9,000 Christmas Toys
20,000 Hipseat Baby Carriers
That’s how many items Rose Slocombe estimates she has wrapped and despatched as she celebrates 20 years of service at local toy and nursery business, Hippychick on Friday 30th September.
Rose has been working with Hippychick since 2002, shortly after the business was founded by Somerset mum, Julia Minchin in 1999.
At the beginning it was just me and a friend (who had offered to help) managing everything, including despatching our founding product, the Hippychick Hipseat. At the time, it was an absolutely revolutionary baby carrier and immediately went stellar with new parents’ says Julia Minchin, Hippychick Founder. ‘Hipseats were piled up all over our sitting room floor, up the stairs, in the garage, literally in every available space. That’s when Rose joined us, and thankfully she’s been with Hippychick ever since. She was affectionately referred to as ‘Downstairs Rose’ by our children, as we had another Rose working part time upstairs in the office.’
As Hippychick has grown and evolved over the years and moved into its premises in Bridgwater where it has been for the past 19 years, Rose has remained a constant, reigning supreme in the warehouse, executing her wrapping skills with efficiency and aplomb to meet the demand for orders.
Reflecting on her time at Hippychick Rose said: ‘Looking back over 20 years so much has changed. From working in the family home with 4 of us picking stock from the children’s playroom, garages, summerhouse and packing in the lounge, frantically sometimes as the courier would be waiting. Everything improved when we moved into the warehouse, as there was space to store things in designated places. The business grew with more staff, each bringing their own knowledge and personalities. I’ve seen lots of colleagues come and go and have kept friends with most. From not being at all technical over the years I’ve learnt alot, expanding my skills and knowledge with the help from my colleagues. From driving the forklift, helping unload containers to gift wrapping. I am 1 small cog in a well-oiled machine. Each member of staff brings their own strengths. I feel privileged to have spent the past 20 years working in this family run business with all colleagues/friends past and present.’
‘With sustainability issues at the forefront of everyone’s minds, the priority is minimising the packaging when getting every day nursery essentials out’ continues Rose. ‘But at Christmas, many customers want us to gift wrap, and that’s where the skills I’ve learned over the years come into play’.
Rose has been featured in media several times, offering video demonstrations and hints and tips on how to wrap Christmas gifts. ‘It’s surprising how many people don’t want the responsibility of wrapping themselves. I just love doing it and when you’ve been doing it for as long as I have, you get a feel for the size of paper required and the style of wrapping that will work best which are the most common issues that face amateurs.’
Asked what her favourite Hippychick product to wrap is this Christmas, Rose responds with the Classic World educational Wooden Toy range which are hippychick best sellers during the festive season. They come in a cardboard box, so they always look the business in Hippychick’s lovely recyclable wrapping paper.’
To reward her efforts, as well as her impressive length of service at Hippychick, Rose was presented with a Wheelybug replica cake by husband and wife owners of Hippychick, Julia and Jeremy Minchin, a potted rose for her garden as well as a magnum of champagne.
Further press information available from: Heloise D’Souza, DSouzaPR Ltd, Tel: 07770988612
Rose’s top Wrapping Tips for Christmas 2022
- The quality of the wrapping paper is EVERYTHING. There might be a lot of cheap paper around to tempt you, but poor-quality paper can tear easily, and is therefore a false economy. But you don’t need to go overboard. Recyclable rown parcel paper is always a good choice and leaves you with plenty of scope for artistic licence – with ribbons, felt tip pens and colourful gift tags.
- Layered tissue paper is also surprisingly strong and flexible – ideal for wrapping soft gifts such as cuddly toys.
- Never trust your instincts. You need to be absolutely sure the paper you are working with is the right size. There’s nothing more frustrating than working with a piece of wrapping paper that doesn’t quite meet in the middle!
- Place the gift in the middle of your wrapping paper. Make sure that the paper will cross with room to spare, over the largest part of the gift. Err on the side of generosity – always! You can cut back, if necessary.
- Preparation, preparation, preparation. Use a table (not the floor, particularly a carpeted one). Make sure you have all the tools you might need to hand and within easy grasp including sharp scissors. A steel ruler will tear paper with great accuracy and a sharp edge.
- Find a box! As we all know, wrapping something with straight edges is so much easier and neater. So always keep things like shoe boxes to accommodate particularly awkward shapes.
- Double sided tape will add a professional touch. And always double fold the paper to create a neat, straight edge before applying the tape.
- Use your fingernail along a fold line to create a sharp edge
- Put on some Christmas music. There’s nothing like a Christmas classic to get you in the mood for a wrap.