"...if you do what you love, you never have to work another day in your life - this is partially true..."
One question we get asked so often – “who does what?” This is like asking parents to tell you which parts of their child they made. The truth is, it’s a fusion. We work together.
Yes, ok, I (Russell) write the blog and website in general while Jordan project manages and logistically makes our interiors projects happen. We do the design work together always. We both do sourcing (I focus on furniture and lighting, Jord on soft furnishings and finishes, with both of us working on all the bits in between). Jord does ordering. We split the work load of press and events, with Jord running our schedule (I would lose my head at this) but always attend together as much as humanly possible. I head up the product side of things but we design together. We always do our shoots together. And we dip in and out of all of these things all the time, helping and overseeing and driving to varying degrees.
Russell and Jordan with Buckley, 2LG (photo by Megan Taylor)
Golden Rule 1. Communication
Written word, visual communication, listening. We do a huge amount of talking and drawing to make sure we are on the same page, but ultimately nothing works better than writing down our ideas and making a ‘roadmap’ for each project. It’s easy to assume, when you are working with someone you know very well, that you know what the other is thinking. This is a mistake in our experience. Write down your ideas, negotiate them and then focus on making them happen together. Communication is key.
Strengths and weaknesses. We all have them, but the trick is to know what they are. If you can recognise them, you can begin to accept them and understand your differences. This is an ongoing process.
The marriage veto. Work/life balance. No whatsapping with a client or contractor at 11pm on a Sunday night (believe me this is a more regular occurence than you might imagine). We deploy the marriage veto when decisions can’t be reached and one or other of us particularly hates an element of a scheme. It’s not worth falling out over so it can get the veto. Still working on the work/life balance thing. If you crack this, pls let us know.
But also, It’s about passion and drive and ultimately knowing that we share a common goal – to grow our business, to remain creative, to finish our house (ha ha).
Russell and Jordan, 2LG (photo by Megan Taylor)
We have very different ways to get there. I will think every tiny detail through because I am an OCD perfectionist, and then I will smash out loads of work at the last minute within deadline…just. Whereas Jord will work every minute of every day from start to finish and struggles to ever put work down. He is a machine and I am always in awe of him. We are learning that both ways have their pros and cons. And we are trying to accept this. Still working on that and on trying to be a little more like each other and less set in our ways.
We rarely take holidays or get weekends away, but we have chosen a life that we love. What is it they say? “If you do what you love, you never have to work another day in your life.” – this is partially true, though we do work our balls off into the night and over weekends most weeks. We love it so it feels natural to give it everything we have, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard.
"If you share a common goal all the rest begins to fall into place because that's the nub."
I know that no matter how much I may love or hate Jord at different times of the day (and we do antagonise each other and stretch our limits regularly) I know that we are doing this because we share a common goal and we are passionate about it. We are also very lucky and grateful to have a love for each other that runs very deep. This helps. It’s got us through some difficult times – when you have no idea where the next paycheque is coming from, or even if it is coming, when you are doubting your abilities (speaking for myself here, as Jord has super human self belief), when you have bitten off more than you can chew. We get each other through those moments. And we carry on.
We share in the successes together too. But dont be fooled, we fail all the time. We have crashing lows with major knockbacks and near misses all the time. We constantly feel the pressure of risk and feel time pressure. That is what you sign up for when you run your own business. It is challenging and if it isn’t then you aren’t pushing hard enough.
"At some point is has to get easier right? Or do we just get better at dealing with the ups and downs?"
Probably the latter, but I am looking forward to a big long beach holiday when I hit 40. And I want to see the northern lights. (Jord are you reading this? – please take note).
Now we have team members working in the studio, focussing on the interiors side, drawing bespoke joinery, filling out spreadsheets, doing the tile layouts and electrical plans and helping logistically to deliver our projects. This adds another finely tuned layer to our process and is something we want to grow. It is all a process. Still working it out. Still trying to accept our strengths and weaknesses. We are by no means perfect, but we are trying our best. We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we take the work very seriously and we are passionate about good design.
Oh...and hug often!
Hopefully this has helped you, or at least been an entertaining insight into our mad world. Either way, keep calm and carry on! Onwards and upwards and all that Jazz.
If you ever need someone to bounce ideas off, we’ve got you covered.