Today, we’re sitting down for a chat with Ellie Dodgson, our product and service manager.
Ellie has worked with us for just over eight years. She’s our go-to gal for pretty much everything within the customer service and production departments, which she is responsible for managing – ensuring the smooth running of both areas, scheduling the workload, and providing training where needed.
Ellie joined Hand on Heart after finishing her A-Levels. While still at school, she worked as a waitress in a local golf club. She knew she loved design from her studies at school, but her waitressing job also highlighted the customer service side of things, as she loved speaking to people and thinking on her feet.
Ellie, what does your job at Hand on Heart entail?
As product and service manager, it’s my job to ensure that we have everything we need to ensure we are offering the very best product and the very best service to each and every customer. My role is very, very varied, but I have three main aims that I work to every day:
1) Manage the production and customer service teams, ensuring they have all the training they need, are able to progress within their roles and have the tools to succeed.
2) Make sure that all of our internal processes and procedures are as streamlined as possible, so we can meet demand during busy periods like Christmas. Also, ensure that these processes are being completed to the highest standard on a daily basis and that we are taking customer feedback on board to give the very best service.
3) Develop good relationships with all of our suppliers to ensure that we are able to obtain stock throughout the year and that we are getting the very best quality products.
Sounds very interesting and varied! What would you say is your favourite part of the job?
I had the opportunity to work my way up at Hand on Heart after starting as a member of the production team when the business had a grand total of five employees. I know how important the guidance and support I received was when I wanted to improve within my role and for that progression to be recognised. Therefore, I love now being able to help guide and support other team members on their journey with the company and see them progress as I did.
Do you have a favourite task?
I absolutely love going back to basics when the team needs a helping hand, replying to customers and speaking to them on LiveChat, or getting my hands dirty in the studio are real treats for me. As much as I love spreadsheets, I always welcome a break!
Has any customer feedback or have any reviews of Hand on Heart really stuck out as being memorable for you?
Every customer review or little message after receiving their order is special. Customers often mention that it is our job to make the process as easy as possible and provide the service we do, so they feel silly for thanking us personally, but we do treat every order with care and attention, so it’s always so lovely to hear that what we do is appreciated.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working?
Baking is a really big hobby of mine; I love to bake everything from traybakes and brownies to fancy celebration cakes. I also have my little dog Jed, who keeps me busy at home; he is a complete nutter and loves to cuddle and play!
What’s your favourite thing about living and working in the Lake District?
Being so close to so many beauty spots is great, and there are so many walks less than an hour away. My favourite place to go is Buttermere, Jed loves to explore and swim in the lake.
Do you have a favourite Hand on Heart piece of jewellery? If so, what is it and why?
As I’ve been with the company for so long, I have had the pleasure of seeing our jewellery develop over the years and all the new designs we have been able to offer to our customers. But I will always love the original hearts, especially the small heart with two prints and a name.
If you had to sum up your job at Hand on Heart in three words, what would you say?
Rewarding, exciting, fast-paced.
What’s an interesting or unexpected fact about you that people might not know?
I’m a descendant of Lewis Carroll, who wrote Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.
Wow, that’s an amazing claim to fame! Thanks so much for chatting with us, Ellie. What an interesting insight into the day-to-day running of Hand on Heart. Keep an eye out for the next instalment of our Meet The Team series, and find out more about the friendly faces behind Hand on Heart.