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Reflections on a whirlwind of a year

Reflections on a whirlwind of a year

With the longest day behind us, we thought it'd be a good time to step back, and share what's been going on behind the scenes at team BU - the highs, the lows and what we're excited about for the months ahead. Here's co-founders Armine and Richard with their thoughts on another crazy year.

We’ve all been affected by Covid-19 in very different ways. How has it impacted the BU business?

Armine - As our business is mainly focused on physical design, we’ve been affected more than other industries. On the one hand, we saw a boost in sales due to more people shopping online. The downside, however, is that we've not been able to meet in person as much to focus on new product development.

Many of us have had to embrace new ways of working during lockdown. How has it changed the way you collaborate together? Any positive learnings?

Richard - Similar to almost all businesses we had to replace our usual way of working with video calls. It took some time to adjust, as our product design process is very much about the feel and interaction, or emotional connection of the product rather than solely focusing on technologies and specifications. 

Armine - A positive learning for us was the realisation that a wide range of demographics now shop online. With this in mind, we're striving to make the online shopping experience as frictionless as possible for everyone. 

Covid aside, Brexit has posed its own unique challenges. How have you found the day-to-day reality of running a small business now that we've left the EU?

Armine - The cocktail of Brexit and Covid has been tough for all UK businesses - whether they're importing or exporting. We do both of these, and as a result we've been hit by shortages of certain product components.

"The cocktail of Brexit
and Covid 
has been tough
for all UK businesses"

A big portion of our sales are to the US which we’ve had to put on hold due to shipment issues caused by the Covid backlog all couriers are experiencing. Similarly, there are big administrative hoops to jump through to get products into Europe, so it has massively impacted our European market.

However, we are looking at having a physical presence in both of these regions so we won't be restricted by UK-US and UK-EU logistics.

What are you most looking forward to now that Covid restrictions are easing?

Richard - Definitely being able to collaborate more in person. Whether I'm in the same room as Armine and we're feeding off each other's ideas, or we're working with our photographer Jonathan capturing the best shot...that’s when the magic happens.

"It has intensified our belief
that the way we consume
must change for future

What do you feel optimistic about looking to the future?

Armine - We're both fathers to young children, which has really forced us to take a step back and question the direction of our business. It's also intensified our belief that the way we consume must change for future generations.

Richard - Some exciting news... we're actually busy working on a new product due to be launched in Q4 of 2021. More info on this soon!

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