First week at deVOL

4th July 2016

By Robyn Dunsford

My name is Robyn, I’ve recently turned 18 and have finished studying performing arts at Loughborough College.  The next step was going to university and then I realised I had no idea what I wanted to study. Luckily, my sister had been working for deVOL and knew that they needed an extra member of staff, and here I am. When I first found out I’d be working full time for deVOL I was overjoyed, as I knew I would be working for a strong and flourishing company and was excited to see where it may take me. I’ve never had a full time job before, and with the constant reminders from my parents that I would be entering the ‘real world’, I guess I didn’t really know what to expect.

If you’ve ever been to Cotes Mill, then you will know that it’s a stunning building, (a converted mill to be precise), which has combined the antique, retro and modern feel in all different parts of the mill. The mill is surrounded by beautiful grounds and wild life. During my first week at deVOL, 3 little baby fawns were born! I love baby animals (who doesn’t though?) so it was so exciting to leave my desk for lunch to go and visit the little bambi’s and chill by the pond. Whilst on the subject of cute animals, there’s certainly a variety.  2 peacocks patrol the grounds with their feathers always out, they’re fabulous and they know it. We also have peahens, who have just had some peachicks! The chickens march around too, near to the swans and their cygnets, who you’ll find swimming in the millpond. All the animals have such character and it’s so lovely to be greeted by their furry little faces in the morning. Once stepping inside the building, you are then greeted by real smiling faces, constantly, which I’ve noticed really does make a difference to your day.



I am positioned on the highest floor of the mill, in the design office, alongside many talented people who initially design the kitchen and see through the project, it’s given me a real insight to how a company is composed and shaped. I often float around the office delivering messages; I was nervous at first, but everyone is so pleasant and friendly it makes it really enjoyable. The design floor is also where I learnt about our kitchens and what makes them special, which made me feel more confident when interacting and speaking with customers. Everyone is so supportive and more than happy to offer help, which made it really easy to settle in and focus. The more I explored different parts of the building the more I found little passages which connected. This is my favourite pretty corner of the building (everything is a photo opportunity?!) It connects the cellar through to another department. I like how the sun and heat flood through this room, and whilst walking through, I realise how lucky I am to work in such a beautiful place.


Sometimes throughout the day you’ll cross paths with people from other departments, and just when you thought you’d received enough warm welcomes, you have one more coming your way, making you think either everyone who works here has to be incredibly nice, or they just really enjoy working here, either way the welcome is appreciated. It’s really nice to work alongside such a hard-working and pleasant team. To say the showrooms are well presented would be an understatement, they are simply gorgeous, the attention to detail is outstanding and the presentation is so beautiful. I love how the showrooms are full of character, framed with bumpy walls and creaky floors, contrasting to the contemporary and authentic air kitchen showroom. I struggle walking through the showrooms without having a little peek at accessories, and there are a lot. The maileg mice are my personal favourite, I think it’s their mini smiles and soft ears that I just adore.


Their little arms and feet!!


I lovee the baileys candles, my favourite being mown grass! How you capture the smell of freshly cut grass into a candle, I don’t know? But these rare and luscious smelling candles make coming down to visit even more invaluable.

My first week at deVOL has been really refreshing, I’ve loved meeting the staff and getting to know the building, and really hope that I thrive and flourish here. I feel lucky to be in the team and feel proud to work for deVOL. I guess the real world isn’t so scary after all.