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22nd November 2021

ALEX’S WFH SET UP.

ALEX’S WFH SET UP.

Hey Alex, What do you do with Red Sofa…?

I look after all things technical and software development led, whether that be for startups, innovation labs or lager more established companies / tech companies. I cover most tech stacks and many positions ranging from software engineers, mobile developers through to CTO and Director of Engineering.

 

Give me a list of your top 10 WFH vibe songs…

..

.

What does your WFH set up look like?

Classic kitchen setup – quick access to coffee machine, various fruits and chocolate, laptop and headphones, window plants, glass of water, note pad for clients and candidates. A favourite pen that is never there when I need it…

 

What’s a classic Alex WFH lunch?

Ranges from sweet potato jackets to a full on spaghetti bolognese from the previous night.

 

What WFH rituals do you have?

Getting the toddler ready as quickly as possible for kindergarten! Soundcloud stream or podcast to start with – Strong cup of coffee…

Get in touch with Alex on aforeman@redsofaberlin.com

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10th November 2021

Save yourself time hiring design by answering deal breakers in your job specs!

Save yourself time hiring design by answering deal breakers in your job specs!

Save yourself time hiring design by answering deal breakers in your job specs!

I spend a lot of time on job boards, admittedly 75% of this is just scanning company names to see who’s hiring. However over the last 18 months I’ve spent more & more time actually reading the adverts and learning how companies sell (or fail to) sell themselves and their roles.

It’s a competitive market, hiring’s time consumingoutsourcing design is expensive, and if your job spec doesn’t stand out you could be paying that freelancer €550+ a day indefinitely… Maybe even a pesky design recruiter’sfee on top. Believe me when I type this — roles which get advertised for a long time arouse suspicion…informative specs will help fill roles quicker!

I enjoy learning what matters to designers in their next role, and will forever champion treating everyone as individuals. Through spending hundreds of hours speaking to designers over the years I’ve identified many trends regarding the questions they ask about jobs, reasons they’ve dropped out from hiring processes, and the questions they ask before applying.

If you want to hire & onboard design talent quickly you can save a heap of time addressing these trends, answering deal breakers, and detailing the things which really matter to designers in your job spec’s. Yes, this will dramatically reduce the size of your pipeline, however applicants will be engaged, informed and less likely to drop out during the process.

Talk about the team — We work in “Cross functional agile teams”…. No sugar Sherlock, but who am I doing the double diamond dance with?

Who’s my direct report? What are they like? Where have they worked before? Maybe we have some mutual connections & interests? Maybe these could even become the foundation of a great working relationship!

The more information you can share about the team the better — hyperlink teammate profiles & help the applicant learn as much as possible before applying.

What do you do — My friend recently introduced me to the ‘marketing gibberish generator’ a tool which generates worryingly familiar marketing gibberish…the kind you occasionally find in the first paragraph of job specs. We facilitate ceramic too lip to interaction & bean to palate introduction whilst honouring relationships with grass route community focused suppliers. You’re an organic Coffee house.

You need to clearly & concisely define what your company does in the opening paragraph of a spec. Designers like working on products that deliver benefit to their users. Simple. Talk about your audience, the problem they have, and how your product solves it.

What does the job actually entail — So, you’ve nailed the company description, good work! Don’t clog up your pipeline with lots of applicants by adding a generic skills requirement. Design job titles are a minefield. The title Product Designer, UX/UI Designer, or UX Designer can mean different things in different companies. Be really clear on what this means in the role you are hiring for. I always ask on the briefing call — “What’s the split between UX/UI/UR”. I speak with so many designers who’ve dropped out of other application processes due to them learning on the second or third call that all this company needs is someone to work on their UI’s. Publish an honest split — ie this role is 80%UI 20%UX. This will streamline your pipeline dramatically.

Where within the product am I working — Honestly for some people this makes so much difference. I can’t say this enough, the more info you’re able to detail the better. I write pitches/overviews to accompany job specs;These explain what the job actually entails eg — “You’ll be working on the product’s new market place feature”. Lots of applicants want to know about the part of the product they’re working on. Is it an internal tool? Payments? B2B? B2C? Share details, save time.

What’s your design maturity? We all start somewhere, every company will have made its first design hire, if this is yours — just say it! For some candidates this challenge will be super exciting and very appealing. However, for the majority of applicants it won’t be. Securing candidates who are into this can be challenging. Save yourself time on the initial screening calls by answering that all important question… “What’s the size of the design team?” – If you’re able to share info on future design growth, even better.

Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary. Advertise the salary.

 

Rory Colgan

 

Check our more of Rory’s posts here, on his Medium – https://rory-colgan.medium.com

 

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22nd October 2021

RORY’S WFH SETUP

RORY’S WFH SETUP

RORY’S WFH SETUP

Eeeeeeveryone is working from home, or hybrid working at the moment- so we found out from Rory, one of our consultants, what his WFH day looks like…

Hey Rory, What do you do…?

I recruit Product & Brand Design for startups in Berlin.

Give me a  list of your top 10 WFH vibe songs…

 

 

What does your WFH set up look like?

Stand up desk, cafetiere of white tea, honey, tumeric & ginger,

What’s a classic Rory WFH lunch?

Pasta tossed in chilli pesto, with Cavolo Nero, Artichokes, Broccoli, Broad Beans, topped with parmesan & tons of olive oil.

What WFH rituals do you have?

Always make sure I go for a stroll twice in the day, once in the morning and once in the evening. Leaving the house reminds you how big the world is.

 

Get in touch with Rory on rcolgan@redsofaberlin.com !

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19th October 2021

JEMIMA’S WFH SETUP

JEMIMA’S WFH SETUP

Hey Jemima, What do you do…?

Companies and agencies come to be with jobs and I go and find the best talent to match it. Simple.

Give me a  list of your top WFH vibe songs…

 

 

 

What does your WFH set up look like?

Basically it’s me and my sofa with the cushions removed to stop me napping. And coffee. LOTS OF COFFEE.

What’s a classic Jemima  WFH lunch?
Genuienly have the same salad from Rewe every day. I’m ashamed but here goes:
Rocket, tofu, corn, edamame, lentils. JOB DONE.

 

What WFH rituals do you have?

If I don’t leave the house at least once a day, I will go insane. Luckily I have a daughter that I have to drop off and pick up at nursery so there is zero chance of sitting in my pyjamas all day. I also ALWAYS get up, shower and do my makeup. Otherwise, I feel like a bum and will inevitably act like one too.

 

Get in touch with Jemima on jjordan@redsofaberlin.com !

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17th October 2021

WORLD FOOD DAY: OUR FAVOURITE FOOD ADS.

WORLD FOOD DAY: OUR FAVOURITE FOOD ADS.

 

IT’S WORLD FOOD DAY!

 

And to celebrate this, we’ve selected our favourite food ads to share with you. What food ad has stuck with you?

 

BURGER KING CONFUSING TIMES 

This is still quite new, but at a time where things felt heavy and a bit overwhelming, Extra managed to lighten the mood using a number of hilariously true insights. As someone who has had one baby myself and keeps being asked when my second is on the way, the line about this particular topic made me laugh into my mask on the U-bahn and caused the dude next to me to shuffle a little bit further away. – Jemima

 

 

CADBURY’S DAIRY MILK GORILLA AD

Such an iconic & fun advert, amazing song, such a random idea, but it got everyone talking! – Rory

 

 

 

MCDONALD’S CLOWN ADVERT

I love this ad, it’s so cosy and happy. I like the story behind it,  how it’s shot, and the connection between the protagonist clown and Ronald McDonald at the end is very sweet- Lia

https://www.adforum.com/creative-work/best-of/10345/best-german-ads/play#34509477

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24th September 2021

GET TO KNOW: DANNY

GET TO KNOW: DANNY

GET TO KNOW: DANNY

Danny relocated to Berlin in May 2016 to help build the Red Sofa Berlin Technical Recruiting niche. He has 10 years of experience recruiting for tech teams, mainly as an agent but also twice had the “Head of Talent” role, scaling rapid-growth tech start-ups from the inside.

 

 

He has worked with client such as IBM iX, McKinsey, Ennismore, Zapp, Daimler, Backmarket, MoreSleep, Lendico, Remote.com, AKQA, ERGO, Ming Labs, thisisBud.com, Brilliant Basics, Publicis-Poke, Amorelie, PlanA and many, many more.

 

TESTIMONIALS

“Danny is a top Technical Recruiter. He’s helped us hire many talented developers in an extremely competitive environment. Danny is also just great to work with and very respected amongst our hiring managers because of his expertise and his friendly attitude.”
– Gilbert Dietrich, Executive Director at the IBM iX Studio Berlin

“It was such a pleasure to work with Danny, I had a great candidate experience. He puts so much passion and enthusiasm in what he does and he helps you along every step. He is friendly, offers useful insight and was always available to suit my schedule. He had such a great portfolio of offers that would match my skills. After this great recruitment experience, for me, Danny is now the “to go” person if I would want to look for a new opportunity.”
– Sabrina Bosco, Front-End Developer

 

A fun fact about Danny… Danny’s late Grandmother claimed their family are descendants from infamous Pirates of the 1600’s. Besides the Pirate myths, Danny became a first time father in August and is desperately fighting the urge to overshare pictures of his baby daughter #babyspam.

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25th August 2021

Addressing the Gender Pay Gap Head On

Addressing the Gender Pay Gap Head On

Addressing the Gender Pay Gap Head On

 

We, Red Sofa Berlin, kicked off 2021 with our Salary Survey. A comprehensive overview of pay for employers & employees in the Berlin tech & creative scenes. Both find this benchmarking useful. It helps employers understand how fair/competitive their salaries are, & informs employees how their pay weighs up against the market.

Off the back of our salary survey I was lucky enough to be invited to the panel for Open Space UX‘s first event —tackling pay gaps & equality in the Berlin tech scene. I’ve spoken with 1000’s people in the Berlin design scene over the years, thankfully the gender pay gap is something I’ve never had first hand experience dealing with. However it sadly remains a prominent factor in tech.

The discussion around salaries and equal pay has always been viewed as a touchy one, especially when held with your colleagues. During Open Space UX’s event we discussed many things, including how we can challenge the gender pay gap head on, & foster a culture of transparency around a traditionally awkward subject.

One of my key takeaways was this — yes it’s awkward, but the longer we ignore the elephant in the room, the bigger it grows. So let’s get awkward and address this and a few other things head on.

Publish salaries on job adverts. I include the salaries on every job advert I post. Most applicants thank me for this, and wish they’d see more organisations do the same. The phrase ‘competitive salaries’ raises suspicion.

I understand this may cause issues for some organisations, however transparency is key to tackling the gender pay gap head on. If this is going to create friction within an organisation, then it’s likely they have issues around this subject to address…so let’s tackle them!

I understand that due to varying levels of experience it’s feasible to have teammates share a title, but have different salaries. Accounting for this, when advertising salaries organisations could provide a gradient — ie €65,000 +/-10% based on experience. Seems feasible right?

If a company is uneasy about publishing salaries its highly likely there’s pay equality issues which need to be addressed.

Provide clear pay scales & employee growth plans. Most of the active candidates I speak with are seeking change because they’ve hit a glass ceiling and feel a lack of growth in both salary & responsibility.

I understand it’s hard for early stage startups & small companies to offer total clarity on these subjects. The solution, offer employees speculative growth plans & acknowledge these are frameworks that your organisation is committed to developing over time. This is infinitely better than just leaving people in the dark. Trust me on this one — employees will hang around when they have a vision of what their team, salary, and role is likely to look like in years to come.

Be transparent about your organisations diversity. Companies take pride in publishing their DNA ie — we are proud to be an organisation of 65 individuals from 48 different countries. However many companies are still a long way from achieving a genuinely diverse work force. Whilst this is not ideal, its okay — provided they are aware of the issues, have addressed them and made a pledge to change this.

Does anyone remember when KFC had to close most its UK restaurants because they ran out of chicken? Their response was hailed as a masterclass in crisis comms.We all make mistakes, just own them. I used to work with a chef, so efficient we nicknamed him ‘The Blade’. He once told me “Show me a chef who claims they don’t make mistakes, and I’ll show you a liar!” No person or organisation is perfect, but we’re all capable of change.

If there’s glaring issues within your organisations diversity, take ownership, admit it, set a plan to address it, then publish it and take action!

Be the change you want to see. I’m a white male, a neurologically diverse one, but a white male none the less. I understand me writing about diversity and inclusion may seem steeped in irony to some, but it’s something I’m passionate about. I’m fortunate enough to be in a position where I can positively impact the diversity of the organisations I work with, so I do!

This is as much about convincing companies to invest in people who maybe ever so slightly under-qualified, but have undeniable passion and drive, as it is about communicating the real EVP of clients to candidates beyond salaries and breakfast bars. However as an external consultant there’s only so much I can do. You can take a horse to water…

I recently built the design team for a fin-tech product which utilises tech to democratise a very stuffy & traditionally elitist space. They are a well funded diverse company, with a progressive culture, and a great mission, plus they offer their employees generous salaries & stock options. Pretty neat right? Hardest. Sell. Ever. The reason — trying to convince potential candidates to actually scroll down the companies ‘who we are’ page on their website. Yes, the top row is 5 suited up white males…which I understand isn’t a great look…but sugar my tea and call me Brian, didn’t anybody ever tell you not to judge a book by its cover?

Be the change you want to see, if a company looks old fashioned, and non diverse then challenge this and make it a better place, because If we’re not willing to openly discuss and challenge things, they’re never going to change.

I will never understand what it’s like to be the only POC, female, LGBTQ person in a company or team. I understand writing about these things is way easier than actually challenging them in real life. The whole point of Open Space UX’s panel and subsequently this article is to encourage open discussion. Hopefully we’ve made a small step in the right direction to achieving that!

 

Written by Rory Colgan

 

Check out more of Rory’s writing here

 

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20th August 2021

GET TO KNOW: JEMIMA

GET TO KNOW: JEMIMA

GET TO KNOW: JEMIMA

Jemima has been with Red Sofa since September 2020. She recruits in the digital/traditional creative space.

Jemima’s taken a typically non-linear path towards recruitment. She started out working for NGO’s in London, before making a rather impulsive, but actually quite good decision to move to Berlin, where she started working as an Account Director in Advertising. After a few years of being ground down and popping a (very cute) sprog out along the way, she decided to move her attentions towards recruitment, and took a role as Senior Creative Consultant. She works with agencies and clients in mostly Berlin but increasingly, all over Europe.

 

 

She has worked with clients such as Mozilla, Anomaly, R/GA, Ogilvy, AKQA, and 72 & Sunny.

 

 

TESTIMONIALS

It’s been a real pleasure to work with Jemima on finding the right candidates for us. Communication felt super easy and her responses are quick. She has sent great talent my way and is always ready to adjust the search to our needs

Anika Dorn | Creative Lead of Europe | Mozilla

 

I had a very pleasant and professional experience with Red Sofa. Thanks for your support throughout the process Jemima!

Sofie Thome | Creative

 

 

Jemima has the tendency to throw curveballs out at random moments. Here are a few that have thrown us before.
She rowed for Great Britain.
She enjoys oil painting.
She can’t ride a bike.
She’s half Welsh.

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4th August 2021

Diversity, Loyalty and the Four Day Week: an Interview with Further and Further Founder Ian Pierpoint

Diversity, Loyalty and the Four Day Week: an Interview with Further and Further Founder Ian Pierpoint

Diversity, Loyalty and the Four Day Week: an Interview with Further and Further Founder Ian Pierpoint

 

It’s no secret, employee loyalty is getting harder and harder to achieve.

With 78% of Gen Z employees and 43% of Millennials planning to leave their job within the next two years and the pandemic causing people to ‘‘epiphany quit’ their jobs, now is the perfect time for company owners to start reviewing their employment models and staff benefits. Here at RedSofa, diversity and employee retention are very important to us; we strive to not only diversify our field and offer equal opportunities, but we love talking to people about their lives, how diversity, or lack there-of, has effected them and what makes them tick. So when we heard about a qualitative research agency that has not had any resignations since its inception 3 years ago, we were keen to find out more. Jemima Jordan talked to the Founder and CEO of Further & Further, Ian Pierpoint. Ian started his career working as both agency and client side in London before focusing on his own agencies in 2006. He set up Further & Further 3 years ago, and has since opened offices in London, Montreal, New York and Chicago.

 

 

You’ve been working in research agencies for 25 years and been running your own agencies for 15 years. Tell us a bit about your story so far.

To start your own business I feel like you’ve got to be slightly pissed off about something; there has to be a problem you want to solve. When I started The Sound in 2007 I was angry about how bland and corporate market research was, So I created an agency that was all about engagement; storytelling, design and film were therefore at the heart of it. When I left The Sound a few years ago I was pretty burnt out and angry at the bullying within agency culture and lack of authenticity within research approaches. So I created Further&Further so we could do research in the most human way possible.

 

 

 

You’re a pretty trusting and forward-thinking employer. Can you tell us about the policies in place at Further&Further that you/society consider to be most revolutionary?

I don’t think anything is revolutionary. We work a 4 day week but pay everyone for 5 days. We were all working from home before the pandemic made that a thing for everyone. Our plan is to make partnership a thing for all. I don’t think these are revolutionary ideas. I guess I want everyone to truly be themselves at work and try to encourage that as much as possible. A lot of qualitative research agencies are pretty unpleasant places to work – selling is put ahead of thinking, work life balance is very poor and leadership tends not to give many f**ks about either. I just didn’t want to repeat that experience again.

 

 

And how have your staff base responded to them?

No one has resigned in the 3 years we’ve been in existence but we still have many things to improve on, especially as we get bigger.

 

 

Have you ever had a staff member who has taken the piss out of your trust as an employer that has caused you to question whether to tighten the rules a bit?

Not at F&F but in previous agencies yes. To be honest, the worst culprits have been members of previous leadership teams who’ve sought to change the culture to better match their ‘skills’. So, new business winners have tried to turn a thinking culture into a sales culture, or a CEO has tried to make the agency more rigid and corporate, at the expense of creativity. In my experience those are the employees you need to keep the closest eye on.

 

 

Was there a turning point for you where you decided ‘ok, I need to start doing things differently as this isn’t working, or have you always had quite a clear vision of how your wanted to culture of your companies to be?’

At my old agency I hated the culture so much that I walked 15km to work everyday to mentally prepare for hating every second of it. I look back on that and think ‘never again’.

 

 

 

Almost a rhetorical question but for those that are behind the curve, do you think diversity in the workplace is important and why?

At an agency it’s in your interests to have diversity in terms of class, age, race, sexuality, ethnicity and gender or you’ll be less effective (and of course there’s a moral duty to provide opportunity for those who have historically been denied them). However, I do not seek a diversity of opinion when it comes to the culture of our agency – I don’t want to hire leaders who see people as resources. I do not want to hire leaders who see researchers as sales people. I do not want to hire leaders who prioritise profit over peace.

 

 

The struggle is real when it comes to employee loyalty and staff retention. From where you are sitting, what do you think most employers are doing wrong when it comes to keeping their staff?

In our world most researchers leave agencies because they’re burnt out and f**ked off with having no life outside work. A lot of people I speak to also talk about having no pride for the agency they work at. A lot of that I think is down to most agencies having no purpose or meaning and after 2 or 3 years researchers can sense that; it’s no fun banging out projects endlessly. So, have some purpose and treat people like people I guess.

 

 

Would you ever sell your agency to a big network and if so, what would be the cultural aspects of the workplace that you would not let them change?

We’d be open to selling if the network wanted to amplify what we do; so more respect and more authenticity! I would never sell to someone who wanted to f**k up how we currently work.

 

 

What’s the most important thing for you when it comes to hiring new employees?

That they are interesting and kind people who my team will get a kick from spending time with.

 

 

What are the 3 words that describe you as a boss?

I’m not a boss (that’s 4 words but I work in qualitative research so numbers are not my thing)

 

By Jemima Jordan

You can find out more about Further & Further here: https://www.furtherandfurtherstrategies.com/
And you can connect with Ian on linkedin here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ian-pierpoint-5485478/

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8th July 2021

GET TO KNOW: RORY

GET TO KNOW: RORY

GET TO KNOW: RORY

A passionate recruiter who currently helps Berlin startups, SME’s & scaleups secure the best design talent from Senior Product Designers & Brand Designers all the way through to Directors & Global Heads of Design.

 

 

 

Following successful and occasionally simultaneous careers in both hospitality and music events, Rory desired a new challenge, so in 2017 he began recruiting design in Berlin.

He’s also invested in supporting grass roots designers at the start of their careers. He regularly hosts portfolio reviews for the design students from IronHack Berlin.

 

 

TESTIMONIALS

 

It’s always a pleasure to work with Rory. His understanding of roles and clients’ needs is incredible. He provides lots of high-quality candidates quickly and helps to move the process forward. It’s always great to work with people who obviously love what they do.

Natalia Volgina | Product Design @ Sesame

 

What I think is so unique about what Rory brings to the table is his instinct. His ability to get a sense of a company, what they value, what they have the ability to contribute to today’s world, and what roles, support, or individual contributor could really help bolster those efforts is really remarkable. He quickly and with ease gets a sense of one’s interest, character, and passion, matching that well with the needs he sees in the market. Finding good, appropriate talent is so undervalued.

Jill Yoe Graves | Global Head of Design @ Yara Digital Farming.

 

A FUN FACT ABOUT RORY;
When I was working as a chef in Manchester I cooked for Dizzie Rascal, Pele, David Bekham, Girls Aloud, and Alice Cooper to name a few.

 

 

Get In Touch!


rcolgan@redsofaberlin.com

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23rd June 2021

Berlin New Starter // Julia Harz

Berlin New Starter // Julia Harz

 

Julia is the newest member of the Red Sofa Berlin team, and will be working directly with Martina on all things Marketing / Client services / PM. Julia will cover all client-side roles.

Contact details:
Julia Harz
jharz@redsofaberlin.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/julia-harz-47161575/

 

 

A little (novel) about Julia in her own words!

“Growing up in the Taunus countryside, way too far away from Frankfurt am Main, Julia spent endless hours of her so called boring teenage life in the 90s/early 00s waiting for her favourite music clips to pop-up on MTV, recording tapes from the radio charts shows, daydreaming about Leonardo Di Caprio and forming a girl band living a rockstar life in the City.

As soon as she finished school “small town girl” interned in luxury fashion and sustainable Vinyl bag design and soon made it to Frankfurt to investigate Art History and Sociology. So not ready for wild Berlin yet, determined to become a fashion editor she moved on to Vienna and began to study Communications, Psychology, Biz and Fashion at the University of Vienna, Universaet der Bildenden Kuenste & Angewandte.

 

 

After ten years of dreaming, at the age of 26, Julia finally moved to Berlin and jumped into different areas of the Fashion industry in PR, Styling and Journalism for magazines such as Rolling Stone Germany. In 2012 born out of a Velvet Goldmine theme party, together with her friends they formed the glitter Artist collective GLITZERKLUB – born to let the world sparkle, touring around clubs, events and festivals across Europe.

With the years, the world had changed rapidly and the INFP idealist found herself being more and more torn between her love for beauty and the flipside of the coin, becoming more and more sensitive to the ugly imbalances going on our planet. She decided to take a break, quit her job as a Menswear Stylist for news TV to fullfill herself a lifelong dream: let go of her comfort zone, moving to the UK, living a simple life and diving into inner work with the spiritual folks over there.

With the aim to make a difference, she also started again from zero in her professional life, as a recruitment consultant in the Renewables Energy industry, engaging in changemaking conversations with industry leaders. While discovering the natural kingdoms of our planet, finding the deeper beauty of life, studying transformational breathing techniques and (never-ending story) creating balance from within.

Now moving back to Berlin, it’s time to softly come home to her creative roots she’s made of, as all industries are more and more waking up into more sustainable approaches. Just at the beginning still of a big revolution. Heyho let’s go, Red Sofa Family!”

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19th June 2020

A Human Touch

A Human Touch

Recently, I’ve read a few accounts concerning frustrations around receiving ‘automated responses’, in particular rejection emails for jobs applied for.

In these unprecedented times, many people who are not so lucky to be working deserve a dignified response with a human feel.  Rejection is painful enough, so let’s not under-estimate the impact this can have on morale.

That said, we also have to appreciate that, given the volume of applications for some companies, it’s not always possible to give personalised feedback.  However, we could do well to find a balance and where possible promote a mindful and individual approach.

Right now, it’s a complex picture out there, notwithstanding the uncertainty concerning how and when markets will recover.

A little empathy goes a long way, as does a personal human touch!

WRITTEN BY ALEX COLLINS

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19th June 2020

Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter

There is a racial problem within the inherited imperial system. The brutal murder of George Floyd was recorded and posted on social media. This moment seems to be the catalyst to spark a revolution with a purpose.

As a white male with a distant yet proud Black West African heritage (an ancestor captured as a slave and released to marry one of my forebears), I asked myself ‘what I could do to help?’.

Growing up in predominantly white Chelmsford, Essex, it was unusual to see many black people. I made friends with a black guy who fled with his family from Sudan to the UK in 1997. Omar Al Bashir’s brutal 30 year dictatorial regime was overthrown on 3rd June 2019, by the very type of direct action, protests and activism we are seeing today. The overthrow of the Sudanese regime is a potent example of how sustained political protest can make generation defining change. Incidentally, those protests in Sudan were led by women and young people – those who are often not heard by those in power.

For the purpose of this blog post I’m going to refer to the black guy as “Magic”, because to me, that’s what he was, a magic friend who understood me, behaved like me and emotionally evolved like me despite the fact we have different quantities of melanin in our skin.

I was invited around for dinner frequently and was ALWAYS welcomed with an open heart; the food was so different from what I was familiar with but I liked it, “I like it alot”, (to quote Lloyd Christmas).

I’d sit and chill with Magic’s Dad, the well educated accountant in his late 60’s, dressed in the relatively traditional Jellabiya, as we watch the PGA golf together and he asks “What’s the point of this?”, to which I just laughed as in ‘I don’t really get golf either, mate’. But then he persists “Can you explain it to me?”. And after I explained golf is about getting it in the hole with as fewer shots possible, he sat back with a sense of achievement. He paused for a moment, and then asked “What about Cricket?” ~ Cue both of us crease with laughter.

I will never be able to comprehend the systematic racial disparity that happens on a daily basis. I make mistakes, we all make mistakes, but we have to try to unlearn the inherited traditional systems and build new habits to sustain a new type of system that is always incrementally improving upon the last.

And that is why I feel compelled to say “BLACK LIVES MATTER”.

It is not saying that “Only Black Lives Matter.” We all know “All Lives Matter”. We just need everyone’s help with #blacklivesmatter because black lives are in danger.

Just as an example, I changed my profile picture to the black power fist sign, and within half a day I had to have awkward, emotionally draining conversations with some of my family and friends, to explain why. It begs the question, what must it be like for Magic every single day?!

Examples of racial micro-aggression Magic regularly experiences include; getting into a lift and a lady clutching her hand bag tighter as if she was about to be robbed; a person getting out of a lift as he gets in; and people crossing the street as he is walking towards them. I’ve witnessed first hand the gawking in Magic’s direction, as we would walk into various venues like a pub, sports facility or restaurant where we grew up in Chelmsford City centre.

To reference the great Ian Wright, Wright, Wright, (begrudgingly as a Chelsea fan) “We’ve got a generation of players and people now – not just black players – who won’t tolerate this anymore. My generation was the ‘turn the other cheek’ generation, the Martin Luther King generation. But now this is the ‘by all means necessary’ generation, the Malcolm X generation.”

The reason I am taking a stand to put some words out there is because I asked my friend, Magic, “What can I do to help?”. His response “Thanks man, quickest and most impactful thing to do is to call people out. And by listening.”

Here’s the crux of what I believe to be my responsibility…

  1. If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
  2. Education is key. Accepting that I do not know everything and that I have in fact behaved inappropriately in the past, but I am willing to learn.
  3. Reach out to people and ask, “What can I do to help?”, and listen.
  4. Call out people and make them accountable. Be patient with them and confront the problem. Accept that they got it wrong and then forgive them when they change. Acknowledge their progress in influencing others to male positive change.

The point I’m trying to make is that Black Lives Matter and this is an attempt to spread that message. I would appreciate any help towards positive action and change.

Below are resources I found helpful for taking action. The document below has names and links to funding pages for organisations on the front line, petitions, books, articles and UK black-owned small business:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1vQxdi_Wl-fF_Cthyr4H5E5q11qLGrZ3FhClem3sel-g/htmlview

Color of Change (https://colorofchange.org), NAACP (https://www.naacp.org) and Grass Roots Law Project (https://instagram.com/grassrootslaw) are doing some great work too.

WRITTEN BY DANNY STEWART

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2nd April 2020

The Art All Around Us…

The Art All Around Us…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Having recently joined Red Sofa London, I am getting to see more and more of Shoreditch each day I’m in the office. It was not an area I visited much in the past, usually gravitating around Covent Garden or South London but what an eye opener our neighbourhood really is.

One of the great aspects of Shoreditch’s ever changing landscape is the amazing collection of Street Art / Graffiti. Not only is it for the most part of very high quality – real art on the walls – but it changes on an almost daily basis.

From the photo-realistic (top of pic) to paid for advertising created by hand in a matter of a few days (middle right) to more intricate B&W art (bottom left) – examples of startling colour and intricate work are all around.

The Spenser Netflix Ad (middle right) is almost next door to the Red Sofa offices and was hand painted by two artists in late Feb/early March – I wish I had taken pics on the days before it was finished to really show it in progress. Also not sure it shows the scale of the thing – it’s huge!

I’ve posted photos of Graffiti before in the tunnel at Leake St SE1 (link below) but somehow the street art in Shoreditch is more exciting. You can turn a street corner to be confronted by a new piece of art on any given day. The walk past Shoreditch High St. station almost has a gallery feel to it – the Einstein-esque pic at the top was there before we adopted remote working – I don’t expect to see it again but am looking forward to seeing what will replace it.

Of course Street Art is not restricted to Shoreditch but it certainly has an abundance of it – you can even take a free tour of the ”best” spots (link below).

Keep your eyes open people, when you take your one walk for exercise a day, look out for what has been created wherever you are. There could be a masterpiece hidden just around the corner.

Here’s a list of links to a few Street Art related sites:

Shoreditch 10 best streets – Click here

2019 A year in street art London – Click here

Shoreditch street tour (closed at mo) – Click here

Visit London Street Art – Click here

graffiti_life – insta – Click here

Leake Street SE1 – Click here

WRITTEN BY MARTIN KING

 

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30th March 2020

Bringing a bit of App-iness to social distancing.

Bringing a bit of App-iness to social distancing.

Here’s my top 3 app recommendations, to keep you from going a bit Jack Torrance over the coming weeks…

Houseparty

houseparty.com

Two weeks ago, nobody had ever heard of it, now I’m getting invites from my Mum’s 87 year old neighbour to join him and his family in a game of virtual Pictionary. Houseparty offers you a way to connect with a group of friends (or complete strangers, if that’s your thing), without actually having to be in a room with the grubby little beggers. Get the beers in, and self isolate in company, with a round or two of Chips and Guac.

Google Arts and Culture

artsandculture.google.com

It’s an absolute masterpiece of an App (pun fully intended). Take virtual tours of some of the most famous museums in the world. Create your own personal collection, and share with friends. You can even find your art doppelganger, with the Art Selfie feature – Mine’s Benet Mercadé’s “Waitress” (I shaved my beard in a moment of isolation madness, and am apparently very feminine now)

Disney+

www.disneyplus.com

This one is hardly going under the radar, but it still deserves a mention. Disney’s answer to Netflix; featuring titles from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic’s back catalogue, as well as some excellent originals like The Mandalorian and The World According to Jeff Goldblum. It’s already kept me and my boy occupied for a number of hours, since it’s launch on Tuesday. Worth every penny of the £5.99 monthly subscription.

So that’s it, 3 apps to keep you occupied until June, and not a fitness tracker or meditation mentor in sight. Enjoy, stay safe, and I’ll see you on the other side!

BY TOM EDWARDS

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30th March 2020

Lockdown Time Put To Good Use…

Lockdown Time Put To Good Use…

So we’re all on lockdown and The Boredom Gremlin has been hitting us all over the head with his anxiety mallet for the last couple of weeks. No one knows what’s going on, how long we’ll be stuck cleaning out the same closet for the fourteenth time in two weeks or waiting until we can once again sample the sweet nectar of the local public house. Oh please lord, what I wouldn’t give to listen to the drunken ramblings of Dodgy Ken sat cracking-wise about how things were so much better in his day. Anything would be better than the constant hum of my own refrigerator slowly trying to drive me insane.

But fear not friends, this is time that can be put to good use. Sadly I can’t advise on the most recent mindfulness app or give you recipes to make your own soda bread. I can however point you in the direction of a few places you can look to drain a few hours practicing some new software and sharpening your creative skills so when the glorious day of release arrives you’ll be ready to tackle all the projects that come flooding in like a boss.

Most of these you will get an introductory course or two for free but will then have to pay a subscription fee which, understandably, may not be the most appealing thing right now given we don’t know how long this work drought will continue so there’s a smattering of freebies and video blogs you can learn along with thrown in there as well.

Let’s start with the most obvious ones. Adobe and LinkedIn both run various online training courses with an abundance of different software to spruce up on. If you have an Adobe CC license you can access all of their training courses for no extra charge.

LinkedIn Learning has a vast array of assets you can learn from and you get the first month for free.

https://www.linkedin.com/learning/

The Futur is a US based educational site for all things creative. They can teach you everything from software skills to tips on billing clients and how best to run your independent business. There’s a whole host of free tutorials and videos on the site and some more deep-dive courses that do cost, one-off fees rather than subscription though.

https://thefutur.com/

Bring Your Own Laptop is a site with all kinds of software training. Subscriptions can be paid for monthly or annually. They cover the whole Adobe Suite and also have some specialist courses in different fundamentals of digital design, UX and programming.

https://www.bringyourownlaptop.com/

Skillshare is an amazing platform, this one is not just for career advancement, this is a blast if you’re looking for something just to pass the time. You can learn anything from Photoshop to knitting and everything in between. Go on, why not knit yourself a scarf or a new housecoat, you’ve got the time.

https://www.skillshare.com/

Udemy comes highly recommended from multiple sources and is another amazing platform that offers education on all software, skillsets, and just general tips and tricks in managing a business. This is another that costs but they run various Flash Sales so if you keep a sharp eye you can land yourself a really good deal.

https://www.udemy.com/

Motion Design School is certainly worth your time if animation is something you’re looking to get in to or just fine tune those skills. Software tutorials as well as specialist courses on kinetic type, logo animation, creating AR. This list goes on. Not the cheapest courses in the world but there are some free introductory lessons and they do keep an updated “offers” page it’s worth keeping an eye on.

https://motiondesign.school/

Hello Luxx is another one in the animation space but these guys focus on 3D and visualization. A huge catalogue of facilities for you to choose from covering 3D texturing, compositing etc and covering all kinds of different software. They also do Friday Freebies with links to free video tutorials.

https://helloluxx.com/

Super Hi is a very handy place to start if you’re looking for some interesting courses, particularly on the coding side of things. They do offer various modules on design, branding, project management and so on but their digital courses seem to be something of a specialism. Some introductory packages and freebies but these will be longer term courses that come at a cost.

https://www.superhi.com/

Learn Squared have some exceptional courses to wet your whistle if you’re into illustration either with a pencil / pen or a Wacom tablet. They also offer courses on design and animation but the real selling point here appears to be the illustration aside of things. Until May 30th 2020 they’re offering the first class of each course for free and there’s over 300 to choose from.

https://www.learnsquared.com/

So there you have it, a few places to help you learn a little something and offer a little light in an otherwise dark time. This list was curated through recommendations from our expansive network of freelancers and creatives and we would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone who offered up suggestions, your help is hugely appreciated.

Finally, before I dash off, if you get tired of self-improvement and just want ideas on how to kill a few hours from the comfort of your couch why not check some of these out… thanks Keith!

http://socratic.org – Learn chemistry and physics.

http://favoriteandforget.com – A curation of useful links.

http://duolingo.com – App which really makes studying new languages fun.

http://codecademy.com – Learn to code interactively, for free.

http://chesscademy.com – Free videos and interactive exercises helping you to learn playing chess well.

http://justinguitar.com – Over 850 completely free guitar lessons.

http://freerice.com – Learn vocabulary while you feed the hungry.

http://instructables.com – Makes, How To, and DIY

http://producthunt.com – An aggregator for creators.

You can have fun:

http://spruuce.com – Fun and interesting products and websites.

http://sporcle.com – Trivia quizzes.

http://www.snesfun.com/ – Play old Nintendo games.

http://www.getworkdonemusic.com/ – Pretty much in the title.

http://thenicestplaceontheinter.net/ – Really nice!

http://tastekid.com – Find movies to match your tastes.

http://lang-8.com – You correct entries written by foreigners learning English, and you can also write your own entries (it could be about anything) in a language you’re studying, and speakers of whatever language you’re learning correct it for you. You make tons of friends too

BY ALISTAIR KIRKBY

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26th February 2020

Exciting new start up agency called Suite 961!

Exciting new start up agency called Suite 961!

The events industry in Italy has been growing pretty consistently over the last few years. With both Italian and international business contributing to its growth, along with professional associations and, particularly, advertising and marketing agencies.

 

RedSofa London met up with the owners of Suite 961 this week to discuss the exciting new start up agency specialising in corporate and private events. The Italian company based near the famous Lake Maggiore just outside Milan, are in London on a business trip meeting with new clients.

 

Suite 961 offers something truly different to the usual event companies you might come across, they approach every project with the same enthusiasm, precision and passion with everything they do being completely bespoke and unique to each client. By embracing their Italian heritage they’ve forged incredible relationships with stunning venues and unique suppliers all over Italy. They’re dedication to finding innovative solutions for their clients needs is second to none.

 

Marta Rogna the companies CEO said “Suite961 was born out of a need for something different in the events industry, clients want more value for money, they want access to unique spaces and most of all they want to make a lasting impression and make their partners feel special. Our motto is simple – Work hard and Play hard, well it’s certainly what we’re doing at Suite961 anyway!”

 

Good luck Suite961, RedSofa is very much looking forward to working with you!

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27th March 2019

Why I (still) like working in Advertising today – THE PEOPLE

Why I (still) like working in Advertising today – THE PEOPLE

By Justina Pettit.

What I enjoy the most about advertising is definitely the people I have met during my career.

People with all kinds of backgrounds.

From all over the world.

Crazy ones.

Freaks.

Not so crazy ones.

The ones who want to be crazy but never will be.

The ones who just love themselves because of working in Advertising.

The humble ones you would never think they work in Advertising.

The ones who would complain they have so much work to do but will come at 10am to work, prepare their breakfast for 1 hour and leave at 6.30 pm.

The ones doing overtime just to post random Instagram Stories of an empty agency.

The people who work late to just order free food through the agency.

The ones who complain about their jet lag after a shoot in LA.

The ones who bring cake for everyone for no reason.

The ones who write their bio in third person 😉

The ones who ask me to get them tickets to Cannes.

How the fuck do I get you tickets to Cannes??

The people who write to you one day on LinkedIn saying “thank you” because you’ve been part of their career.

Freelancers I am jealous of, because they write to me from their new home in Bali and ask to work remote.

The ones who go to every farewell just to get free booze.

The ones who will always pitch their idea straight to the CCO.

Thanks to everyone! True love <3

Next episode: AGENCY PARTIES

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26th March 2019

I’m off, took the car, darling…✊🏼

I’m off, took the car, darling…✊🏼

More than 130 years ago Bertha Benz, courageous wife of Carl Benz, went for her – today famous – pioneer trip with the “Benz-Patent-Motorwagen Nr. 3”. Not only that she was the first person taking a long distance automobile trip, Bertha Benz also had excellent technical skills.

“The first time, the fuel line was clogged – my hairpin turned out to be helpful there. The second time the ignition was broken. I used my garter to fix it.”

On her trip from Mannheim to Pforzheim she had to face not only technical challenges, but stopped at nothing as you can see in this great made short movie for Weltfrauentag by Mercedes und Antoni.

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20th March 2019

RedSofa’s Top 5 Albums / Mixes of the week

RedSofa’s Top 5 Albums / Mixes of the week

Over here at RedSofa Berlin, we play our music loud and proud. Much to the dismay of our neighbouring companies ; )

It gets us pumped up to fill those urgent Friday freelance briefs, it helps us concentrate on those hard to fill permanent roles and now it is OFFICIALLY SPRING we can get the happy “sunny” vibes going.

So here are the albums / mixes on current rotation this week at RedSofa towers.

Top 5 Albums / Mixes of the week:

  1. Ross from Friends / Family Portrait
  2. Big Thief / U.F.O.F
  3. Peggy Gou / Once EP
  4. King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard / Flying Microtonal banana
  5. The Pharcyde / Bizarre ride II

oh, and the new Peggy Gou RA mix seems to be getting a lot of airplay as well.

If you have any new suggestions on what gets your productivity levels soaring. Let us know, we love new music.

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27th February 2019

NEW GIRL IN TOWN

NEW GIRL IN TOWN

Justina has been part of the creative industry since 2011.

She played a leading role at the Miami Ad School Berlin for 6 years dealing with creatives from all levels and countries.

Her background in HR makes her the perfect fit for us recruiting for creatives. She is a real people person and loves connecting the right ones with each other.

Justina really hates the smell of bananas, she listens to radio charts and shuffleboard is her favorite sport on a cruise ship. You will almost certainly lose her attention as soon as a dog walks by.

For more information contact: jpettit@redsofaberlin.com

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14th November 2018

Berlin in 2 years

Berlin in 2 years

Berlin in 2 years… So what does Berlin have to offer newcomers?

 

2 years ago, nearly to the day in fact, I embarked on a new adventure and chapter in my life.

 

I packed my bags, jumped on a plane and moved from London to Berlin to work in the technology world – all thanks to the kind people of RedSofa Berlin J

 

Moving to a new country, a new company and different industry can be quite daunting for some with lots of “the unknown” to encounter.

 

However, when you take yourself out of your comfort zone, find a place to settle and fill in all the paper work needed here, the rewards WILL be incredible.

 

I’ve always been a countryside man at heart but loves city life, so for me a balance and mix of both is incredibly important. Berlin certainly offers this, and much much more.

 

There is a lot more to Berlin than tech start-ups and techno. Here are a few of my favourite places so far that I visited early on and still love now.

 

From bars and restaurants to sunset spots, lakes and hiking through forests, exploring abandoned buildings and of course the Christmas markets…

 

I would love to hear of your own explorations but here are some of my favourite spots so far.

 

  • Schlachtensee / Krumme Lenke – 2 beautiful lakes sat next to each other and situated in South West Berlin. Great for hiking and exploring, swimming or even skating when they freeze over for winter (but do be careful). One of the cities best bier gardens to relax, watch the water and grab a beer and some lunch.

 

  • Teufelsberg – my absolute “wow” factor place. One of the best spots for sunset you will see in Berlin, possibly Germany. An old abandoned cold war listening station turned art-adventure and graffiti photographers paradise. Based in Grunwald Forest.

 

  • Monkey Bar – a great but often busy bar (especially day time) that has a great view across the cities parks and zoo! Outdoor summer/winter terrace. Get there just before peak times after work and for sunset. Based in West Berlin.

 

  • Treptow Park – a wonderful place to explore along the river, walk in the park, watch an open air movie on the island, or have a bite to eat in the floating restaurant there in the Spree. East Berlin.

 

  • Charlottenburg Palace ​​​​– a truly stunning place, especially in the summer when in full bloom. Lot’s of wildlife and groups of wild beavers have been known to visit! And of course it’s famous Christmas Market, magical place…. West Berlin.

 

  • Wannsee Terrace – a place to treat yourself for sure – a beautiful coffee / restaurant over looking the amazing Wannsee. A top sunset hotspot too, gets busy but always worth it. Great cakes! West Berlin.

 

  • Mercedes Benz Arena – as an avid Ice Hockey fan myself, this is my sporting mecca. This is home to the Eisbaren Ice Hockey team and the Alba basketball team. Both are in the top flight with close to15,000 there weekly. East Berlin.

 

  • Freischwimmer – one of Berlin’s nicest and very affordable canal side restaurants. Amazing in summer on the water, and very cosy with log fires in winter. Decent beer, good food and great views. Can get busy so avoid peak times if possible.

 

  • Klunkerkranich – one of THE top sunset hotspots. A rooftop bar on top of a carpark that regularly has both bands and DJ’s playing, as well as pop up food stalls to enjoy as the sun sinks behind you. Neukölln – West Berlin

 

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2nd November 2018

Are motivation & energy in the workplace, symptoms of a healthy nervous system?

Are motivation & energy in the workplace, symptoms of a healthy nervous system?

Humans have developed a novel relationship with “happy hormones” in recent years, this century in particular. Many people being totally out of sync with their bodies’ chemistry, causing imbalances that leads to anxiety, restlessness, and ultimately severe depression in some cases. Naturally, if you are in a stressful job that you don’t enjoy; these feelings are massively compounded and will almost certainly trigger an unpleasantly high level of cortisol release.

 

In some instances, these imbalances cannot be helped as they have not been triggered or enflamed by the individuals’ lifestyle. Many people will seek a quick fix rather than addressing the route cause of the discomfort they may be experiencing – after all, it’s the Western way.

 

Serotonin & Dopamine are naturally secreted neurotransmitters that our bodies release as a reward for undertaking activities that encourage the survival of the human race. Sounds like a pretty basic formula, I know; but exercise, sex, sleep & eating are the foundations, pillars even, of natural secretions of these hormones, which should be the first point of discussion and exploration before encouraging dependency on an artificial substitute, as this can totally inhibit future natural releasing, much to the joy of big Pharmaceutical companies.

 

Let’s explore a little further.

When people become “addicted” (and I use that phrase tongue-in-cheek) to food, exercise or sex; it is not the act itself that they are seeking, it is the feeling of accomplishment & happiness, that comes as a result of these neurotransmitters flooding the body during and afterwards. And this works both ways – if you’re receiving a reward for these acts, each time you execute them; it will provide feelings of motivation, accomplishment & control – you will undoubtedly feel able to get more done with your day and will be more engaged with your day to day life.

 

So; what’s the secret? Well; work on these basic cornerstones and understand the physiology of your body, before looking for a solution elsewhere. And also… find a job that you love, if you don’t have one already (if you’re a developer; I can help with that).

By: Rob Maguire

 

This is my first blog post and if anyone would like to discuss further, ask any questions, or like/share, please feel free! I will be writing monthly pieces about various topics going forward, including more on mindfulness, health & personal growth.

 

DISCLAIMER – ‘eating’ does mean eating nutritious and wholesome food, not just whatever you can find 🙂

 

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23rd October 2018

RED SOFA ROTATION

RED SOFA ROTATION

Over here at RedSofa Berlin, we play our music loud and proud. Much to the dismay of our neighbouring companies ; )  

It gets us pumped up to fill those urgent Friday freelance briefs, it helps us concentrate on those hard to fill permanent roles and currently gets us through the Berlin rainy October. 

So here are the albums / mixes on current rotation this week at RedSofa towers. 

Top 5 Albums / Mixes of the week: 

  • Connan Mockasin / Jassbusters (Monday Morning.) 
  • Marie Davidson / Working Class Woman (Freelance madness.)
  • Kurt Vile / Bottle it in (Perm matching.) 
  • DJ Kicks / Mount Kimbie (Friday vibes.)
  • Alexandra Streliski / INSCAPE (for when you get in at 8am, to write up those job ads.) 

If you have any new suggestions on what gets your productivity levels soaring. Let us know, we love new music. 

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23rd September 2018

RedSofa Berlins Latest Team Member

RedSofa Berlins Latest Team Member

Martina is originally from a small village in Bavaria, but took her first deep dive into Berlin’s nightlife in 1999. From Kunst und Technik to Ostgut, from Bad Kleinen to WMF – she was the one “in the know”. Always loving being surrounded by creative people and their work, she and her friends started the “Wochenbar” R12; a space not only known for their happy parties on Thursdays but also for giving young artists the chance to exhibit their work.

She has a great passion for culture, aesthetics, design and art but also organisation and management. So, on her more serious side of life, she studied Arts Management and Cultural Work and worked for 5 years in various areas of the cultural sector. But since the great attraction to everything in the field of design and the internet became stronger and stronger, she made her way from PM in the cultural sector to PM, concept and strategy in digital agencies.

What links all of this experience together over the years is the joy of bringing people together and making things possible. Martina loves to find the right lid for every pot. So she fits right in over here at RedSofa!

Out of work, nowadays, Martina likes to spend time with family and friends. OR watching / reading about true crime, doing some kind of sporting activity, giving cool travel tips for families (see her travel blog for some inspiration http://itsonmylist.de) or talking to her plants as if they were human.

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27th February 2018

Berlin’s Latest Recruit

Berlin’s Latest Recruit

Rob stumbled upon the world of creative & digital recruitment after an illustrious client facing career in both sales & personal training. Having spent 3 years servicing the London digital project management market, he is now diving headfirst into the Berlin technology space establishing long-term relationships with clients & candidates alike. Outside of the office though, you can find him exploring Berlin’s weird and wonderful nightlife.

As well as being a heavy hitter in the recruitment world, Rob can be seen eating 15 chicken breasts a day in preparation for international weightlifting competitions where he has earnt TEAM GB status. Well……we don’t know much about professional powerlifting, but we sure are glad to have him in TEAM RedSofa as well.

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15th January 2018

BERLIN IS CALLING YOU

BERLIN IS CALLING YOU

Any Senior Tech / Creative Recruiters out there who are sick of the UK/London recruitment market? Working at 10-15%, with below average in-house talent who you can’t build relationships with and use 20 other agencies, companies who don’t want to work with recruiters but have to, never getting feedback on CV’s/Interviews, sick of working against 20 other agencies for 1 job that’s probably gonna be filled in house anyway?

So…If you have Tech, UX, or Creative experience, and fancy Berlin where your clients are genuinely cool, want to work with you (at 20%), give you CV and interview feedback, do what they say they do, trust your judgement, working against a small competition, make quick decisions then give me a shout.

We’re also a lot of fun to work for… we have a Sonos sound system on the go all day, regular spontaneous lunch and beers, moving to the coolest part in Berlin soon, good commission, have a good laugh a each other, and most importantly won’t micro manage you AND we have a decent reputation in the market here. I’d love to hear from you. Pm or email me.

Ps I’m saving about £700 a month not living in London AND earning more and get to chill at places like this… sold?…

pps you hardly ever pay more than €3.80 a pint…

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1st January 2018

RedSofa Radio #1

RedSofa Radio #1

Nightwork Music by Tosh Ohta
Tosh is marketing agency Amplify’s Head of of Client Development. He is responsible for on-boarding new clients and developing existing ones. Amplify is a marketing agency that joins the dots between people, brands and culture. They work with Google, PlayStation, Airbnb, Nike, Netflix and more across strategy, brand activation, influence and amplification. Previous to Amplify he racked up over 20 years working in the technology sector managing marketing campaigns for Cisco, Samsung, Microsoft and EE.

As well as being a b2b marketing and sales strategy expert, Tosh is a DJ, regularly playing festivals, clubs and brand events across the UK and Europe. This summer he has already played at Cannes Film Festival, Gottwood, Love International and next up is a set on the floating Pagoda at the final Secret Garden Party.

Tracklist
Young Wolf – Kabuki (Spiritual version)
Roy of the Ravers – Emotinium
Lusine – Cirrus
Scott Grooves – Detroit 808 (Panther Dub Delay version)
Lobe – Placebo
Lord of the Isles – Ultraviolet
Kinder Atom – Eagle Sprouts (Nuwavedisko mix)
Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve – Diagram Girl (Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve re-imagination)

Go on then, give us your elevator pitch….
Medium sized anglo-japanese person. Husband and cat owner. Clapton resident, currently learning to drive. Head of Client Development at marketing agency Amplify by day, shonky DJ by night.

So what is it about your job that turns you on?
I am particularly proud of Amplify’s creative output. Also our client roster.

What’s the best thing about working at Amplify?
Definitely the people. (I was going to answer that for the previous question but it might be taken the wrong way). As well as having the utmost professional respect for my colleagues they’re good friends.

Any particular thing you’re most proud of?
Work – Helped my previous agency Astute grow from 5 people to nearly 300 over 15 years.
Music – I played all three rooms of Fabric in one night.

If you weren’t in Client Development, what would you be?
I had just dropped out of college when I was 16, I walked through the high street looking for a job. WH Smith said no, McDonalds said no, then a telesales company said yes, that was my first “client development” job. So, I could have ended up at a stationers or a fast food chain in Walton on Thames if my hair cut wasn’t so daft (it was very stupid).

Tell us a little bit about the tracks you have chosen for your ‘music to work to’ mixtape.
You can have it on in the background without it being too intrusive, at the same time if you needed to take your mind off what you’re doing and focus on something else for a minute to clear your head it’s really nice to listen to. Two of the tracks are produced by friends, I’m very lucky to know some extremely talented people.

Why do you love RedSofa so much?
Dan Poole obviously.

Do you have a background in music?
Not particularly, I’m just a massive enthusiast.

Tell us about your early rave days?
I had a very stupid haircut.

Top 5 albums of all time?
This will probably be different next time you ask me..
Pixies – Surfer Rosa
Violent Femmes – Violent Femmes
Bauhaus – Crackle
Nitzer Ebb – This Total Age
Metro Area – Metro Area

Best show on Netflix?
Black Mirror, my music and TV tastes are similar – a bit dark and sounds like it’s from the near future

What was the naughtiest thing you did in school?
I don’t know where to start with this one

In 40 years, what music will people be nostalgic for?
There will be a massive dubstep re-edit scene and Skrillex will probably make a terrible come back (reference disco re-edits and Moroder’s come back)

…….Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Hopefully with a driving license

If you like what you hear then get yourself over here for some more Tosh

You can find more RedSofa Radio Mixtapes here

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15th December 2017

Ostrich

Ostrich

This will definitely put a smile on your face even if you’ve woken up on the wrong side of the bed this morning.  A guy who was out on a bike ride with his two friends in South Africa managed to capture the moment an ostrich decided he wanted to get in on the fun with them and proceeded to chase after his two friends on their bikes, whilst the whole thing was caught on the guys GoPro and he later uploaded it to the internet where it was a viral hit.

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6th December 2017

Engage Prague

Engage Prague

The worlds largest international social media conference will be taking place in Prague this year between the 11th and 14th of March. Last years conference saw more than 1,000 participants from over 70 counties attend, so this year is hoping to be even bigger and better.

The event, Engage Prague 2016 (http://www.engage2016.com/) is three days worth of networking and workshop – based learning about the constantly evolving industry with key-speakers including:

Veronica McGregor: The news and social-media manager for the NASA; she created NASA’s first Twitter account.

Alfie Deyes: An English YouTube star who currently runs the channels PointlessBlog, which has over 4.5 million subscribers, and also PointlessBlogVlogs, and PointlessBlogGames.

Olivier Robert-Murphy: The global head of new business at Universal Music Group.

In addition to the key speakers the event will hold two days of workshops on many industry-focused topics such as using instagram to expand a brand, the importance of visual storytelling and creating effective videos for social channels. The workshops will be led by major brands such as the BBC, L’Oréal, and Microsoft, as well as including social media stars such as photographer Eelco Roos, who has more than half a million Instagram followers. Anyone attending the conference can choose four sessions, which will be divided up into morning and afternoon sessions.

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5th December 2017

Do you remember the days of having a printed portfolio of your work?

Do you remember the days of having a printed portfolio of your work?

Do you remember the days of having a printed portfolio of your work, lugging it around to showcase your designs?! Then it was all about the PDF and still is for some clients, although everything is venturing more towards being more digitalised, so now we have websites.

However word on the street is that WeTransfer are launching a new app, so you can share information on the move, in meets without the need of your laptop.
I for one think this should have been done sooner, being a recruiter speed is of the essence especially on freelance so gone are the days of relying on emails, as I find I do more over text and mobile now so having this app surely will make the process simpler.

Its definitely something I’ll be speaking to my clients about and suggesting we give it a try.

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2nd December 2017

John Lewis Christmas Advertising

John Lewis Christmas Advertising

Halloween is officially done for another year and now is the time when most of us start thinking about the festive season for the first time. However, for those in the advertising industry, planning for Christmas can start all the way back in March!

Over the last few years, the John Lewis advert has become a much-anticipated event. Many people up and down the country see the debut of the John Lewis ad as a sign that the festive season is underway. This year’s ad is based on a ‘cuddly monster’ that has been compared to The Gruffalo. Traditionally the ad is launched onto our TV screens on the first Friday of November. Check out the link below to see it for yourself before it inevitably goes viral in the next few weeks.

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17th November 2017

Project Monsoon

Project Monsoon

South Korea is well known by its locals for its annual monsoon season where it can rain solidly for 3 weeks straight. Now a group of designers have come up with a brilliantly inventive way to try and brighten the streets up and put a smile on the faces of the people who live there. Their project ‘Project Monsoon’ creates huge vibrant painting right on the streets which only will appear when its raining. It uses special hydrochramatic paint, which stays invisible until it gets wet.

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16th November 2017

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard.

If you’re a foodie you’ll be familiar with that time everyone went crazy over an insane milkshake down under dubbed the ‘freakshakes’. The café in Austrialla selling them, Patissez (http://patissez.com.au/ ) went viral and people all over the world wanted to get their hand on one of their mega milkshakes.

Look at them!

Well now Londoners look no further because ‘Freak Shakes’ have been brought to our very own city. Molly Bakes Café (https://www.mollybakes.co.uk/our-cafe/ ) in Kingsland Road, Dalston has become the first place in the UK to start making these insane milkshakes. “We started making them because last year when I saw them on Instagram I wanted to get on a plane to Australia but didn’t fancy the 24-hour flight for a milkshake!” Maria from Molly Bakes says. The milkshakes are made using fresh ice cream and topped with sauces and brownies, cookies, tartlets, marshmallows, honeycomb and loads more. All are made by the team at Molly Bakes Café and come in four flavours, Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Raspberry and Caramel with more combinations apparently coming soon. We will definitely be making a trip there!

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14th November 2017

Wasps Nest

Wasps Nest

These amazing wasp nests were a creation of a study from an Italian biology student. Mattia Menchetti cleverly realised he could give coloured construction pieces of paper to a colony of wasps and that by gradually providing different shades of colour, the wasps then turned their intricate homes into an amazing array of rainbow colours.

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13th November 2017

Scott Kelly the Astronaut

Scott Kelly the Astronaut

Scott Kelly is an astronaut who is aboard the international space station and he recently has been releasing breath-taking images of the Australian landscape from 400km above on his twitter page. The images reveal a very different landscape from the Australia we all think we know. Check out more of Scotts picture from space on his twitter feed. (https://twitter.com/StationCDRKelly)

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12th November 2017

The Story Of Sarah and Juan

The Story Of Sarah and Juan

There are always some ads that manage to do more than just sell the product, some achieve to be able to convey emotions for their audience, making the ad much more memorable in peoples minds. Extra Gum’s latest ad has done just that. The company have released their latest ad named “The story of Sarah and Juan” and takes us on a journey of the pairs relationship; from the first time they catch eyes and meet to the day he proposes. It’s all linked with the gum being present at important chapters in the couples life, and links into Juan’s’ proposal at the end.

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9th November 2017

Sweden

Sweden

Sweden has become the first country in the world to launch its very own phone number. The more than unusual idea was thought up from the Swedish Tourism Authority and is a part of their campaign to celebrate the country’s 250 year anniversary of abolishing censorship.  If you call the number you will be put through to a random Swedish person who you can then talk to quite literally about anything and everything. Apparently more than 11,000 calls have been made since the 6th of April  when it was first set up. If you fancy giving a random Swedish person a call today then dial +46 771 793 336.

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7th November 2017

Iceland

Iceland

Two guys latest project in Iceland has taken the Internet by storm. Jin Choi and Thomas Shine are both architects and had a unique idea to make normal everyday industrial structures more interesting and appealing. Their idea was for electric pylons to be built as human-shaped statues walking across the Icelandic countryside. In 2008 their “Land of Giants” project was proposed to the local authorities. The design has recently been accepted and now the statues have been assembled and put in place. And it’s safe to say they look extremely impressive!

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5th November 2017

David Attenborough – what a ledge!

David Attenborough – what a ledge!

It’s safe to say we all love Sir David Attenborough and his iconic voiceovers for his much loved BBC documentaries. And when he recently joined Greg James on the BBC Radio 1 show he was kindly asked if he would narrate the opening part to Adele’s latest new music video for ‘Hello’.  Of course the result was amazing and he gave the narration for it in the same style as one of his BBC documentaries. It makes for a brilliant watch!

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3rd November 2017

The spooky forgotten history of Halloween

The spooky forgotten history of Halloween

Halloween is just around the corner, and it seems to get bigger and bigger every year. In the US, one quarter of all of the sweets sold annually is purchased for Halloween! But did you know that the history of Halloween actually dates back over 2000 years?

Halloween began as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. A lot of the Halloween traditions we have today originated with Samhain, including lighting bonfires and wearing costumes. In a bid to ward off evil spirits, people would protect themselves by dressing up as ghosts.

From the eighth century onwards, 1 November became All Saints Day, where saints were celebrated. The Samhain traditions continued to be incorporated into these celebrations. All Hallows Eve, the day before All Saints Day, also became a special event. As the days got shorter and the nights got longer, it was important to commemorate the event and ward off death and demons. Children in particular got involved with dressing up and going out onto the streets.

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29th October 2017

Lego

Lego

It’s been nearly two decades since I was tripping over my own kids’ Lego, but the little plastic bricks are still ubiquitous. Today’s children might seem to be smartphone obsessed, however, the popularity of Lego shows no sign of waning. In fact, in 2015 Lego was named the most powerful brand in the world, knocking none other than Ferrari off the top spot. So how has it managed to stay so popular?

Lego famously hails from humble beginnings in Denmark. Despite the fact that Lego is now an enormous company, it’s original motto ‘det bedstead ikke for godt’ (or ‘only the best is the best’), is still at the heart of the company. Parents know that Lego bricks are hard-wearing and therefore they are a better investment than cheaper imitators. Lego has managed to make its name synonymous with quality, and this goes a long way in explaining why it continues to be so popular.

Astonishingly, The University of Copenhagen discovered that a modest pack of six standard Lego bricks can be combined in 915,103,765 different ways. This incredible versatility allows a kid’s imagination to run wild, and parents love it too because it can keep them busy for several hours at a time!

The very first version of Lego was first released in 1947, so it’s now seen as a traditional toy. However, Lego is surprisingly in tune with the sensibilities of modern parents. Today’s parents tend to avoid heavily gendered toys, and Lego has always been ahead of the game on that front. Lego has markets itself towards both boys and girls equally. The bright primary colours and diverse characters are appealing to parents who want to avoid princess pink or toy guns.

The secret of Lego’s success seems to be that it is such a simple, almost quaint product, that also appeals to modern tastes and values. This winning combination shows no time of decreasing in popularity any time soon.

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18th October 2017

Great British Tattoo Festival

Great British Tattoo Festival

The annual Great British Tattoo Festival (http://www.greatbritishtattooshow.com/) is being held at Alexandra Palace on the 28th and 29th of May this year and will attract many talented tattooists from all over the world. This will be the 5th year the festival will have been running and it’s set to be an amazing one with a vast gathering of creativity to be shown.  Over 300 artists will be at the show along with live music, seminars where you can go along and try something new or improve on what you can already do and more. One of the artists Manda Ashby, who will be attending her 4th Great British Tattoo Festival, gave some insight as to why she returns every year This will be the 4th time I’ve been at the Great British Tattoo Show – it’s exciting! The tattooing talent and the venue make for a beautiful and pretty inspiring place. It gets busy but not over-crowded so you get to see everything, a really brilliant atmosphere.” Click here (http://www.greatbritishtattooshow.com/tickets)  to get your tickets.

Pictures Via MadeInShoreditch http://madeinshoreditch.co.uk/2016/03/14/great-british-tattoo-festival-2016/

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27th September 2017

Top 100 digital agencies report 2017

Top 100 digital agencies report 2017

The Top 100 Digital Agencies report is the definitive listing of the UK’s largest digital agencies. The guide features in-depth analysis and commentary on the state of the industry, along with information on each agency to help client-side professionals choose the right partner to help achieve their business goals.

See more at: https://econsultancy.com/reports/top-100-digital-agencies-2017/

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26th September 2017

When it comes to branding you’ll either love us or love us!

When it comes to branding you’ll either love us or love us!

  • – You’ll love the range of top-flight 2D/3D designers, creative directors, retouchers and packaging designers we have on our books.

 

  • – You’ll love the one-to-one service we’ll give you.

 

  • – You’ll love, and be reassured, by our wealth of experience in branding. We’ve supplied top talent on a vast range of major brands, every sector from Body Shop to Burberry.

 

  • – Branding is something we love to get our teeth into. Simply contact Karan Kaur at RedSofa for any of your branding needs you’ll find we’ll go down rather well! kkaur@redsofalondon.com

 

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25th September 2017

How could they do it!

How could they do it!

How is it that major companies can spend millions on developing and launching new products and the results are enough to make even a five-year-old cry foul?

I don’t know the answer, what I do know is that the results can be hilarious. Here are some of my favourites, so bad they’re good.

 

COLGATE’S RANGE OF ‘KITCHEN ENTREEES’ READY MEALS

Someone here obviously thought the appealing combination of toothpaste and ready meals would be a culinary hit. It was NOT.

Colgate launched their range of ‘kitchen entrees’ in 1992. Not surprisingly buyers rejected the idea of tucking into that exciting looking dish of rice and veg while thinking of toothpaste. After five weeks the range was gone.

A spokesman at the time said (through gritted teeth) “ I think we might have stretched the brand a little far”. Something of an understatement.

 

HEINZ ‘SPECIAL’ GREEN TOMATO KETCHUP

Heinz Tomato Ketchup has to be red, what other colour could it possibly be?

How about green?

In 2000 Heinz launched their special green ketchup under the slogan ‘Heinz’s 420th variety. It seemed to turn consumers even greener than the ketchup,

After two months it went down the pan!

 

BIC DISPOSABLE PANTYHOSE

You can just hear the new product development meeting discussing this idea.

“So what should we develop to go alongside our best-selling pens and disposable razors?” “Err…underwear?” “YES!”

Bic decided to launch ‘disposable’ pantyhose to go alongside its other disposable lines.

Apart from production problems, you can’t make pantyhose in an injection mould like you can with cigarette lighters or razors.

Despite this, the product was finally launched, and, surprise, surprise, was quickly disposed of by consumers. Didn’t they realise underwear and pens don’t mix.

 

DASANI FROM COKE!

In February 2004 Coke launched their new bottled water brand Dasani.

It started with the marketing slogans “bottled spunk” and “can’t live without spunk” To the Americans spunk was meant to imply spirit, energy, pizazz….

To the British it meant something else!!

Worse was to come though, Dasani’s “pure” water was found to be no more than tap water, from Sidcup in Kent. Then even worse was to come when Trading Standards investigated whether was any purer than tap water, or in fact different at all.

It certainly was different. Bromate was discovered in the water, which is a suspected carcinogenic!! This was a truly spectacular failure of a product.

 

CLAIROL TOUCH OF YOGERT SHAMPOO

Proctor & Gamble launched this product in 1995.

No doubt Yogurt and other cultured dairy products may actually be beneficial for your hair. Customers, to put it mildly, did not take to associating dairy with a hair product. There were even some cases of people mistakenly eating it and getting sick as a result!

This hair-brained product soon flew off the shelves into the bin of history.

 

HARLEY-DAVIDSON FRAGENCES

 Harley-Davidson values are strong, masculine, very rugged values. So what could they add to the brand to reinforce these values? How about perfume? What, I hear you cry! Yes that’s what they did.

In 2001 they launched the ‘Legendary Harley-Davidson Eau De Toilette’ range. They didn’t make you smell like a Hells Angel and what Harley rider wants to smell like a girl on a motorbike. Not surprisingly the range crashed!

I hope these brought a smile to your face, there really is nothing like the sweet smell of failure!

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15th September 2017

Essena O’Neill Modelling

Essena O’Neill Modelling

Social media has given many young people from normal, ordinary backgrounds the platform to join the rich and famous, and most of them from the comfort of their own home. We now live in an age where you can be ‘Twitter Famous’ and YouTube sensations can get as much of a following as some famous artists and actors. One girl who has seen it all is 18-year-old Australian, Essena O’Neill. She gained 800,000 followers on Instagram and even landed herself a modelling contract with one of Australia’s biggest agencies. She was paid money to advertise clothes on her Instagram page and she had what looked like the lifestyle every 18-year-old dreams off. But now she reveals that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and in a YouTube video she talks about how she is now shutting down all her social media accounts. In the video she explains how damaging it is for young people especially girls to feel the need for followers and likes from people who don’t even know them. O’Neill deleted over 2,000 photos from her instagram and then edited the captions on the few remaining photos she left up to spread the real truth behind the pictures.

“Without realising, I’ve spent the majority of my teenage life being addicted to social media, social approval, social status and my physical appearance,”  Wrote O’Neill wrote on her latest Instagram post. “Social media, especially how I used it, isn’t real. It’s a system based on social approval, likes, validation in views, success in followers. It’s perfectly orchestrated, self-absorbed judgement.”

Picture Via BoredPanda

(http://www.boredpanda.com/truth-behind-instagram-social-media-not-real-life-essena-oneill/)

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2nd September 2017

Another great hire for RedSofa Berlin!

Another great hire for RedSofa Berlin!

Enjoying Berlin since 1997 and having a background in marketing and communications, Jörn has been into e-commerce, retail, wholesale and publishing after being involved in an art gallery, a record distribution and, of course, Berlin’s club scene. He is a self starting creative mind with a passion for design, culture and technology. Ever since getting his hands on an 286 PC on which he hacked DOS games with a hex editor and taught himself basic programming back in the days he’s been nurturing his secret inner geek and eventually decided both by logic and heart to join RedSofa to help to deliver an outstanding recruiting service for tech and digital roles. Email him jvater@redsofaberlin.com

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27th August 2017

RedSofa launches Blue Island

RedSofa launches Blue Island

Blue Island will be a cluster of hot desks based in the RedSofa Shoreditch offices. They will provide space, facilities and mentoring for fresh talent, in an atmosphere that’s creative and different.

“We wanted to give something back to an industry that has been very good to us. We’ve discovered and promoted some exceptional talent over the years so we see Blue Island as a practical extension of this. In other words it will give talent the leg up it deserves,” says Steve Buss RedSofas founder director.

The first occupants of Blue Island will be Tim Nelson and Donna McLean who are creating an exciting new community and storage business.