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?


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