Interns, beers and formal Thursdays: getting your startup through a long hot summer

While for your typical startup August is a chance to enjoy the laid-back, lazy summer, at Dressipi nothing could be further from the truth. Donna Kelly tells us about the traditions helping the team keep up their energy levels


I’m writing this column in the dog days of summer in mid-August, which, for many a startup, is traditionally seen as being one of the quietest times of year. Not for us though. While everyone else is in kick-back mode enjoying their summer breaks, we’re having one of our most hectic periods launching new clients. Summer is an important time for us because of our retail partners, who see the autumn-winter season in the run-up to Christmas as being their key period.

Another emerging summer tradition at Dressipi – other than being really busy – is internships. This is the time of year when we welcome one or two interns into the company to get experience of working in a startup and we love it. Who wouldn’t want bright, energetic young people walking into the office brimming with humour, enthusiasm and smartness? Having them here always adds a different energy and excitement to our summer.

There is also a serious note as to why other startups out there should think seriously about bringing new people into the company like this. There are so many savvy, determined young people out there coming on to the labour market. They have so much to offer, bringing a fresh perspective on what we do, which can take our thinking in unexpected directions. We’ve never not been impressed – well, maybe once, but that’s another story.

The hot and hectic weeks of summer at Dressipi also bring with them another office tradition. On Fridays, in particular, there’s no better way for the team to relax than with our favourite seasonal treat, a thirst-quenching desk beer. These arrive courtesy of another London startup: DeskBeers. And while we’re not sure about how they get the beers to everyone for 5pm, we’re huge fans of the service. Not only do they get delivered chez Dressipi beautifully packaged, but the occasion of them arriving encourages us to pause, celebrate a good week’s work and wind down together.

The hot weather is also a hot spot for another of Dressipi’s customs: birthday celebrations. It just so happens that we have a run of birthdays in the summer month – in fact, we had three in one week recently – which can be a bit hectic on the waistline. We always celebrate birthdays in one way – with a box of colourful cupcakes and tuneless singing.

The final tradition we celebrate in the office is, however, a little bit different. If you work in a technology startup, it can often feel like every day is dress-down Friday, as developers in particular are famous for their relaxed approach to dressing. We’ve decided to turn that on its head a bit and pit our technical team against our always beautifully turned-out fashion team with Formal Thursdays. Every Thursday, we challenge the males in the office to outdo the ladies by ditching their shorts for a more svelte look. It’s early days but the Dressipi team seem to have taken it to heart and are now starting to outdo our women in dressing elegantly. I feel a Dressipi men’s service is on the horizon. 

Donna Kelly
Donna Kelly

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