Jeg er en pige- I am a girl
Jeg spiser et æble- I eat an apple
Jeg taler ikke dansk- I don't speak Danish
These are the 'useful phrases' that I've learnt so far for our trip to Copenhagen in March. Although, by the time I've informed the ticket inspector on the metro that I'm an apple eating girl in my offensive attempt at a Danish accent, I doubt it'll be necessary to use my third phrase at all.
Our visit to Denmark is the first in a series of experiments that Jack and I will be conducting. 2016 was the year of the office for Lanther Black. Having spent our first year in business working as unergonomically as possible in two separate rooms, we decided to construct a dedicated workspace in our home. Jack whittled us a solid-wooden table and we surrounded it with greeting cards, house plants and sellotape. (I'm not even kidding. I just looked around the office to see what we filled it with and from where I'm sat I can see no less than 12 rolls of sellotape of at least 7 different varieties. Surely no one needs that much sellotape! I've just checked with Jack, apparently we do in fact use every single variety. Huh.) We then discovered that sitting down all day was extremely hazardous for the health so we converted the table into a standing desk and bought some stools. Now that we're completely satisfied with our working enviroment, we're going to ditch it and work in Copenhagen instead. And Prague. And Tuscany. And maybe Minsk
The idea materialised a week ago when we were figuring out how we could incorporate more travel into our lives. It suddenly occurred to us that there was no good reason why we needed to stay in England to run our business. Two days later our flights were booked. For 6 days we will attempt to conduct all of our usual working activities from the various coffee shops, parks and waterfronts that we stumble upon in the capital of Denmark. We will process orders, create new artwork and take care of our marketing whilst a fulfilment company handles the shipping of our orders in the UK. If it proves to be a success we'll book another trip to another location. Maybe we'll even take things a step further. Instead of a working week abroad we could try a working month abroad...
Thanks to cheap flights and Airbnb, the cost of travel is bewildering. One of our flights came to just a few pounds more than a travelcard around London and our stylish, well-situated apartment cost less than the average rent or mortgage payment. Thanks to laptops and wifi, many aspects of business are now fully mobile. Most of our customers order online, most of their invoices are paid by BACS and most of our communication is conducted via email. Aside from trade shows and the odd visit to a supplier, it really makes no difference if we're in London, Leipzig, Long Island or all of the above.
There are perks and drawbacks to every working situation. One of the perks of running a greeting card company happens to be that we are not tied to any one location and it's time for us to take full advantage of this fact. Undoubtedly we will run into stumbling blocks along the way but the opportunity to run our business whilst seeing the world is just too good to turn down. Our aim for 2017 is to make Lanther Black a truly global enterprise beginning with 6 days in Denmark. We just need to work out how to pack all the sellotape.