2004 I was warned, but I did it anyway… | White River Design
Have you ever been given advice and then did what you wanted anyway? That was me.

2004 I was warned, but I did it anyway…

Have you ever been given advice and then did what you wanted anyway? That was me in 2004. But this was something that had to happen because the reality is that I could no longer cope with all of the work that I had coming in. I needed help… This blog is about all things 2004.

Jumping in the deep end

I picked up a new branding client – a jumping castle franchise. They secured the Australasian licence to produce jumping castles for brands such as Hi-5, The Wiggles, Bob the Builder, Spiderman, Saddle Club and Barney – and I was the designer! Yes, I got to design jumping castles which was so much fun. My son loved my office as it was filled with all of his favourite characters. But with a big client comes big risk.

I remember one order of 250,000 promotional DL cards. They had to be bundled in packs of 250 for the distribution company to letterbox drop. The printer delivered the pallets directly to the client who immediately phoned to tell me that none of them were bundled. The printer refused to help, so for the next 3 days I spent 16hrs a day bundling a quarter of a million cards into bundles of 250! Needless to say I never used those printers again.
jumping castle franchise i did it anyway

The business starts to grow

Glenmore park business directoryRachael was the first person who I ever hired. She was on a 2 month contract and her main role was to help me get the next issue of the Glenmore Park Directory out. She helped me with admin, chasing clients, invoicing and well, anything else that I wasn’t good at or didn’t like. It was fantastic!

My first employee at WRD

I found out that I was pregnant with my second child. It was time to get serious about finding a designer who could help take the pressure off me. Enter Michelle. She was a God-send. Michelle very graciously worked out of the back room in my house as I only had a home office. She started off on 15hours a week but that soon grew (as did I, both with my belly and my business learning curve).my first employee


Unsolicited advice #2

Employing staff is not as simple as it sounds. Firstly, everything you have held in your head has to be articulated, documented and put into a process so that they can do their job efficiently. You need employment contracts, enough cashflow to pay them, your bills and hopefully yourself. Before jumping into employment, see where you can outsource. Contractors have to be responsible for their own work and although may cost a bit more, they are not subject to the same rules and entitlements as an employee. I have been lucky that the majority of my staff have been great. But let me tell you, I have had my fair share of bad eggs and they certainly make you think twice about having staff. I was warned, but I did it anyway. Consider yourself warned! 

WRD wins it’s first award

WRD Penrith Business Awards I did it anywayI was 7 months pregnant and astounded that WRD was announced as a finalist in the Penrith Business Awards. At that stage I didn’t know what awards were about. We won our category for Outstanding Professional Services and I soon realised what a fantastic marketing opportunity awards could be. From then on awards became a dedicated part of our marketing plan.

Cherry Pott has her say (again)

My mum can’t help herself! She had to comment on my second email. ? Loved how she popped a well known brand into her gushhing words.

“20 years of enormously innovative & hugely successful work continues to make me very, very proud of you, my Debs! Hard work has never scared you my Duracell bunny!”

Duracell Bunny

Written by our Creative Director & Branding Specialist Debbie O'Connor - Consultant, Strategist, Keynote Speaker

Published: Dec 20th, 2022