Designer?

Watch Heather’s timelapse video below and follow along as she paints the beautiful Prairie design. Why not pull your paints out and get creative?!

Heather paints the beautiful Prairie design.

Next time on ‘Meet the Christy team’, we will chat with Helena, Head of Product Development.

 
 

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