Josie Bicknelle - Mar 22 2023

My role at Hoadys

Since starting at Hoadys in early 2021, my job role has gone through quite the evolution. When you think of the face of our brand, the person that comes to mind is probably Rob. You would have seen a few of his videos on TikTok, and most likely think of me as just ‘his girlfriend that works with him’.

I wanted to come on here and formally introduce myself to you all, and let you in a little on my journey with this business so far, what I actually do day to day, and how that’s evolved since I started.

So, hi, I’m Josie.

In 2020, I initially joined Hoadys to help Rob with candle production so that he had time to focus on other aspects of the business, such as marketing and procurement. This stayed the same for a few months, until I noticed certain areas of the business that needed desperate attention. Namely, customer service.

Rob had been receiving customer emails for a few weeks, and, to put it frankly, replying to them wasn’t exactly his strong point. He’s also not the best at spelling. Or grammar. Or writing, really.

Just prior to joining Hoadys, I had been working for a retail company, mainly spending my time handling customer service queries and solving problems for people, and I actually loved it. I know that for a lot of people it can feel very dull and time-consuming, but I genuinely got a lot of fulfilment from solving people’s problems and making their day better.

I have also always adored writing, and since leaving education have found less and less excuses to sit down and type.

So really, my taking over the customer service department was a win-win situation; customers were kept happy, and so was I.

Later on down the line, I found that in times where business was a little slower and I didn’t have as many daily tasks to get through, I would find myself aimlessly clicking through our website and making mental notes of things I didn’t like.

Rob had set up a very generic, simple website, which served its purpose but didn’t really represent the brand in any way. The branding we had both wanted for Hoadys was for it to feel fun and colourful; to appeal to young people like ourselves. The website was - to put it frankly - plain. It was all whites and creams and nothing-y fonts.

So, naturally, I took it upon myself to learn how to do website design - something I had no prior experience in whatsoever.

Ever since then it’s become my sole responsibility to keep the website fresh, pretty, and easy to use. It’s easily the best part of my job, and I have so much fun playing around with it in the quieter moments.

Staying organised has always come easily to me, which led to me picking up another job role that suited me more than Rob - head of distribution.

With how many orders we had started to receive on a weekly basis, I found myself getting anxious that without an organised system in place, mistakes would be made in distributing the parcels. So, of course, I created such a system, and am still head of distribution to this day.

A daily list of orders

Every day, I organise, create shipping labels and dispatch every order that’s been placed.

As we continued on with the business, I came to the pretty obvious revelation that in order to sell more stock, you need a wider range of products. To start with, we were selling only ‘I Love You’, and custom candles, and that was it. As I was learning more about our customer base, I was realising that they were generally around 15-30 year old women, and responded well to funnier, cheekier messages.

It was my initiative to introduce various messages, including ‘Bitch, You’re My Soulmate’, ‘You’re So Fucking Hot’, ‘You Glow Girl’, and ‘Bad Bitch Energy’. I knew we were going to release these candles in the summertime, and had a vision of them containing a new, summery scent, and having bright, bold packaging.

'Hot Girl Summer' packaging

I had no skills to back me up, but I knew I wanted to have full creative control over the graphic design of that packaging.

With a little of Rob’s help (as he had used the software before) I quickly became skilled in using Adobe Illustrator, and made some demo’s for the ‘Hot Girl Summer’ collection, which Rob instantly loved. They were bright, bold, and fun - everything we wanted the brand to represent. I had so much fun making them that since then, I’ve developed all of the packaging completely on my own.

Rob has always loved photography - he studied it in college, and has pursued taking photos as a hobby for many, many years now. So, when it came to taking product photography of the candles, he seemed to be the perfect fit.

It’s been such a long time now to remember exactly what happened, and so I’ve just asked Rob for his recount. In his words, “I started taking them first and they were just a bit shit. Remember when the website was all boring and beige? I think you just started doing it and I gave you full creative vision”. So, there we have it.

I’ve never been professionally trained in photography, and I wouldn’t say I’m amazing, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun once I get stuck into it.

I find it so immensely satisfying to have a creative direction in my head, and be able to bring that to life with very little budget or tools.

With the fact that it was my creative vision coming through with the photography, and the website, and the packaging, it only made sense for me to carry that through to the Instagram page, too. So, the next time you see an Instagram post from Hoadys pop up on your feed, remember, that was me!

Even with all of these creative outlets handed to me at work, I still felt I was missing something. As I told you earlier, growing up, my favourite subject at school was always English - I love writing and find it my most creatively fulfilling outlet. So, as soon as Rob discovered the importance of email marketing, and building a relationship with our customer base, I jumped on that task too.

All of the emails you receive on a weekly basis were written by me. And of course, the most recent addition to my job role at Hoadys - this blog.

It was a selfish idea of mine to start a weekly blog page for Hoadys, and I’ve enjoyed every second of it.

I love being able to simultaneously express my love for writing whilst also being able to let you all in a little more on the stories behind this business.

And here we are! Working for Hoadys has allowed me to express my creativity in a way I never thought I’d be lucky enough to do in a work setting, and I’m so eternally grateful for that privilege.

Some more blog posts you might like...

It's time for a change

Jun 06, 2023 Josie Bicknelle

Summertime self-hatred

May 24, 2023 Josie Bicknelle

We're going to Japan!

May 12, 2023 Josie Bicknelle


Be the first to hear about new product launches & get exclusive discount codes, straight to your inbox!