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How I work: Miriam Tyrangiel, Undercover
Could you introduce yourself and your business?
I’m Miriam, I’m the founder of Undercover, an online home textiles brand. My background is in branding so I also run branding projects for select clients.
Where are you based?
I’m based at Fora Central Street.
Tell us about the beginnings of the company and how you found yourself in the industry?
I’ve always found the range of bed linen on offer really restrictive – good quality usually meant really plain sheets. Nobody offered a contemporary, design-forward aesthetic that was also made from a great material, which seems mad given that we spend a third of our lives in bed! Finally, I also thought the time was right for a brand that was purely online – we order everything online now, why not our bed sheets?
What are your aims for the business?
To be the go-to place online for home textiles known for exceptional quality, a bold design aesthetic and a dedication to our environment.
What kind of Fora workspace do you use and how does it help you?
I have an OwnedDesk. It’s really important to me to have a desk to come to every day with my screen and all the bits and bobs I need, such as fabric swatches and samples. I also like having a daily routine – having my own dedicated desk is part of that.
Talk us through a typical working day?
I get to the office between 9 and 10am on most days. I usually get a coffee and jump into work straight away. I might answer some emails to liaise with the factory and then review our online marketing analytics. I’ll often grab a salad from the Forage cafe for lunch and will work until around 7pm, unless it’s a yoga day when I’ll leave earlier.
What’s your favourite thing about being a Fora Resident and why?
I love Fora’s generosity and attention to detail – everything’s considered and looked after. From the daily fresh fruit, to the library to the yoga sessions. Most importantly, staff seem to genuinely care and take an interest so you feel like you’re really getting to know everyone.
What is the next big project or stage you’re excited about?
Our marketing push! We just launched our first product line and the next stage will be carrying out our marketing plan, from digital ads to PR and events.
What advice would you give someone else starting up a brand?
Think about the values you want your brand to embody. They shouldn’t be platitudes. Your values should be truly meaningful and drive behaviour across the business. For Undercover, a dedication to quality and our environment is key. We live and breathe this – from the innovative and sustainable fabrics we use in our range, to the packaging (which is totally recyclable), to the day-to-day use of reusable coffee cups in the office.
How do you keep track of what you have to do?
It’s all in my head! And sometimes on a trusty old post-it note on my desk.
What’s your least favourite task, and how do you deal with it?
Reviewing tedious documents like contracts. Headphones on, music dialled up and power through it to get it over with!
How do you find inspiration, and how do you recharge your batteries?
East London is an incredible place to get inspired. With new shops, concepts and restaurants opening all the time, East London is such a creative magnet. Just stroll down Redchurch Street, Broadway Market or Chatsworth Road and you’re bound to discover an exciting new project or brand.
What do you do in your spare time?
I love to cook some nice food! I also enjoy photography and go to the gym a few times a week.
What do you wish you knew a year ago? What do you wish you knew five years ago?
When you’re running your own business, everyone’s always got advice for you but you know your own business better than anybody else does so trust your gut!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Many paths lead to Rome. There’s no one way to be successful as an entrepreneur, it’s just about leveraging your own strengths in the best way and finding people to work with to complement your skills.