Careers

This is what a day in the life of a Lush designer really looks like

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Stylist Team
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Work/life is Stylist’s regular column about the professional routines of successful women. Here, Lush creative Suzie Hackney talks us through her one-day diary, from morning latte to lights out.

Suzie Hackney, 37, is the creative director of gift collections at Lush. She lives in Surbiton, south-west London.

My alarm goes off… At either 5.30am or 6.30am depending on where I’m working – I split my time between our two offices in London and Poole. The first thing I do is put the radio on because I need to listen to music in the morning. For breakfast, I’ll have a mango, passionfruit and kale smoothie (if I’ve remembered to make it the night before). Most days, I dress in jeans and a T-shirt from somewhere like Weekday.

I’m responsible for… Curating and creating the gift collections at Lush, like our Easter range or our sleep-themed set. I also work with other departments to develop new ways of packaging gifts using recycled, regenerative and reusable materials.

Her job involves getting a first look at prototypes in the Lush lab

I got my job… After moving from another department. I’d been heading up visual merchandising at Lush, where I looked after projects like store openings, when my boss saw the potential in me to take on more creative work. I started working on experiential events and created a perfume gallery at the Oxford Street store. Then, six years ago, I moved into my current role.

My typical day… Starts with getting a coffee and checking in with the team when I get to the office at 9.30am. Most of my days are packed with meetings. My first might be with our buying team to check samples of bath bombs, shampoos and soaps (right now we’re working on our Christmas collections), then I’ll update the wall map of ideas we’re developing. If I’m designing a collection, I’ll think up a concept and work with our developers to create it. This involves visiting the Lush lab to see prototypes of new products and brainstorming names for them. I’m currently developing a party range, and we’ve just named one of the bath bombs ‘Calm-a-llama the Party Piñata’.

At about 1pm, I’ll get a halloumi salad from Berwick Street Market then have a mooch around Liberty.

I often travel for work to places like New York, Japan and Sweden on inspiration-gathering trips. A team of us will go to museums and galleries – New York’s Design Museum is particularly good. Our designers will come up with ideas while I’m there to help guide the direction and decide how many gifts we’ll have in a new range or when an existing collection needs updating to feel fresh again. I usually leave work around 6pm. 

Suzie is inspired by everything, from books to travel

My most memorable work moment… Was the time I dressed up as a bunny and cartwheeled around a tennis court for an internal Lush presentation. We do lots of crazy, fun presentations.

The worst part of my job… Is anything to do with maths, even doing expenses.

The best part of my job… Is getting the opportunity to travel and be inspired.

After work… I go to a yoga class a couple of times a week. Other nights, I’ll go to my art studio, which is down the road from my home. I sculpt and paint mixed media pieces there using Sixties magazines that I collect. For dinner, I might roast some cauliflower to have with vegetarian bolognese, then I’ll watch an episode of Line Of Duty or RuPaul’s Drag Race. I’m usually in bed by 11pm.

My Plan B: Art therapist

I’d open a studio that combined my passions for dance, art and yoga, creating a business that promoted them as tools for positive mental health. It would be particularly aimed at children and young adults because there is so much pressure on them with social media these days.

Interested in pursuing a career at Lush? Check out their careers page here.

Photography: Holly McGlynn 

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