Why is it the First “Official” Year?

Louise celebrates one year with the Brand Geeks

Louise is celebrating one year with the Brand Geeks!

Some of you may not know but I am married to Chris AKA Head Geek and maybe known to certain customers as ‘The Real Boss’. I guess it is my first ‘official’ year because after 13 years working from Monex Financial Services, I finally took the plunge to join all the team at The Brand Geeks HQ in Killorglin.

From the very start where we were working late nights in the office at home to growing the business to the point where we could both work full time. There was something great about having the comfort of one of us having a separate salary so that you can split the risk, but it was always our plan for me to join full time, but we just did not know when the time was right.

Timing is Everything

In 2020 we made the decision that I would join full time and finally make it official (and yes what a year was ahead of us!). So, the start of March 2020, we made this happen and I joined an office full of all boys, what was I thinking! Now all I had to do was remember all the ways they took their tea and coffees as you cannot just make one, you must make it for all the team. Finally, I think I have this one nailed.

Can you imagine if we planned for me to join in April and had waited, COVID hits and then maybe our perspective would have totally changed. Timing is everything, we had just invested in a wide format printer to be able to do signage in-house and I was joining at the same time. Two weeks later and we are in a pandemic which the likes have never been seen before. There was no change of mind form, we were in it and we just had to make it work.

Lockdown is announced, so now this became our “New Norm”. We were lucky with the business model we could still work away with COVID Signage and Print Signs whilst also very aware that some business had to close their doors. As with all parents, the juggling of work and school life was hard to adjust.

Every household now started using Zoom as their day-to-day routines. With four kids at home every day and managing online school classes and work zoom meetings, we nearly had to have a rota going between us and where our four-year-old could not go. And you know too well, if you tell a child do not go into a room, all they want to do is go in. I am sure, he has appeared in many Zoom meetings and online classes over the last few months, popping his head in to say hello!

The dream team Chris and Louise!

The dream team Chris and Louise!

Restrictions are Lifted

So, roll on a few months, and restrictions are lifted, and everyone is now adjusting to new restrictions, schools have re-opened and office life is starting to feel normal again. Again, for everyone adjusting takes some time, no more working at home in PJs, we must throw on some make up and make us presentable looking again (well for the girls anyway!).

Chris now spending longer days and late evenings in the office (not sure was it just an excuse to avoid the home life madness!). Timing is everything, the new printer was on overdrive with yellow COVID signage, we don’t know how many packs of yellow ink we went through, I’m sure we were all nearly dreaming at night of yellow signs at this stage.

Mum’s taxi started operating again and, in a way, I missed all the running and racing too. So, roll on Christmas where we all had high hopes of welcoming family to the Christmas dinner and getting those hugs that we all started craving all year…we needed this! Then, we got the dreaded call, COVID has hit our local town and schools have now closed, testing had begun and no Christmas gatherings. Back working from home and back to our lockdown routines, yes for the mammies, back to staying in PJs that bit longer and kids saying “I’m bored” fifty times a day.

New Year came with new challenges for everyone, this not only affects our day-to-day, but it has been a long year, and everyone is now starting to get physically and emotionally drained. We could not have a Christmas party😭!

We are now yearning for those meet up with friends and families, we are now planning the Christmas Party in the summer, occasions that we missed out on, events that we missed, family occasions that we were not part of and most importantly spending time with loved ones but for some may not be around anymore. Here we are now, entering March 2021 with restrictions still in place and now re-opening of schools. Finally, there may be an end to homeschooling and working from home.

So, as I reach a my ‘First Official Year ‘milestone here in The Brand Geeks, I reflect in what a year it has been, yes it was the year that we took the leap to leave my job for over 13 years (and of course I miss all my colleagues as I know they will be reading this) but also the year that we all stood together, supported each other on both personally and a business level. Personally, it has been a year of multitasking, learning, adjusting and stepping up to new challenges.

Even though we were all faced with many challenges over the year, we have an incredibly supportive team and the craic and laughs we have is something that makes us get through it all together. There is not a day that goes by where I get asked the same question: “How do you work together and live together?” (I mean Chris, the other Brand Geeks go home to their own families). I suppose we first met working together and we are so busy when we get home with four kids that we do not have much time to be asking about work stuff. You must be disciplined enough try and separate the two.

As I finish up here, I must now clean the colouring off the walls here as yes, I did leave my four-year-old unattended while I write this. As I said, timing is everything and he certainly took his opportunity …