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Wow, what a summer it has been! As well as enjoying the scorching hot temperatures, the Bluestep lot have kept busy inside and outside of the office. So, what exactly have we been up to?

Charity Softball League

This summer, Bluestep headed to Hyde Park for the annual Charity Softball League final. It was another great year, with an amazing turnout of many fabulous charity teams. As a sponsor of the event, Bluestep provided the food, as well as the laughs and great chat…and a coconut shy!

The Softball event also saw the finale of our Flip cup challenge. This year, we tasked the charities with getting their flip on. In teams, everyone has to go around in a circle drinking a beverage and then flipping their cup over. Once it lands successfully, the next person can begin. Simple enough, right? You can watch the highlights of the challenge here!


Bluestep Party

To celebrate all the hard work and effort the Bluesteppers had put in for another crazy year, Bluestep partied in style, and boy do we know how to party!! The teams battled it out through 24 holes of crazy golf followed by cocktail making at Revolucion De Cuba.  Whilst the sangria was flowing, the teams went head to head shaking up some rum-based cocktails which were judged by the professionals on the taste and presentation. The evening concluded with a delicious Cuban spread (and of course a few more cheeky cocktails into the night)…Cheers!


Birmingham Design Fair

A few weeks back, the Bluestep design and digital team headed to the Birmingham Design Festival. It was a true celebration of the design industry, full of big names in the field with top-notch talks, advice and fun workshops.

The festival was also a great chance to let the creative juices run wild and the team came back full of inspiration and motivation. There were many highlights of the festival. We learnt more about variable fonts (which we blogged about here!), women in design and designing when based outside of London, each with inspirational personal stories.

Alpaca My Bags

We all know that sometimes you need a break from being creative, and what better way to relax and unwind than… alpaca walking?  Yes, you heard correct.  The management team spent the afternoon trekking through the beautiful Northamptonshire countryside with some furry friends at Arkadia Alpacas.  Sadly, we weren’t able to bring one home as an office pet!


Alice Says “I Do”!

September saw our own Alice Goddard tie the knot to become Mrs Threadgold!  It was a beautiful day for a beautiful couple followed by a 2-week honeymoon to Mauritius – Congratulations Mr and Mrs Threadgold!

100% Design

The Bluesteppers headed down to the big smoke for the annual 100% Design Fair at Olympia, London. We were there to support our luxury lift client, Aritco. Bluestep designed and created an interactive configurator app for Aritco to use at the show and online, for their massive 2018 competition to win a home lift. We took this to the next level if we do say so ourselves, aiming to provide a slick user experience. You can check it out in action here.

As well as showing support for our client (and taking starring roles in their promotional video – Hollywood here we come?), we spent the day in awe of the amazing interior designers and companies showing off their best products and skillsets. We left feeling excited and inspired!

Phew, so there we have it! Summer 2018 was a great one. But now that’s all over, did someone say Christmas?!

The notorious yellow toy has a special place in the hearts of children, the Queen… and Bluestep!

January is not all bad. Despite the gloomy weather, diets and no more Christmas, there are some exciting things happening. The 13th, for example, brings a very special day indeed: National rubber ducky day.

Originating in the 1940s, the rubber duck was sculpted by Peter Ganine, over 50,000,000 of them were sold as a floating toy around the world.

It is said the Queen keeps a rubber duck by her bath, complete with its very own crown, which caused a spike in UK sales at the time of 80%.

And who could forget about Sesame Street’s Ernie, with his dedicated ‘Rubber Duckie’ song, reaching #16 on Billboard’s ‘Hot 100 Singles’ in 1970!  It is no wonder then that these little fellas sit in the Toy Hall of Fame.

But how did the Bluestep duck come to be? We thought today would be the perfect occasion to tell you.

Merchandising is a big part of what we do, and we are always looking for ways to grow our offering. Back in 2017, the team had a bright idea to pitch duckies as an option for personalised products, and they have been a hit ever since.

We didn’t want to miss out, so our very own blue duck was born. The little guys now live at Bluestep HQ, sit in on our meetings and are almost like a mascot to us.

Our talented designers can create bespoke ducks, whether it’s rocking your brand’s logo or impersonating a famous icon. It is just one example of how we can create unique products for our clients.

Look out for our little blue friends on our future marketing, and however you choose to celebrate, have a quacking national rubber ducky day! Sorry , we couldn’t resist…

Congratulations to Harley, Aron and Chris who are November’s Employees of the Month!

It’s that time of the month again! It’s also that time of the year again too. I know I said before that it was Christmas, but this time it’s definitely proper Christmas. December is in full swing, our tree is decked to the nines, our screens are framed with fairy lights, we’ve got a steady stream of mince pies on the go and we’ve already dished out our Secret Santas!

But despite Christmas quickly approaching, nothing slows down here at Bluestep and we’ve been stacked with projects to finish before the big day. And over the past month there have been a few colleagues who have really stood out thanks to their efforts.

So let’s get to it…

1st: Harley Jacquest

Since Harley joined just over 6 months ago, she’s got stuck right in the thick of it and hasn’t shyed away from some of our larger clients like Aritco and Whittlebury Hall. She’s an incredibly hard-working and talented member of the design team and has taken every challenge in her stride. You can always count on Harley to help you out, no matter which part of the business you work in! A true team player. Congratulations Harley!

2nd: Aron Marriott-Smith

We’re pretty big on web and mobile design in case you hadn’t noticed, and we’ve had a hoard of projects through recently including the mobile-app design for Referment. With so many digital projects coming through our doors, it’s easy to forget that we only have 1 web developer! From proposals and quotes to coding websites and apps, Aron is incredibly hard-working and self-motivated, and you’ll often find him staying late to get the job done! Your hard work has not gone unnoticed – great job Aron!

3rd: Chris Mayes

Chris is a man with many fingers in many (mince) pies right now and has recently transitioned into a bit of a hybrid role, picking up clients from the corporate and sexual health sectors while Becky is on maternity leave. His proactive approach and enthusiasm has seen Chris develop strong relationships with his customers – just one of many reasons as to why Chris is making a positive impact here at Bluestep. Keep at it Chris!

We’ll see you in 2018 to announce who has made December’s Employees of the Month!

Congratulations to Carl, Ollie and Chris who are September’s Employees of the Month!

At the end of each month, our senior management get their heads together to mull over who has gone above and beyond their role, who’s made the extra effort and smashed their targets way out of the ball court to be awarded employee of the month.

But, we’re a pretty hard-working bunch and we can never just choose one, so we choose 3 instead!

And this month was a tough one, as with every month, however it was clear to see why Carl, Ollie and Chris have won this month’s employee of the month award.

1st Place: Carl Lewis

With his boundless enthusiasm and ability to keep everyone smiling and motivated, Carl manages to keep everyone in the office on a thriving positive note. His innovative approach and incredible talent with animation has seen Carl bring in some great projects recently, including Coventry University and the NHS. Congratulations Carl, we can’t wait to see what the rest of the year has planned for you!

2nd Place: Ollie King

Ollie has been with Bluestep since the early days and forms part of the backbone of the business. Always dependable and hardworking, Ollie showed real qualities that Bluestep look for in employees. Throughout September, Ollie stepped up in David’s absence, helping to keep the design team working smoother than Lionel Richie and keeping ongoing projects running seamlessly.

3rd Place: Chris Mayes

September saw Chris receive his first tangible target to which he not only welcomed but completely smashed! His enthusiastic and positive personality has allowed Chris to develop a strong database of corporate clients and has even seen him helping other areas of the business by taking on some healthcare clients.

Well done Carl, Ollie and Chris for a cracking month of work! Keep your eyes peeled to see who’ll win October’s awards.

Hear what our Bluesteppers are shaking their hips to this month with our September playlist.

We like to think we’re a pretty hip bunch at Bluestep – every day is dress-down Friday, most of us are millennials, we’re up-to-date on the latest pop culture references and our music tastes are unparallelled – or at least we think so.

This month we’ve pestered everyone in the team to give us their favourite song of September, or a song that’s helped their motivation and got them through the day.

After a few surprises and a couple of cheesy ones, here’s our pretty eclectic September playlist. Enjoy!

An image of AronAron – Torre Florim – Firestarter

An image of OllieOllie – Odesza – If There’s Time (Kodak to Graph Remix) and La Ciudad – Odesza (He couldn’t decide which he preferred)

An image of ShaniceShanice – Earth, Wind & Fire – September

An image of SarahSarah – Avril Lavigne – Sk8r Boi and Miley Cyrus – Party in the USA (Also couldn’t choose!)

An image of JoshJosh – Russ – No Turning Back

A small icon of staff member TomTom – Bonzai – I Feel Alright

An image of AliceAlice – Paul Simon – You Can Call Me Al

An image of CarlCarl – Michael Jackson – You Rock My World

An image of ChrisChris – Bruce Springsteen – Thunder Road

An image of LaurenLauren – One Direction – Steal My Girl

An image of MiaMia – Dua Lipa – New Rules

An image of Ben SBen S – Marc Cohen – Walking in Memphis

An image of CarleneCarlene – Charles & Eddie – Would I Lie to You

An image of AndrewAndrew – Pigeon John – The Bomb

An image of DavidDavid – The Kingsmen – Louie Louie

An image of Ben JBen J – Kings of Leon – Around the World

An image of HarryHarry – Camelphat – Cola

We've been saying goodbye to the blues with our new Secret Buddy system!

Thanks to our wonderful new Office Manager, Carlene, our Bluesteppers have been beating the office blues with the much-beloved introduction of her new Secret Buddy system.

So, each month we get all the employees to fill out a questionnaire with questions like ‘what songs do you have memorised?’ and ‘what do you wish you knew more about?’ plus a few others like your favourite food and drinks. We then pick a name from a box and the person we choose is our secret buddy for the month.

Nobody knows who has each other. The idea is that we can get to know our secret buddy that little bit better and brighten up their day with little gifts and thoughtful surprises throughout the month.

Then come next month, we do it all over again with a different secret buddy. It’s the little things!

Secret Buddies is just one of the many ways we try and boost employee happiness in the office; we’re also partial to an office bake-off. Eat your heart out Mary Berry.

Here are just a few of the surprises we’ve had so far…

An image of Shanice from Bluestep holding a box of gin
An image showing a wooden box filled with a mini gin set
Here’s Shanice looking pretty pleased with her new mini gin set!

An image showing a football-themed gnome
Andrew was ungnomingly left a football-themed gnome at his desk when we distracted him away from it. Sorry for the pun. Couldn’t resist.

An image showing snacks and a picture of the Kardashians
We can barely recognise Tom as he fits in so perfectly with the Kardashian clan. Although, not for much longer once he finishes off this haul.

An image showing a notebook and phonecase with the Louie Prints logo
Becca was left with a phone case and notebook with the logo she’s using for her new stationery business.

An image showing a jar of olives, harbal tea and a birthday card for Sarah's birthday
Olives, herbal tea and a tearible dad joke for Sarah’s birthday.

An image showing a brandy pic and the words 'Sunshine' typed out
Carl’s 2 favourite things! “Sunshine” and a brandy lemonade! It is England after all…

An image showing a ukelele
Chris’ love for music saw him walk into the office on Monday morning to a brand new Ukelele! Best secret buddy ever?! We’re patiently waiting for a Bluestep jingle.

These were just some of the secret buddy gifts from August and September. It’s like secret Santa, but without the wrapping paper. Stick around for our next secret buddy blog to see what everyone has hiding up their sleeves for October!

Congratulations to Carlene who has just been promoted to Office Manager/Director’s PA at Bluestep!

Our Bluesteppers are on a roll at the minute, after Becca was just promoted, we’ve now had Carlene promoted to Office Manager/Director’s PA!

Carlene started just 3 months ago when Ben was on the lookout for a personal assistant and office administrator. Thanks to Georgie’s recommendation, Carlene had an interview, got the job and has slotted into Bluestep so smoothly it feels like she’s always been here.

It’s been amazing to see her progress to a more senior role in such a short timeframe, but it’s not been easy! Carlene has brought so much to the Bluestep team in that time and we honestly don’t know where we’d be without her. She’s introduced the secret buddy system, the office recommendations box, BrightHR, and an abundance of organisation and structure to the office!

After popping some champers to celebrate, we sat with Carlene for a quick chat on her time at Bluestep so far:

It’s been a busy few months and you can really feel the difference in the office since you started. What’s been your favourite thing you’ve introduced to the company so far?

Some kind of organisation and hopefully some much-needed support for Ben Skinner.

What’s been the most memorable task you’ve worked on?

I have too many to count! This is what I love about Bluestep, the business is so varied I get involved in all sorts!

What have been your highlights in the role so far?

The Bluestep social events have been great fun, I enjoyed our afternoon tea party a bit too much! The people I work with are the main highlight, the team are amazing!

What makes Bluestep unique and keeps you wanting to work here?

The opportunity I have been given to grow and develop. The creativity and enthusiasm each individual holds, the variation of projects we do and how well everyone works together and supports each other. It’s never boring and very fast paced!

We love seeing our colleagues develop within their role, and it just goes to show that if you really put the effort in, you’ll see the rewards. We’re so happy for Carlene, it’s truly what she deserves and we can’t wait to see what she’ll bring to the Bluestep team in the future!

An image showing the illustration of a quote from Ben Skinner

New kid on the block, Carl, brings a whole host of ideas and talent to the Bluestep design studio, and we’re already excited to see what kind of cool, quirky animations come jumping from his Mac.

Audio engineer, animator, musician, mushroom hater and website obsessive. Carl has many strings to his bow and we’re extremely privileged to take on another young, fun and super-talented Bluestepper!

Bulking up the design team’s endless talents as our animation designer, Carl’s creativity and tech- savvy knack mean he’ll be able to apply himself to a range of our existing projects and help take our clients to the next level.

Carl was first attracted to Bluestep because of its genuine desire to raise awareness of topics that matter in a unique and creative way, with a team that’s constantly bubbling with ideas!

A graduate from Southampton Solent, Carl made many international friends during his studies, which means he is now a regular jet-setter around Europe, exploring and touching base with old faces.  Adventurous Carl is rarely seen without his headphones, and aside from being a talented creative, he also performs in two bands and shoots music videos. His relationship with the music industry takes up a lot of his spare time and most weekends he can be found gigging or behind the camera.

Welcome aboard, Carl!

In case you haven’t heard, we’ve had a new buddy in the office recently.

Inca has been helping us out recently with a list of admin, housekeeping and tea making chores to give her a brief introduction to life in the office. To help us monitor the effectiveness of her stay at Bluestep we asked her to keep a log of her time, and since it was so brilliant, we decided to make it this week’s blog post:

09.00: They’re all complaining about traffic when they arrive this morning, but I’m not sure what that is. I loved my journey in. I love going in the car. Especially when I can stick my head out the window.
10.00: CHRISTY THREW SOMETHING! Please do it again, human!

11.15: Been brought into the meeting room to discuss what types of biscuits to order this month. I said Pedigree chums but they went for Hob Nobs. They said I’m not allowed the chocolate ones, things got a little hairy.

12.00: Chased my tail for 30 minutes, until I got hounded by the boss again…

12:30: Woofles for lunch, yum!


14.05: Sarah’s showing me how to make a spreadsheet. I’m thinking, why can’t I grab the little arrow moving about on the screen??

15.15: The man with the drawings on his arms. I like him best. I gave him a kiss and everyone laughed. So I did it again. I’m not sure he liked it.

15:30: Maybe I can I win him over with a gift…


16.10: I’m bored now, can I go and run around the car park?

17.00: Hey, where’s my toy?

17.05: THERE IT IS!

17:25: Pawformance review – didn’t go well. Man that was ruff.

Today Bluestep Boasts a 50% turnover year on year, A strong team of 23 Talented individuals, A beautiful picturesque office in the countryside, and an impressive catalogue of case studies. But how did it all begin?

January 2010
Ben Skinner sets up shop at his kitchen table equipped with one printer, one stapler and a house phone. Having to put his out of office on to make a cup of tea or hang out washing, Ben dedicated the majority of his days to researching, cold calling and building rapport with contacts.

August 2010
Discovers there is a problem within the NHS sexual heath sector – not enough 16-24 year olds are getting tested for STIs. Ben creates a non-clinical, fun solution in the form of funky, branded boxer shorts. Idea is taken up nationwide by NHS CCGS and Bluestep goes on to sell millions across the next few years.

November 2010
PR is booming especially after the Sun newspaper try to get the boxers on a page 3 girl!

December 2010
Harry joins the team, packing boxes and driving the delivery van, and the team begins to grow with the addition of a designer and PA. The guys sub let their first office – called The Hovel – no bigger than our existing meeting room!

July 2011
Ben spends a lot of time driving around the country meeting with potential clients, networking and building up a contact list. The healthcare side of the business grows which results in Bluestep taking on more people to manage the workload.

January 2011
Client base begins to grow including big names such as Thomson and STA Travel, and Blue Step are commissioned by Jack Wills to supply retail merchandise for the Royal Wedding.

December 2011
Move to Stone Barn and expand the team further, building up a strong sales team who go on to form the charity team, supplying products and merchandise to some of the UK’s largest charities.

September 2012
Time for a bigger office! Move into Tithe Barn in Blisworth, armed with a design team, account management and sales team.

January 2013
50% growth sees Bluestep rocket to fully fledged agency status.

March 2014
Relationships with the UK’s CCGs lead to further work in marketing promotions and campaigns. Build up marketing team to help manage and execute campaign work.

June 2016
With a growing team of 20+, Ben is looking to fill 3 new roles which have arisen as a result of an increase in client expectations and needs.

October 2016
With the majority of its client base now in the City, Bluestep opens its first office in London.