Reorient Summer Sessions

Last night, I had the chance to visit Reorient Works for the first time since it opened. Reorient Works is a new coworking space… a modern working space within an incredible listed building in the heart of the city. Ideal for freelancers, creatives, and others looking for a flexible, professional workspace and inspiring community.

The building from the outside is incredible, red and white, it stands out amongst its surroundings, but it’s the inside that sets it apart with a small small meeting room, open plan seating (which was cleared away for the event), hot-desk space and private office space, all available for members to use on either a full time or part time basis. Check out the website for more info.

Iain and Suzanne (the owners of Reorient Works) were hosting the first of their summer sessions where we got to meet the founders of Finlay & Co (recently rebranded Finlay London) whose sunglasses have been worn by Jenson Button and numerous other celebrities and also meet the team from The Garden Shed Drinks Company a local small batch distillery passionate about gin and the environment.

Completely unlike me, I actually arrived on time, I’m usually 15 minutes late for everything (except work). So I got a quick tour while they were still setting up. I should have taken some more photos than I did , but the ones on the website by Emma Boyd, are far better than mine would be anyway.

The evening was very relaxed, great to catch up with friends from Aberdeen that I’ve not seen for years. We enjoyed drinks and nibbles, sampled some of Garden Shed Drinks Company’s Gin which was served with a garnish of rosemary and blackberry (typically things that can be grown in a Scottish/British garden) and see some of Finlay & Co’s collection of sunglasses.

After an hour or so, Iain hosted an informal meet the founders question time with Dave from Finlay & Co, Maxine and Ryan from Garden Shed Drinks Co. about how and why they started their businesses, what makes them different, what is like being a millennial in business and a valuable piece of business advice that they have learned. As someone with my own business it was great to hear their insights and chat with them a bit earlier in the evening.

Dave from Finlay & Co explained that the business was started when talking with friends, he realised there was a need for sunglasses that expressed the individuality of the people wearing them (without the designer label priced tag since most of us can’t afford £300-£400 for a pair of sunglasses)… this led them to their initial designs of their wooden framed sunglasses. As the business evolved, their designs evolved with them, now they are regularly featured in magazines, loved by celebrities, including Meghan Markle who has a pair of the Percy Sunglasses engraved with her initials.

Dave shared some advice that he had learned along the way… value your customers as you would your parents, excellent customer service is so important and set the price of your product at a price you would be prepared to pay. Wise words!

Here’s a snapshot of some of the Finlay & Co collection…. check out the rest on the website or Instagram

If you’re after some new sunglasses for your holidays, or prescription glasses, there’s lots of gorgeous frames to choose from. I’m still drawn to their wooden frames… Think I may have to plan a trip to London soon to catch up with friends and pop into the store to see the full collection sometime!

Next up we heard from Ryan and Maxine from The Garden Shed Drinks Company shared how they started their business partly because they were inspired by the botanicals found on their doorstep (or in their garden) e.g. blackberries, rosemary that was served in the garnish and dandelion root, blackberry and lavender in the gin itself.

The great thing about The Garden Shed Drinks Company (Ryan, Maxine, Ruaridh and Kirstin) are passionate about carting for the environment and as a business support two charities: Trees4Scotland in an effort to help prevent deforestation and also Bumblebee Conservation Trust since bees pollinate a third of everything we eat. Ryan’s business advice was to think about the environment and take care of it! (Particularly the bees). I love that millennial son business are taking responsibility for their actions and how it impacts the world around us!

If this is of interest to you or you would like to find out more about The Garden Shed Drinks Co, check out their website linked above or head over to Instagram.

If you’re in the market for a new gin, I would definitely recommend… I’m not usually the biggest tonic fan, but this gin has definitely persuaded me that with a fab gin and the right garnish, tonic can actually be pretty nice with gin.

I can’t wait to buy a bottle of The Garden Shed Drinks Co gin. Think it will be a birthday treat to myself in August.

Hope you have a great weekend.

Gill x


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