A day in the life, Alexandra de Maré, Branch Manager of Covent Garden
This week we speak with Alexandra de Maré the Branch Manager of the Paragon Service Point branch in Covent Garden.
Hi Alexandra and thanks for taking the time to speak with us. How long have you been with the Paragon Service Point Covent Garden branch?
I have been with the team here since February 2015. Initially I was appointed as the Gallery Manager when we were The Gallery Print Centre. When we changed to Paragon Service Point Covent Garden I became the Branch Manager.
What is a typical day in Covent Garden like for you?
First thing we do in the morning is turn the radio on and play Absolute 80’s, second thing is get a brew of coffee on!
Being in the heart of Covent Garden we get walk-in customers entering the branch as soon as we open the door. Our walk-in customers have a huge variety of requirements – from fine art printing to brochures, so we get to use all our printing knowledge to discuss the best options for each of them. We also receive jobs digitally and foot messenger Warren will also have collected jobs from our larger accounts. We’ve lots of deadlines to meet with clients and the branch is always bustling with activity.
We laid out the branch so that we can sit together in the middle of the studio. This lets us discuss everything throughout the day, mostly work-related… but not always!
What is your proudest accomplishment while working at Covent Garden?
Over the last few years the team and I have worked on making a lot of improvements to the branch that has allowed us to win some great clients such as Google, NBC, and other high-profile companies who work in the area.
Can you tell us about the branch?
The branch is very open plan, and we usually try to have the door open – assuming the weather isn't too bad. We do our best to make the branch a comfortable and welcoming place for clients.
We all sit on an island in the middle of the room so clients can sit with us and ask questions. The team has a lot of great characters and we work well together. Of course it’s not all work - we chat about life at home, views on current affairs, lots of jokes and more than the occasional awful pun.
Our walk-in customers are mostly locals to the area. We have got to know a lot of them well as we see them on a weekly basis.
What are the highlights of your working day?
Highlights of the working day here in Covent Garden is when we have a big job to work on, as everybody puts in their time to have it done as soon as possible for the client. Of course, being able to have a laugh with your colleagues, and sometimes even clients, makes the day whizz by too.
Covent Garden specialises in fine art and photographic printing - is that something you particularly enjoy?
Yes - I definitely enjoy the fine art and photographic printing services we offer. Art is my background and I’ve a fair amount of knowledge and interest in the subject from my studies. Although I’m not an artist, my work experience in galleries and auction houses has lead me to meet some amazing artists. This is an experience I still enjoy here at the studio; they’ll often require advice or help on their limited edition prints, which I’m glad to be able to offer at this branch.
What’s the most interesting request you have received while working in the Covent Garden branch?
We have had some unusual and often funny job requests during my time here. A particularly memorable one was from 3 younger guys who wanted to get their faces printed and mounted at A1 size. They were going to a football match and wanted to see themselves on TV. They did send us a screenshot of them on TV so it must have worked!
Outside of work, how do you spend your time?
Outside of work, I spend my time with my family or friends exploring London’s art scene or going on day trips. I’m a keen cook and enjoy preparing meals for friends or with my housemate. I’ve also just got a cat, so if I’m relaxing at home watching TV he’ll usually be by my side.
We'd like to take this chance to thank Alexandra for generously providing her time.
If you would like further information about Paragon Service Point Covent Garden click here to visit their page.
Paragon Service Point Covent Garden
81 Endell Street
Tel: 020 7836 9422