#herblovedlife: Day in the Life of Susie Young of Knot & Pop
We are so delighted to bring you the latest edition of our #herBLOVEDlife series and introduce you to Susie Young of Knot + Pop, a luxury wedding and events company based in London! Susie shares with us her beautiful studio space captured by Maxeen Kim Photography, as well as her typical day, more about her impeccable style, her background and goals for Knot + Pop!
What is your role at B.LOVED & what do you love about being part of the team?
As a B.LOVED contributor I really enjoy the sense of community that is creates across different threads of the wedding and lifestyle industries.
What’s your (professional) background, how did you get into what you do now?
Having worked for 10 years in Fashion PR and Events I longed to do something with more of a human touch, purpose and meaning. Working for brands such as ASOS, where I was PR Manager, and the mighty Mary Portas were fantastic career highs but ultimately I longed to do something that I felt really rewarded by. For years I helped build brands and businesses for others, and it came time to do that for myself – transferring my skill set from Fashion PR & Events, into the wedding world. Saying that, I still like to balance weddings with brand events as it keeps ideas fresh, and our credentials strong.
How would you describe your style?
My fashion style is a bit of a mix. Today I am wearing striped cashmere sweater with shirt underneath, smart black jeans and patent flats. Another day I could be wearing red heels, with turn up jeans and a shirt, or a dress with vans. I’d therefore say modern, quite laid back, but on the smart side of casual.
How do you stay inspired & motivated?
Holidays! I always find a tonne of inspiration on holiday. I also feel re-motivated after holidays so it’s a big love for me, and gives me that quality time with my partner. Friends also keep me motivated. I’m lucky to live in a really creative and entrepreneurial area of London, and I also have lots of friends who are freelance or have their own companies so it’s great to spark with them about ideas, highs and lows.
What’s your biggest business challenge?
The UK wedding planning market isn’t the same as the US or Australia. In those countries planners are often the first call made, but in the UK there is a different culture. Things are changing, and more people are realising the value and worth of a planner. I do love a challenge though so am constantly reviewing and adapting the brand offer to keep things fresh and inspiring, and in line with what couples need.
What are your goals for the next 12 months?
Try and get more of a work/life balance. Grow and diversify the business. Find time to business plan my Big Idea that has been in mind for a couple of years now and it’s time to put it into action!
What does a day in the life of Susie Young look like?
I am not a morning person. I never wake feeling awake! My mum is the most spritely person from first wake so I am hoping that this kicks in for me soon. Like clockwork, our neighbours cat is at our bedroom window at 6am so I let her in, and then I tend to snooze for an hour before getting up at 7am.
A few cat cuddles later (maybe the hubby gets one of those) and I’m reaching for the phone to scroll through Instagram, check Social Media and download emails for anything urgent that has come in from oversees clients. Several emails, Instagram post and Tweets later, at 815am I am showered and ready to head to the Studio in Seven Sisters, getting there for just before 9am.
I have never been a breakfast person which I know is awful. My husband is trying to change my routine with granola, yoghurt and fruit. I always have a Vitamin C fizzy in the morning and if I miss breakfast I sometimes get a delicious almond croissant and flat white from the local coffee shop, Craving Coffee, in Seven Sisters (who also do the best chocolate salted caramel brownie I have ever had…) The journey to work is in the car, with tunes on the iPod. I am meaning to get a bike as it’s apparently a nice cycle along the canal – that’s on the birthday list.
Our studio is in Seven Sisters within a new studio block that houses lots of creatives – from photographers, to jewellery designers, bike maker, book binders, and of course Lamplighter London who we studio share with, plus we’re excited to hear that a cool new bridesmaid label is planning to move in too. With jewellery, calligraphy, fashion, photographers and Hermione De Paula also moments ago in another studio block, it’s becoming an unexpected wedding mecca!
Both I and Lamplighter London were looking for a new space at the same time, and I had a connect to the building landlord so we were first in when she took the property on and claimed our ideal space. It was quite spooky – Chiara (Lamplighter London) has drawn in pink highlighter pen (wonderfully as you can imagine) her dream studio prior to us heading up there. It had high ceilings, plenty of light with big warehouse windows, exposed beams, sections of exposed brickwork…It really was a case of draw and the universe will deliver. When we walked into the space I got us to stand in a particular point and when we held up the drawing it was a mirror image.
We have a partition that divides us for privacy and also gives us both the much needed wall person space that we wanted for inspiration and imagery. We have a shared meeting room space with a lovely big table, and day bed from the Ilse Crawford collab with Ikea. We’ve placed down rugs and lots of greenery to make the space inviting for appointments, placing up artwork so the space feels nice and creative.
Our studio has a wall of shelves, full to (neatly) bursting with all many of props and decs, archive work and styling kit paraphernalia. We have a couple of desks within the space so there is room for my freelancers to work. There’s always improvements to be made, but having just moved in a couple of months ago we’re really happy in our new second home.
In terms of the working day, I am a list person through and through. I have my main weekly to do list that is then supported with a daily to do list. Despite excessive planning, every day things bend and flex so as much as you have your To Dos pre-allocated I find I need a more flexi approach on the day – hence this separate sub list system! In busy times we also have a Work Plan for the team, divided by person, tasks, deadlines and days. It is a bit nauseating when you first look at it but it gives good structure to things. I’m a bit tunnel vision when it comes to work so I like to put my head down on things, until I planned to complete it, rather than segmenting it up. I’m not saying this is best practise at all – it’s just habit and what works best for me.
Lunch is never a regular time as it depends how the day is unfolding. An early lunch is at 130pm, but it’s not unusual for me to grab lunch after 3pm. Blueberries or fruit snacks tend to get me through until that time, if a late lunch is on the cards. I usually always work through lunch. Again, wrong I know but it’s habit.
Every day is so varied. Anything client related is always a priority so that is the first thing to do in the day. In the afternoon therefore, when time, it is a case of turning to business aspects such as strategy, marketing and PR. With being ideas orientated I always have a list of business developments that I work through when I can to keep things bubbling away. I love the business development side of things – spotting the dots, joining them, finessing and improving.
End of working day
It tends to vary. On a good day 6.30pm, on average around 7.30pm. If I have a client meeting then around 9pm.
Dinner time + Evening
Dinner tends to be around 8.30pm or 9pm, again all variable. We don’t yet have kids so we don’t have routines set and every day differs with work needs or socials. Client meetings often take place in the evening so that is another reason for never having a set time for dinner.
When evenings aren’t taken up with anything work related, it tends to either be chilling with my husband with a good series like Stranger Things or Black Mirror, seeing a friend for a local drink in Hackney, or the gym when I’m feeling it. I’m sure the studio will get fairly sociable as more people move in – we had a lovely BBQ over summer in the courtyard which was a great way to end the working week, and with a pizza pop up opening in one of the units, I’m sure we’ll be their most regular customers!