Celebrating 18 years of #loftlife. Craig is one of our longest serving team members, who started out in our installation team and who has now grown and developed with us to become our Head of Operations. Celebrating 18th working years with us, join us as we discuss his journey, passion for the company, and working with our outstanding warehouse and installation teams, and giving us an insight into the behind-the-scenes work that goes into our services.
18 years working at LOFT, that is an amazing achievement! Tell us about a typical day 18 years ago compared to a day in 2021.
The company was very different back then and Burton Road was our retail outlet, workshop and warehouse space. A typical day would vary from staging furniture, rearranging the shop, assembling furniture, loading the vans (we only had two), delivering customer’s orders, tidying the warehouse (a fraction of the size it is now!) and welcoming customers and clients into the shop. Of course, a trip to the local café for ham and cheese sandwiches was also part of #loftlife back then. My role is very different now, with the company evolving digitally I spend a lot of my time attending meetings (virtually at the moment) and communicating with various people and departments to continually improve the overall operation of what we do.
You started working in deliveries and installation – do you think that this now helps you in your current job role?
The journey I have been on certainly has helped me to understand fully the various areas of the business, a definite benefit.
Something we always want to know about our team members, from their first coffee to checking emails, is what’s the first you do when you get into work?
I say good morning to those that are in the office, then fire up the computer and see what’s on the agenda for the day.
Working in any industry is not without its changes and over the last 18 years you’ll have no doubt seen many. What would you say have been the biggest changes you’ve seen?
The biggest change I’ve witnessed has to be the introduction of new and different departments over the years, from our continued growth resulting in more employees and positions. From when I started there were only four employees to what is it today really is staggering.
We know it might be hard to choose just one, but what’s would you say is the favourite part of your job?
The Process. I like seeing everything tick over nicely like a well-oiled machine! The satisfaction of seeing the start of the process to the end.
Is this the industry you always thought you would go into?
No it wasn’t my first career path. After initially studying electrical engineering, the furniture industry was a completely different industry than I imagined. But after starting here as a summer temp, I ended up staying and the rest is history…
Can you tell us who most inspires you at LOFT?
Benjamin and Robert Hall for their drive, entrepreneurial skills and genuine compassion, trust and support! I’ve worked for them for long enough that if they didn’t possess these there would be something wrong. But also, Rita Hall, always so caring and compassionate but at the same time has an incredible work ethic, keeping everyone, including Ben and Rob in check! There are lots of talented and inspiring individuals but I am inspired by Robert Ashcroft who is an incredibly practical engineer, can fix anything whilst remaining resourceful and is a talented motorbike mechanic to boot.
You must have learnt quite a lot in your time working here, can you tell us some of the things you’ve learnt along the way?
After almost two decades I don’t think I could list all the things I have learnt, but it has certainly been an education. Life is after all a learning curve.
Whether is during a pandemic or when the world was a little bit more normal, what motivates you when you’re having a challenging day?
The thought of enjoying a cool, crisp cider whilst working in my garden or on the allotment. Possibly my favourite past time!
Now here’s where we get a little personal, can you tell us something most people wouldn’t know about you?
I am a keen fish keeper, I’ve an outdoor pond and two aquariums! The cats love it!
Our company has come a long way, where do you see LOFT being in 10 years’ time?
I see the company continuing to grow year on year and see an entrance to different marketplaces – hotels, care homes etc. Not to mention consumer online retail. The future is definitely bright.