Meet RA: Suzanne

Posted by: Nellie Laskow

How did you come to work at Rebecca Atwood?

I saw the posting for my position in the Word of Mouth newsletter, and within minutes my best friend texted me a screenshot of it and encouraged me to apply. I hadn’t been actively job searching, but I knew that I wanted my next career move to be an operations role at a small business that aligned with my values and was keeping an eye out for opportunities. I had followed Rebecca Atwood on Instagram for years, and when I saw the job spec, my heart dropped, and I had an overwhelming feeling that this is what I’d been waiting for. I applied and 2 months later joined the team!

 

What do you do at RA?

I am the Operations Manager at RA. I’m responsible for production, inventory management, and fulfillment, so I work closely with all of our vendors to make our products and get them to you. I’m currently covering our Operations Assistant position until we are able to resume hiring, so I process your orders and send out your swatches each day.

 

What would be the advice you’d give for someone who wanted your career?

My background is in copyediting, and I would encourage anyone interested in fulfillment or production to look for opportunities to practice quality control in some capacity. Experience as the gatekeeper of errors not only helps with finding mistakes when they happen but also with anticipating them. 

I would also say that being willing to wear many hats and trying a lot of different roles earlier in my career has helped me immensely in my operations roles. Operations is at the intersection of many different functions and often involves coordinating across multiple departments or companies. Having a working knowledge of areas outside my expertise makes coordination much easier when I’m able to understand the needs of all stakeholders.

 

What is your favorite memory of your time at RA?

Our vendor visits are highlights for me. Last summer we were able to visit our wallpaper printers in Connecticut and our digital fabric printers/warehouse in Pennsylvania. It was so great to spend time with our wonderful production partners, who I’m in touch with on a near-daily basis, and I really enjoyed being able to witness the printing process.

Having our aura portraits taken at the Living With Color book party was also a very special memory.

 

What does ‘home’ mean to you?

I see my home as both a reflection of and a tool for cultivating my values. My partner and I wrote a vision statement for our home a few months ago, and in it, we decided we want our home to be a place that promotes comfort, function, joy, and inspiration. We try to remember that our home can be dynamic and frequently reevaluate whether our space is conducive to the routines we want to develop for our health and happiness.

 

What is your favorite thing about your home?

Right now, I’m especially appreciating my 2nd bedroom that we use as an office. I’m so privileged to have already had a dedicated space for working that is separate from my living/cooking/sleeping spaces. We did Meghan Wallace James’s Move Out, Move In exercise with our office when I brought our swatch inventory to my apartment, and we ended up totally reconfiguring the room. It’s been a really nice workspace since.

 

What is keeping you calm right now?

On the work-front, I’ve been taking comfort in the unexpected upsides of this time.

Having to adapt quickly to a variety of changes has allowed me to reexamine a lot of our systems and find flexibility or room for improvement in details I may not have considered otherwise. The collective pause we’ve all had to take has also created space to think creatively and execute ideas that may have been back burnered under normal circumstances. The past few weeks and the weeks ahead have fortunately been an opportunity for refinement and growth in the operations realm.

As a human, sticking to an out-of-office routine and TV time have been keeping me sane!

Throughout the workday and evening, I use alarms and timers on our color-changing bulbs to give the day rhythm and remind me to do things. My alarms are Vega-Tables for snack and lunchtimes and Closing Time for chores in the evening. Our office lights flash rainbow colors at 5 pm as a reminder to wrap up the workday and start the transition to off -time.

I struggle with anxiety and find that focusing on stories helps me to get out of my head, so I’ve been spending a lot of my off-time watching TV. I like to watch an episode of the shows I follow that are released weekly in the morning during what would have been my commute, and I rewatch old favorites like Younger and Jane the Virgin before bed.



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