A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… oh wait, no that’s the wrong story, sorry. 10 long years ago, in a small mid-Devon town, far, far in the South West of England, resides an online stationery store and it’s here where I turned up, a mere Padawan among the stationery Jedi. Fortunately my training was strong; the force was with me.
When I was asked to look back at my 10 years at Cult Pens I was reminded of how much has changed. Back in the olden days there were only 10 employees which included the owners Simon and Amanda, and we all worked on one floor of our building – the offices, warehouse, packing stations, dispatch and staff rooms were crammed into one floor and three rooms. Fast forward 10 years and we’re now at 30 plus employees and spread across two floors, taking over our entire building, with some of the team working in the office and some of us at home. Some live close to Tiverton, others live miles and miles away. One thing that has always been the same though, is our team spirit. Whether we are all in the office together or spread across floors and homes, Cult Pens have the best team and one I’m very proud to be a part of.
Some of my favourite memories over the years include winning the Customer Service Award at the Internet Retail Awards (where we were up against giants like ASOS and John Lewis might I add). As a member of the Customer Service Team this was a huge moment and something I was very proud to contribute toward winning (and not to mention came with a night out at the rewards show in London, held at Number 1 Mayfair, which for a country girl was quite the event!) And when Simon and Amanda brought Herbie to the office for the first time, only months old, I thought I would explode from an overload of cuteness. When the beast from the east came and those of us who had made it to work realised that James, our fabulous Products and Graphics team member from St Lucia, had never seen snow before, the boss decided we must all stop working and have a snowball fight with immediate effect (see what I mean about having the best team?) Then the pandemic hit and we were ready with a plan and didn’t have to shut down for a minute due to the efforts of everyone to keep things going and get those well-needed orders out to our customers at such a stressful and worrying time.
I’ve also learnt a few things too. How to say Mnemosyne, that Caran d’Ache is pronounced ‘karen dash’ not ‘karen de ash’ and that you pronounce onyx like ‘on-ix’ not ‘oinks’. Unfortunately that last one I learnt after saying it on the phone to a customer! Fortunately she found it funny - along with the entire team who had overheard. Learning the phonetic alphabet for the purposes of checking post codes and addresses over the phone was challenging. ‘To confirm that’s S for Sierra?’, ‘yes that’s right, F for Freddy’. I’ve also picked up a few things about stationery and calligraphy along the way too. Calligraphy is a huge passion and hobby of mine and I’ve now improved so much over the years I can offer my calligraphy for weddings and events and have even had my work featured on Brides online magazine, something which wouldn’t have been possible without the support and encouragement of all at Cult Pens, not to mention a useful staff discount on my huge stationery habit!
To sum up, working at Cult Pens for the last 10 years I have seen us change in lots of ways, but two things remain the same and always will, I love people and I love stationery, which still makes Cult Pens the best place to be.