CLAIRE DELAP GIVEs ADVICE ON HOW she MANAGEs THE WORKING WEEK …
CLAIRE DELAP, FOUNDER, TAKE MONDAY
While working as a television and film producer, I was looking for organisers but found them all either heavy or cheap – so I designed my own. Our overstuffed handbags have become the catch-all for gym kit, laptop, baby products and chargers. Take Monday bags organise the interior of any handbag and can also be thrown from one bag to another, making sure you always have your essentials with you and cut down dramatically on time wasted on packing or forgetting.
THE NAME If you Take Monday off, you have a long weekend, the time to go for a jaunt somewhere. You can Take Monday to go to the gym, to Paris, on a hike. The name encapsulates the joy of a stolen day off to elongate the weekend. THE BEGINNINGS I launched in 2020 with 1,200 bags, my initial goal just to see if I could sell them. We now partner with global retailers including Goop.com, Le Bon Marché, Soho House and boutiques and hotels worldwide. We have warehouses in Europe, the UK and the US.
HOW I WORK Based in Paris, I rent a co-working space about five minutes’ walk from my apartment. I am productive when I am around other busy people. If I’m working from home, I sit at a desk, which gives me much better focus than if I were working at the kitchen table. THE TRICKS When WFH, I break my day up by time slots, instead of tasks. I don’t say I can stop for lunch when I’ve finished X task, but rather I have to be in deep focus between 10am and 1pm, and no matter what I’ve achieved, once 1pm arrives, I close the laptop for a break. I use an analogue timer to set blocks of time for deep focus – this stops me picking up my phone and getting distracted by notifications. I have a big computer screen, a pinboard with visual inspiration and affirming quotes and a notebook for jotting down lists.
THE TIPS If I were to give advice to another woman starting a business, I would say, break it down. Set achievable goals: instead of “become a worldwide success” say “find five retailers to sell my products this quarter”. And be very clear on what success looks like to you, not just the big shimmering dream in the future but the freedom to take a long lunch with a friend who is visiting, for instance. The clearer you are about why you want to work for yourself, the quicker you will realise you are already making it. You will get a lot of advice from a lot of people. Be careful who you listen to: every business is different and there will be times where you know what’s best, even if it goes against the trend. THE AMBITION To grow the business to €1.5m turnover in the next five years, while keeping the team tight, and to develop the range to cover all travel accessories. Growing into Asia and Australia is the next big challenge. www.takemonday.com.