You may have heard about Soap and Glory (I’m almost certain that every girl has had their bathrooms adorned in its pink at some stage) which has a huge consumer following and loyal fan base – available exclusively at Boots UK.
I work with the Boots Project team which goes hand in hand with the Soap and Glory brand which is the product of the imagination of Marcia Kilgore (facialist to the stars). The Soap and Glory packaging is iconic and is the fastest growing brand within self selection cosmetics, with the Xmas 2013 Star Gift selling out in an incredible seven hours on boots.com – it is great to see the products I work on be so popular.
My role as a Packaging Technologist at Boots UK is unique and exciting because it is such a big business across the UK and internationally, yet most of our operations are still more or less based on the same site in Beeston, which was bought by Jesse Boot in 1927 (and the site is comparable to the size of Monaco!) I can walk over to the Formulators, wave at Buying, bump into Branding, catch up with project managers and chat to the factory all in a day’s work. As a result, the teams are strong and supportive with strong professional relationships with the added bonus that each day is different because you’re cross-functionally working with a variety of people. You’re never alone in your triumphs and challenges!
Personally I find the role most exciting because the brands are developing at pace, and we are in an exciting phase of launching global products with a refreshing and driven focus towards innovation. It is a stimulating environment where you are encouraged to openly share your ideas whether it is new product launches you’ve seen during your weekly shop or an interesting article on blue sky technologies.
I first came to Boots UK as a Packaging Technologist on a student placement and credit to the packaging team; I wanted to come back for the long term. Day to day it is stimulating and varied e.g. I started today fully cladded in a lab coat and will end it briefing suppliers for exciting new packs, last week I was at the Packaging Innovations show and next week I’ll be in London with Soap and Glory.
Being new to the packaging world, the team has helped develop my skills, train me up and provided me with ongoing opportunities to learn and gain experience, which is invaluable. The opportunities are there to progress your career within Boots UK, either transferring between functions or transferring between brands. I initially started on No7 and then moved over to Soap and Glory cosmetics which shows how the roles can stay fresh and interesting.
I believe that you spend so much of your life at work, so the people and environment are major contributors to having a happy career. The packaging team are great advocates of having a great work life balance, and although driven and hard working, there is a lot of fun to be had – so be prepared to consume a lot of cake, nab a few bargains a lá product sales and raise a lot of money for charity. Who said everyday had to be boring!?