Life at Neo Walk like anything else today has the internet at it’s heart. I guess when you’re nurturing a small modern business through it’s growth period, it can sometimes feel like every week is an 8 day week and there’s not enough hours in the day. So working in your pyjamas at night extends your day where a traditional workplace couldn’t. Not that I’m grumbling, because I really love what I do and I feel very lucky to share some style magic with everyone and fire two fingers up at dull, old fashioned sticks and whoever created them. So like many other modern businesses a lot of my work is done online and on my phone, and I can more often than not be seen glued to it. While I’m watching tv? Guilty. Even though that annoys me when other people do it. In a cafe eating with Mr? Guilty. In bed? Guilty. But there must be more to my life and my day I hear you whisper…
So what happens during an average day? Who are my team players? Who really makes the tea? Well listen up and let me tell you…
First let me introduce the team.
You all know enough about me. Bit of a daredevil, handy with my hands and loves dogs. I guess I’m the Boss. I like the sound of that! Here’s a task we should all do and I please do invite you to do it in the comments below. Describe myself in 3 words…BRAVE WARM INDEPENDENT. I choose to say all the good things I think I am, so if I could have 4th word it would be POSITIVE. I love style and colour, and I am a secret vintage dresser. I love looking through charity shops for one off unique bargains, I love interesting jewellery and I still love shoes, the quirkier the better. I used to be a hairdresser and still like fiddling and changing colours. Love a wig, watch this space for some dressing up!
He’s the music man behind the woman. He’s a Major Catastrophe demoted to be Captain Sensible. He drills, he cuts grass, he glues and he screws. He’s tall and handsome but not as dark as he was, that boat sailed many years ago. To describe him in 3 words…DYNAMIC GENEROUS TALENTED. If he could have 2 more words they’d be BLOODY LUCKY because he has me. Naturally. There’s nothing this man can’t learn to do, nothing he can’t fix and nobody that can empty a dishwasher faster than him. If it was legal to marry your Dyson I think I’d be dumped in a flash. He looks good in a uniform, plays slow songs on the piano for me, has a love of war films and could watch The Great Escape every day. If he was allowed…who’s the boss remember!
She says post and I say when. She wants pictures so I snap til I drop. This young lady is my marketing manager, my content guru, and the person who has taught me all the pleasures and success of Instagram and social media. She’s five feet five inches, a pocket rocket of confidence and knowledge, fearless user of quorn, avid fan of avocados. Her 3 words would be BEAUTIFUL HUMANITARIAN CREATIVE. Her 4th word would be FRIEND. To me and others. Believe me, I’ve seen her square up to guys and tell them to back off, she’s jumped off a bus to help somebody carry their shopping, she’s stood up to bullies and told them to get lost, you don’t want this woman as an enemy. She’s a big Disney fan, and hates the same roller coasters as me. She has more clothes than Mariah Carey and manages to make anything look stylish.
Team Neo Walkies
The team that licks together sticks together, their motto in life is ‘If you can’t eat it or play with it, pee on it and walk away’. They are the most unlikely bunch of dogs with the most unlikely backgrounds. First is Stella, small grey poodle, from a rescue centre in Barnsley. She was believed to have been kept in a cage which she’d tried to chew her way out of. She’s utterly devoted to yours truly, she’s never more than 2 inches from me, has 8 teeth, 11 years old and practically blind now but can still hear the rustle of a fish stick wrapper from 20 yards. Second is BB, aka Blonde Bombshell was a puppy machine in a dirty Paris puppy farm for 11 years before she came to us. She’s now 13, sassy as a blonde should be, has no concept of bladder control, sleeps 23 hours a day (my spirit animal) and wakes the household up everyday at BB o’clock. Third is Indy, Weimaraner or Bananarama as some say, he was abandoned by his people aged 3 at a dog shelter in France. He is now 6, has learned enough English to know he’s good, bad or being fed. His kill count is impressive and he has a very strong prey drive. Ask our cat. Oh you can’t. It’s dead. He is a clown, a toddler, a hooligan, a cuddler and nooker. He is best friends with the bear, devoted to his family, barks at fresh air and lays on top of me when he knows I’m in pain. Fourth is the bear, Buddy, Newfoundland, true Yorkshire man. He did eat all the pies. This huge fella is lazy, sleepy, always in the way, hairy, niffy, and I love him so much. My friend, my protector, he always checks up on me, he isn’t a needy cuddler but he knows when you need one. Never leaves a man down, counts all his friends into bed at night, he is the nanny dog. Pretty fluent in basic French and Yorkshire, answers to Bubba, Bear, Dudley and Big Guy. Three words to describe them all… LOYAL LAZY HUNGRY with an add on of NOISY and SLOBBERY.
So that’s the day to day team. Between us we create our Neo Walk sticks and our social media community. I like to think I am the main player and it’s my name above the door, and my picture on the box! A typical day involves making several sticks, and boxing them up ready for the post. Posting is often down to Mr Neo Walk as I struggle carrying much more than an empty envelope. People are very helpful though and if I ask someone to take a box in somewhere inaccessible for me they nearly always say yes. It’s a great way to spread the word too and start a conversation about sticks! Mr Neo Walk is also responsible for fitting the Neo Mix handles, the metal T handles that have been really popular. I’m not sure he trusts me with drills and strong glue even though I tell him I’m not that heavily medicated. Maybe he likes the glory of the posh shiny handle making but either way it has become his job. He does it for the love. He certainly gets nothing else. Most days now also involve a lot of social media work and writing my lovely blog! I love this part of the day when I get to read what everyone else is saying, pick up on new threads and conversations, see lots of gorgeous pictures and get to be creative myself. To be honest I didn’t think I would enjoy it the way I have. I have had expert guidance of course from Cherub Offspring, who is a marketing and events manager herself, and doesn’t struggle with telling her ageing mother what to do. Our daily communication will include several texts from her morning walk to work, me panicking about what today’s post should be, a few links to cute dog videos, maybe a smiley selfie, and often me missing a phone call from her because I’m having an old lady nap on the sofa later on. I’ve never been quite so attached to my phone and my screen time is a bit shocking, but in my defence I do read books on it too, as well as looking at the cute dog videos and Instagram. If I had young children I would find it so hard to tell them to get off their tech devices and I understand how their worlds revolve around their connectivity. I still think Mr Neo Walk goes on his phone more than I do, so there’s always a bit of wiggle room for some shaming there. I love taking photographs and at some point during the day I will focus my attention on a random subject. More phone time, for me it’s never ending. Throw in a Face time call to Mum and I’m officially addicted. Has anyone ever tried a digital detox and just how scary was it turning your back on this instant world of companionship with friends you don’t know? I know people say they are more productive when they’ve gone tech free, but in my defence I do feel I am being productive when I’m using it, by making my business run, growing and networking with people who might want what I have. I think I’d be very lonely without my phone and the world it gives me. I haven’t lost the art of conversation, and I believe reading makes me a more interesting person. Ask Buddy, he’s bowled over with my banter every day. Maybe one week I’ll do a detox and keep a written diary to share excerpts from afterwards. Would my brain blossom? Mr Neo Walk would have to do it too or I would go crazy and potentially violent watching him on his phone. Nomophobia is the real fear of being without your phone. I wouldn’t say I have that, nor would I say I feel unsafe without my phone, but in a way I just feel incomplete, and likely to miss something, I have FOMO or rinxiety. The fear of missed calls and messages. Plus those dog videos aren’t going to watch themselves you know.
So when the door is shut on Neo Walk for the day, I am probably the most dull person on the planet, with interests like reading, dog walking, coffee shops and people watching with napping coming high up the wish list too. Having people round for food and a beer, chatting and laughing, really connecting and getting to know them. Having done it this week, it was no surprise that our phones and digitally connecting with each other played a part in it too. We were showing each other photographs, looking at websites, adding each other on Instagram, playing pieces of music to each other and yes, watching cute dog videos. I’m not suggesting I would sit having dinner checking out E Bay for my latest pair of quirky court shoes, but if using your phone is within the context of your conversations then I don’t have a problem.
So the phone wins, tech wins, our crappy internet connection makes my day, but I don’t think I’d like to change it. I’m learning, reading, broadening my knowledge of subjects I’m interested in, and I’m connecting with lovely people in UK, Canada, Sweden, USA and Filey. I hope this connectivity keeps me young, and keeps me asking questions that I can find the answer to. Just how long is the flight too Zanzibar? Plus where the hell is Zanzibar?
Maybe you should all live in fear of me discovering vlogging.
Now look what’s happened, while I was using my computer, Mr Neo Walk has put the Great Escape on.
PS Please add your three word description of yourself below, and be kind to yourself. xx