A Day in the Working Life of Rebecca Winckworth, Co-Founder of White & Green homewares
02nd Mar 2020
By day, Rebecca Winckworth, Co-Founder of White & Green, helps to run the organic linen and homeware brand from her home in Colombia. By night, she’s a professional singer, swapping linens for ballgowns. Here, she details what goes into her working day.
I wake at… I live half of the year in Medellín, Colombia where we have one season and one sunrise/sunset time each day. I wake naturally at 5.30 am or so.
The first thing I do every morning is… Drink a litre of water which kickstarts my metabolism before I enjoy my shower.
Breakfast is usually… water and a coffee. I started intermittent fasting around three years ago and would never look back. This means I don’t eat breakfast, I “fast” between my evening meal the night before and lunchtime. It has made my energy and concentration skyrocket and I don’t have that afternoon drowsy feeling which used to haunt me every day.
I can’t go to work without… My trusty Macbook Air — to my detriment, I am rarely without it.
Deciding what to wear each morning is… based on the weather. In Medellín, it’s a spring day every day, so I like to wear light and comfy clothing. I hate synthetic materials, so I try to wear all-natural, breathable fibres.
The best investment I ever made in my work wardrobe was… a collection of ball gowns. White & Green is my organic bed linen company which I run with my family, however, by night I am a professional singer, so I invest in spectacular ball gowns to wear on stage. I used to only buy them in the USA before you could find quality dresses here. Most recently I was a special guest with “The Violinists” and their orchestra in The National Concert Hall and I wore a red gown from Folkster, which I absolutely adore.
I travel to work by… foot! White & Green is now operating across the UK, Ireland and Australia and we run it entirely online with our trusted partners in each country. All I need is my laptop, and good WiFi to work. I am usually found in one of the amazing vegan cafés in Medellín or of course, if I am performing in Ireland, I arrive by car laden with my bag full of hair, makeup, and costume accoutrements.
I start my working day at… 6 am. At 9 am Irish time, our warehouse is already packing up our bed linen orders in Dublin, so I try to catch up quickly with them. I absolutely love working really productively in the early morning before the city awakes — only the birds singing and my emails binging!
I usually spend the first portion of the day… Catching up on emails relating to marketing, PR and courier deliveries. Thankfully, I never have to deal with customer complaints — it’s generally a really positive experience.
I break for lunch at… Midday. I go to one of the vegan cafés where they serve a three-course meal with fresh fruit juice for €3.50. The menu of the day changes each day, so I just go for that and then stay on working on the WiFi.
I think meetings are… necessary face to face sometimes. You can’t beat getting to know people personally and developing relationships with them. However, we manage to run most of our business entirely through email and video calls.
The most useful business tool I use every day is… automation. We have set up White & Green so the customer shops online, the courier system is automated and they receive their delivery the next day for free. It’s handsfree from us and the customer doesn’t have to even leave their home to shop.
I save time by… not drinking much alcohol. In Ireland, there is a huge pressure to drink and to drink heavily. I love socialising but I don’t need alcohol and I love waking up early on a weekend morning hangover-free to be productive. It feels so good.
I rarely get through my working day without… a good coffee. Of course, I think that Fairtrade and Organic Colombian coffee is the best.
The best part of my day is… reading customer reviews saying how much they adore their new bedding, and how they cannot get out of bed anymore. Having a product that is genuine high quality, good value and trustworthy is a pleasure.
The most challenging part of my day is… seeing other retailers copying our brand saying things like “earth-friendly” and “natural”, even though they are not certified Organic nor Fairtrade at all. Copycat brands are cropping up and targeting our customer base online with much bigger marketing budgets but we’ve tested the products and they are cheap and poor quality so we still cannot be beaten on our quality nor ethical credentials.
I know it’s been a good day if I… we’ve had good sales online and good feedback. We have a lot of interest from other markets such as the USA and the Middle East and investors who want to bring us there. So when those emails or phone calls come in, I am always extremely happy and motivated.
I usually end my day at… I never stop working, and since people can shop on our website 24/7, I am always monitoring that. Sometimes, older people will email to say they don’t know how to shop online and would like to order by phone, so, unfortunately, I am switched on until I sleep around 10 pm. I would love to change this moving forward and be phone free in the evenings.
I switch off from work by… turning my phone on aeroplane mode in bed and taking out my book.
Before I go to bed, I’ll always… check-in with my sister Dani who is running White & Green in Australia.
I often prepare for tomorrow by… clearing my email box so that I can start afresh.
White & Green produce luxury organic bed linen and homewares. Find them here.
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