This week started out pretty much the same as any other week. There was ne project on my table and a couple that I knew would be coming soon. Not soon enough, by the end of the week there was nothing I could work on. I still went to work though, because there were a couple non-profit projects that needed some care.
What I found really interesting about the lack of work for me to do, was not that the jobs we had were complete, or that the projects themselves were finished, but that we simply needed to hear back from everyone else before moving on. It was as if the rest of the people all disappeared, becasue these projects were all very close to being finished, but they just stopped.
I suppose this is something to be aware of when working a a smaller firm and maybe even in any firm. There will always come a time when you are waiting.
Hopefully I won’t be waiting too long, but while I wait I still have the non-profit work (pictured below is the cross on the mountain where the project is) to keep me a little busy, so I can be thankful for that.
This week I was working in the normal RH location, but I was lucky enough to get to travel downtown to see the Chicago Gallery. It is an old building that they restored for their gallery, in the Gold Coast area of Chicago.
The gallery is huge compared to the one I am usually in. It has a cafe on the first floor, RH gallery on second, baby, child and teen on the third, modern on fourth and then the rooftop on the fifth. It was so nice to see the newer constructed gallery.
The gallery is to show more options than the smaller ones do. Here people can also relax and make it a social activity, not just about design. I was talking to my leader and because it is so large the design associates are given a floor to work on, so they can learn that product well. It was very interesting to see how they run differently from our gallery just because of size, but still have the same RH values and rundowns as we do.
Below is a picture from the gallery looking into the cafe that I took.
Since I am having my summer intern with RH count as school credit I do have to have a meeting with them about how I am doing. Except the great thing is that I have a meeting with them every couple of weeks and usually a short update every sunday morning. Which is great so I can know what to improve on or what to keep doing strong.
Every Sunday we have meetings in which we go over the numbers and review the top sellers of that week in the gallery. I think this is awesome, because it doesn’t call out negativity only parts of the team we are proud of. It is to showcase those who are working hard. Every month they even have a different person who we really recognize.
Last week I sat down with a leader and talked over my personal goals and numbers. I got to hear how I am doing great for my five weeks there, but also some suggestions I could improve on. It’s nice to know that they are looking out for me as I am with their company and that they also ask me how I feel about the way they do things. They are open to feedback because their goal is to make RH the best it can be.
Below is a picture of our values as a team that we have framed in our break area:
July has been pretty eventful so far! We’ve been waiting on several projects to be approved, but within the past few days several have gone through. I’m hoping that I’ll get to have more edits to work on soon. So far this week I’ve been working on one sheet set all week, but mostly because the file is running super slow still in AutoCAD.
I spent an hour or so trying to do this one particular part where I switched a few lights, shown in photo, but the ex ref file was running slow and it made the process way too slow. It kind of amazed me, I didn’t realize that an ex ref file could get so large that it would slow down a file so much. To give some background, this project has been going on for a while now and is almost to completion and things are getting to the fine details.
It would be totally understandable that the file was causing the issues, but I had some suspicions that it was the server acting up. Actually, by some miracle everything stopped being slow! There was a storm on Wednesday which unfortunately caused the power o go out, but after it came back on everything had to reset and the file started to run normal speed again!
Which meant I could finish almost all the edits to the sheetlet by the end of the week! And since there are now more projects being approved I can start new projects soon! Some good and some bad, but all in all July definitely has been pretty eventful.
Like I said in my last post RH is trying to change their ways and see the future in high end furniture retail. They are taking what use to be an old way of making sales and seeing how they can make it more updated with all of todays features. Their newest is the RH Grey Card.
Many people when I ask if they have heard about the grey card automatically say no they don’t want a credit card. I then try to explain that it is not a credit card, but a membership with RH. It is a hundred dollar annual fee that gives our clients very nice benefits. It offers 25% off all regular price items, 10% or better off of sale items, and then free designer services. It is the best option since it works for the clients when they need it. Look at it this way if you spend four hundred dollars or more at RH the card will pay for itself. It is a hard thing to pass up.
At RH we stand by our products and our clients. I think the grey card helps show that. We don’t have big holiday sales, because we don’t need to. Everyday is a sale for our members. We don’t want our clients to feel pressured to buy something just because it is on sale at that time. We want them to really understand the product they are purchasing and feel comfortable with it and purchase when it is best for them. It great to see the transformation of sales, that could soon be a thing at many stores. It truly is giving our clients what they want, when they want it.
Below is an example of how RH is always showcasing the membership and showing the benefit it is to the client.
picture from rh.com
I’ve always kind of thought that design life would be hectic and busy, becasue that’s been my experience thus far. I imagine it is, in general very much busy, but work comes and goes.
In school, we stay busy at all times and when we have a break it’s welcomed. As a student I want to learn as much as I can, but if things get slow I don’t mind it. However, in the working world it feels different and weird when things slow down. Even when I’m stressing over a project at work I’d rather have something to do than nothing.
My desk at work is usually piled with plans, as seen in picture, but usually most of them I have finished fixing or I am waiting for the next part of that project to begin. Some days I have quite a lot to work on, maybe four tasks at a time. Other days something happens and my computer is failing or I have one task and I complete it far before the day ends. I imagine that has something to do with there being less people at the office I’m located at and maybe the other location is more busy. These observations may seem a bit mundane, but I feel that there is something to be remembered about feeling the need to keep working. I don’t get payed at school, but the learning is extremely valuable. I’m feeling a need to shift my life style.
I love looking at art and images and learning about drawing,but I hardly read anymore. I want to, and I love the recommendations for the summer, it’s just something I need to put in action. What I feel I am trying to say here is that I’m noticing my ambition shifts while at work and I want to blend the feeling into my daily life. That I am learning a lot about how a small company runs and I want to feel the same motivation daily.
I think this is something I will continue pondering, maybe schedule time to alter my regular schedule to change things up.
Something that I have greatly learned about RH is how much they want to not only have knowledgable designers in the gallery, but also continue to teach their designers. I come in everyday and learn something new or hear from a more experienced designer about something that can help me evolve as a designer.
Everyday we have meetings to discuss some things that RH finds important and how we can learn from mistakes and make things better. We discuss design process and how to go through the process of helping our clients in the best way. I have been able to learn my role on the RH team so much faster by hearing others experiences and thoughts on how to do certain things. It really is a great way to see how you also can have potential in the company. Many of the members on the team I work on have been with RH for years. They have learned how to work with the design process in school, but also have adapted it to how RH works and with our clients needs.
I think it shows a lot about a company that takes an hour to discuss this with their members and tries to help them grow as designers. This is so important since the design world is always changing. It also helps our team become closer and more like a family. We are able to depend on each other and work as a group, not individuals. Just today I asked a few other designers on their opinion on what I was suggesting to a client before I processed their order. It reminds me a lot of working on group projects in studio.
RH cares about the future and wants their company to continue to grow as well as their designers. I am so thankful for this experience and all that I am learning from them this summer.
Below I have posted a photo from the RH modern collection. This is in some galleries, but will be put in more during the fall. They are still keeping their RH look but adding a modern twist to fit the needs of the clients in todays design trends.
Picture from the RH Modern catalog