Not so long ago Lauren sat us down to let us know she had accepted an exciting new opportunity to head up a new hotel retail market which launches early next year.
When a person is such a valuable and unforgettable part of the history of Streetwires, it is really hard to even start thinking how to put into words a retrospect of the value they have added.
Lauren’s journey with Streetwires is probably one of the longest, as she has been working with us basically from the very beginning. Some of the longest-standing team-members here pin down her start to 2003. I got to start working with her in 2008 when she returned after a couple of years away. While I sit here thinking how to make a short blog post of a lifetime of memories, so many things start popping up. With Lauren around there was always so much laughter, many jokes, much teamwork in times of stress – and beautiful products, so many beautiful products.
For me, Lauren’s most amazing talent of many (and which will be her biggest legacy here), is her gift for product development and design. She has a natural creativity and eye for trend and is able to translate this very well into reality in conjunction with the sample team. Through her guidance, the quality and variety of designs has increased in leaps and bounds. This was especially noticeable after my return here after 6 years.
Lauren has headed up the most challenging sales portfolio, which we call ‘Corporate and Custom’ – translating all the bespoke requests into product mainly for the corporate market. The growth in this demanding portfolio is testament to her talents, and she leaves huge shoes to fill here.
The other thing that stands out about Lauren is her passion for the business as a whole, and most especially for the people at the heart of it – the artists. Lauren has personally hosted parties for interns, for artists, cooked for, mentored, helped with family issues and illnesses, and even led some excursions for the artists over the years. If she wasn’t selling up a storm or designing something extraordinary, then the team knew Lauren had their back.
That is why we decided to interview some people she has worked closely with, to convey just how we have valued having her here. We started with the sample team, the group of artists she worked the most closely with. (They are also a little shy, so they chose to do a consolidated tribute 🙂 )
Favourite memory: ‘She had nice jokes all the time, everyday she came up with something new that made us laugh.’
The value she has added: ‘She made new ideas work.’
Their farewell words to her: ‘We wish you success in all you are going to do after Streetwires.’
Then, an excerpt from other team-members:-
‘Lauren has a good memory of every product, good relationships with the clients, great ideas for custom made products and also really funny nice jokes.
I wish her all the best at the new place, and hope that she will not forget Streetwires. Lauren knows that Nobs loves her so much.’
‘I am going to miss her great input at Streetwires. I wish her all the best and that she knows that Streetwires will always be her family.’
‘Lauren is always fun to be with. She has good ideas for the sales department, good ideas for the decor for the store, and good ideas for the new stock. I’m hoping that she has a lot of fun at her new work and hope that she will also make the people over there happy.’
‘She is always on focus and has a good vision for Streetwires and works efficiently. Good luck wishes, Lauren, for your new job and hope you will be enjoying life.’
These few words are just a drop in the ocean, and we can’t thank her enough – but we wish her so much success, luck and fun with her new role.
An appropriate Xhosa farewell would be ‘Hamba Kakuhle Sisi’ (Go well, sister), but it seems too final to say this as we know we will still be seeing and hearing from Lauren regularly. After all, Lauren IS Streetwires, and she always will be.