Behind The Scenes: Meet Lauren, GLTC's Web Designer
Have you ever wondered who is behind the incredible mood boards and room inspiration that you can click through to from GLTC's homepage? And who puts together the beautifully presented emails that drop in to your inbox from us?
Well, let us introduce you to Lauren Gardner, GLTC's web designer. We recently took the opportunity to fire some questions at Lauren, all about her role at GLTC and her top tips for putting together an amazing mood board. If you're about to start decorating your child's bedroom, read on.
Hi Lauren, can you please tell us a little bit about your role at GLTC?
The lovely thing about GLTC is that we are a small enough company to all cross-over in our roles so as a marketing team we work really closely together and feed into each other’s areas every day.
I’ve been a web designer here for 6 years now. I’m very close to our collections and my role is to speak to our customers through emails and the website about why they will love the product as much as we do!
I work regularly across all online content and create inspirational mood boards each season for our ‘Rooms’ area, pulling themes together to inspire busy style-conscious parents.
What does your average day look like?
I work part time, splitting my week between here and home with my kids - my home days are filled with school runs, sports clubs, park trips and play dates so it’s always a welcome sight to see the calm (not always) bright GLTC office when my working week starts!
Every day starts with coffee and a natter. We then get together to discuss what we would like to talk about, whether it’s a storage issue we can solve, an upcoming event like Red Nose Day or World Book Day, the changing of the clocks, etc. We make a plan and then I design the emails that arrive in the inboxes and the graphics you see across the website.
I am constantly working to keep the website and emails exciting, pulling on lovely quotes from happy customers and showcasing bestsellers.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love that it is so totally different from my days at home. At work, I am organised, productive, challenged and inspired by my fellow designers - I like that I come in and make a difference, and being part of a small team I see my work being implemented, I get feedback on it and I see how it benefits us as a company. It’s rewarding.
Keeping regular customer communication fresh is hard work and requires lots of thought and creativity, and I love the challenge of making something new and beautiful each week.
But what I REALLY love most is when I have some time and I can luxuriate over animating a static image - making our Mr Fox subtly blink on the homepage, bringing him to life - it’s the little things that keep me happy! Also being surrounded by beautiful things all day is wonderful - it’s like 8 hours of window shopping (though it’s dangerous when it tips over into actual shopping which is very easily done!)
And what has been your favourite project to work on so far?
Probably the website re-design in 2017 which is an on going, ever-evolving project. I loved transforming our old website into the lovely space it is now. It now reflects our brand - it is light and airy and easy to shop with pops of fun colours and inspirational pages.
I used to work in print design and once the work goes to print there is no changing anything - I love how fast paced online design is, anything can be pulled down and updated at any moment - I love that you can constantly better what you have, evolve with what is happening at that moment.
It can become an obsession though as there is always something you can do so you have to learn to walk away from it too. It’s embarrassing how excited the web manager and I get when a big change goes live on the website!
You are the queen of beautiful mood boards/room collections. What's your process for creating them?
I tend to work around a print or palette and draw on that, moving laterally to introduce items that are not directly linked but compliment. Over-themed rooms are a little predictable and also date quickly. I tend to aim for a spread of products - starting for instance with timeless, practical furniture and storage then adding different textures - a plush wool rug, a few rope baskets, soft cotton bedding then some accessories and toys as finishing touches.
Do you have a favourite mood board and why?
It would have to be the Woodland Toddler Bedroom mood board that I have just put together for this season. I absolutely love the product in it, with the gorgeous woodland print tepee and bedding. I know I would have loved this as a child- an adventure into a fairytale land almost.
The palette is muted and works so well with the Star Bright or white & wood pieces. I love the idea of this being the basis laid out for our customers and that they can then make it their own. I think it’s such a lovely theme to layer up on top of- whether that means adding soft grey rugs and accessories or breaking it up with colour pops.
I have bought a lot of this range for my daughter who is soon to transition from nursery to toddler bedroom and I’m excited to add some beautiful artwork to the mix and some hand-made liberty print floor cushions. I think I’ll be adding a few woodland characters, like our Animal Book Storage Carts, Caddies and Clothes Hangers. It’s a theme that can grow up nicely with a child, it’s certainly my favourite - who wouldn’t want to snuggle in a woodland tepee at bedtime for a story?! I know I would!
Do you have any tips for people wanting to create mood boards at home before embarking on a children's room makeover?
I think it’s important to have a focus to help things work together coherently, whether that be an overall theme or a hero item. I like to focus on a statement piece of artwork or a print to set the mood, then build around this feature as closely or loosely as you want. It’s important to ‘consider the client’, your child, as it’s easy to tailor the space to your own tastes rather than theirs.
I would recommend you buy beautiful neutral furniture and storage like the Islander range, Gallery Bookcases and Any Which Way Wall Shelves then get creative with accessories that would appeal to your child - even the most commercial sparkly, shiny character can look stylish if displayed on a beautiful shelf!
I think mood boards are a fun creative thing, and if your child is at the right age get them involved in the process - not all inspiration needs to come from online - get them to find textures and colours that please them to add, find things with them in nature, shops, galleries, magazines. Try to incorporate a piece of their artwork/craft that they are particularly proud of. Our Magnetic Art Frame is great for this, it truly makes the space their own.
Most importantly have fun and enjoy exploring everything, you might find something that you hadn’t considered, especially with a little helper to open your eyes!
Finally, which of the current GLTC products would you have liked/played with most as a child?
It’s so hard to choose! But I remember emptying our kitchen cupboards as a child and setting up shop in the living room or garden with anything and everything I could lay my hands on so I think I’d have chosen the Lolly & Scoop Ice Cream Shop and the Star Beans Coffee Shop… and a few wooden food sets to go with it!!! It would have made my Mum’s life a lot easier and the house a bit tidier!
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