Waffle Desks and School Gate Politics
Frugi’s Kurt Jewson gives a Dad’s-eye-view on work and kids.
Yes ladies, AND he does the morning shift…
My name is Kurt and I'm an alcoholic (I'm not, I promise). I actually help to run Frugi organic cotton clothes with my wife, Lucy. I have two children, that I know of, called Tom (8) and Sam (5).
Lucy and I set up Frugi (then called Cut4Cloth) way back in 2004 when we couldn't find any clothes that would fit over Tom's big cloth nappies. We soon realized that we were not the only ones having clothing issues, so we set to work starting a company to help solve the problem.
Neither Lucy or myself come from a clothing background. Lucy was a sales rep. for a pharmaceutical company, selling drugs to doctors, and I worked in a builder’s merchant selling cement to men whose bums showed when they bent over. It was a steep learning curve!
So, it came to pass that we gave up our jobs, cashed in our saving, re-mortgaged the house and went for it!
In 2007 we changed the name of the company to Frugi, which means fruits of the Earth' in Latin as we were no longer just making baby clothes for cloth nappies. (We have kept the Cut4Cloth stamp for all of our 0-2yrs clothing).
We now have Frugi baby 0-2yrs, Frugi kids 2-8yrs, and Frugi Mother. All made from beautiful organic cotton, by well paid adults.
Mornings always seem to be a rush. I wake up around 7ish, sometimes in my bed and sometime in the spare bedroom with one of the kids. I try and stay in bed until about half past, looking at my emails, checking out twitter and the Frugi facebook page. (I got an iPad for Christmas and it's welded to my side).
I do the morning stuff, as Lucy is in no shape or form a morning person! (I don't mind, she works really hard and never gets in much before 7pm each evening, so her lie-in' is well deserved).
I bring her a cup of tea in bed at about 7.45am whilst sorting the kids, chickens, cat, and fish out.
If I'm lucky, I'll have procured some bacon from a well-known supermarket, and this will be gently sizzling with one of our chicken's eggs for a nice bacon butty before the dash to school.
After dropping the kids at school, I normally get to Frugi HQ by 9am (just in time, with any luck, to miss doing a tea round and have a coffee magically land on my desk!)
Hopefully, if I've done a bit of email clean up beforeI actually get to work, I canhave a quick chat with the Frugi Today' department, who look after all things customer service, then head on upstairs to the Tomorrow' department to take my seat at the desk of waffle! (I have recently moved from looking after Frugi's customer service to doing the P.R., hence the waffle desk).
I don't really have a break time, but that's my choice. If I do manage to grab a bit of R&R I have a quick read of Seth Godins blog I love his ideas on customer service and marketeering…well worth a look.
Lunch is generally a pasty, or a sandwich from the van that comes around at 1.30pm. I am quite well known for my love of pasties and would happily survive on them only, if it wasn't for my wife trying to force feed me green and healthy stuff from time to time!
The afternoons can be a little more chilled for me than the mornings, as hopefully I have got on top of everything and can see daylight again. However, they go very quickly and I always seem to be rushing.
I clock off from Frugi, officially, at 3pm but it's in name only. I have my phone on me, for emails on the move, and then as soon as I get home my trusty iPad is fired into action whilst supervising the kids. I'm supposed to help them with their homework and spellings, but we all just chill or play footy in the garden most of the time! (I am a bad parent)
Both of the boys are at the same school, which makes collecting them a breeze.
Sometimes, if the weather is nice, the boys will play for a bit whilst I watch and encourage. I don't engage much in the school gate chatter that seems to occur between all of the women, but I do try and give a heterosexual nod to any men that happen to be on child-collection duty!
In the normal routine, I get supper sorted, something healthy and wholesome if I'm feeling energetic or something stuck in the oven (baked potatoes cheese and beans being a favorite) if I'm not.
Then it's kids bath and bed time. With any luck Lucy will be home for that, so that she can spend a bit of time with the boys, doing the bedtime reading and tucking them in.
After the kids have gone off to sleep I'm slightly ashamed to say that both Lucy and I plonk the telly on and vegetate. I then, reluctantly, sit through all of the soaps, whilst keeping half an eye on facebook, twitter and emails.
I dream of owning a boys Den' that I can escape to and play my guitar, without waking the children or disturbing Corrie.
At Frugi our mission is to become:
‘The most desirable and trusted clothing brand on the planet'
It's a bold statement but we really believe that with passion and vision, we can show the world that an ethical company can become a household name, and show the way for more companies to take a long-term ecological view of business.”
Thanks for letting us peek into your life Kurt, and good luck.
Natural Baby Shower is 100% behind an ethical company becoming a household name.
You can see our full range of Frugi clothes here >>