PRESENTATION OF THE EXCHANGE
During these months of exchange, I had the opportunity to assist and support the project of product design and its marketing. The HE, when I arrived, planned to introduce new products in the 2018 collection. So, during these months, I had the opportunity to work alongside the HE team on the full process: bringing a product to the market from the first design stages to the direct sales to customers and retailers. I was in charge of implementing our own project. I worked alongside the founders on all aspects of running an online brand:
systems and logistics
Marketing B2B and B2C
Marketing and PR strategies and campaigns
Communications and customer service.
This exchange offered me a real-life stage to build on industry-recognized skills, and the HE team always encouraged me and taught me all the aspects of the role. I acquired new skills, experience and professionalism. Moreover, during the project daily tasks, I had the opportunity to discuss with my HE team about my business plan, learning more about how to start, run and manage a business in the creative field, with its opportunities, expectations and problems.
PROFILE OF THE ENTREPRENEURS
Silvia Belà, Furniture design
Participating in the EYE programme could be a key turning point in my life. It would be the first step to run my own company. It would test my skills and put my educational and working knowledge into practice more effectively. Furthermore, it would be a good chance to make a leap into the design arena. With Erasmus young Entrepreneurs, I could learn from expert colleagues and professionals.
See how companies work, their strategies and how to meet clients’ needs. I would also like to get to know the different cultural beliefs that different countries may have and to acquire the skills I need to run my own small company. Learning on the field and collaborating with experts and professionals in a dynamic environment may give me key suggestions on how to manage my business. Daily partnerships and meetings with the Host entrepreneur would give me the chance to share their expertise. I am confident that I will create new opportunities, establish new contacts, learn and be more aware of my skills and expertise.
Joining this programme would be the first step to develop my project, my ideas and to pursue my dream. Having an experience abroad is crucial to know people with different mentalities, develop relationships with major competitors in the design field, possible clients and create networking.
I could broaden my knowledge, develop my creativity and understand different points of view. More specifically, I could refine my problem-solving skill, seeing how companies face problems in a short time.
Arek Seredyn, Furniture design, Rotterdam
Rafa-kids is a young brand operating internationally online and through partner retailers. Originally it was an architectural practice (established in 2004). We started designing 4 years ago. We now produce unique kid furniture for high-quality markets. Rafa-kids reaches worldwide sophisticated clients offering high-end design products for children.
We offer an excellent opportunity for personal development with an insight into an exciting world of fast growing internet brand. We offer a challenging position in an ambitious design-lead brand where creativity and joined responsibility is highly valued. Get a unique inside into a whole process of design, manufacturing and bringing a product to the market. The role offers the candidate a real-life stage to build on industry recognised skills and we will be personally on hand to support and educate in all aspects of the role and what will be a rapid growth in knowledge and experience.
The five months that Silvia was around, were very productive and beneficial for both of us. We had planned enough, wide-range activities, so that she could experience as much as possible design and business aspects of running own creative enterprise. We were pleased to see that Silvia was open to working on various projects and was eager to learn as much as possible.
We have started with small graphics assignments for our online shop. That expanded later to designing complete layouts of online communication. This work progressed at a later stage to online marketing campaigns that were a very new subject for Silvia. She asked questioned, listened and learn fast. I think this work will benefit her in the future significantly. Further, Silvia spent time designing products from sketch ideas to final packaging. That work was of course very creative and with our daily feedback and guidance turned into high-quality results. Silvia operates in this role very comfortably and uses her knowledge and talents very well.
Last part of our cooperation was a marketing plan and strategies. Silvia joined our brainstorming sessions forming new marketing strategies and campaigns. She then went on to work out some of the ideas in a detailed manner.
All in all, Silvia had the opportunity to touch and see almost all aspects of the daily operations of a small size online brand. I think that our scale and horizontal structure helps in that. On the other hand, Silvia’s eagerness to learn, willingness to multitask and get the most of the presented opportunities worked in this case perfectly. Collaboration with an NE like Silvia is a perfect example of mutual gain HE and NE can achieve in the programme. We are very satisfied with the outcome.