Hello , Greetings from the ancient and historic town of Trnava, Slovakia. Last week I was telling you about Agnes & Cat.. who the fruitcake is that?

Ancient Wisdom

Hello ,

Greetings from the ancient and historic town of Trnava, Slovakia.
Last week I was telling you about Agnes & Cat.. who the fruitcake is that? You can find out here.

Trnava is an old medieval walled town known as mini Rome on account of it's high number of Gothic churches. There are nice pedestrianised streets, lots of cafe's and bars, more posh gift shops than is normal for a small town, and only half an hour from the capital Bratislava, all in all we are quite excited to be here. Because you see, we have chosen this as the base for our European distribution point. It's a grand adventure prompted by the Brexit debacle.

It claims to be the prettiest small town in Slovakia, and who are we to argue.

I have been here all week with a small hit squad from AW HQ. Tomas, Katka and Bryant. We have been interviewing staff, meeting shipping companies, planning the warehouse, opening bank accounts, getting things stamped and signed. Oh my goodness, I have signed so many things, they love signing things in Slovakia, not in triplicate but seven copies is not unusual. The refreshing thing is that although they seem to like all the boxes ticked, and everything double checked they are amazingly efficient and fast. We were are able to find a lawyer on Saturday morning and the bank is open until for business until 9pm. Everyone we meet is earnest thoughtful and helpful. Especially earnest.

Our new landlords are a family of Bohemian crystal traders and couldn't be more helpful, they are moving to a new warehouse and we are taking over their existing one lock stock and barrel. The main guy, has helped us no end with introductions and advice. We have camped out in their offices, drunk all their coffee, used the photocopier and stuck our labels all over their racking. Nobody seems mind :) But they all seem very earnest.

People here are hugely warm and friendly, but it has to be said they don't smile much, the natural expression is one of deep thoughtfulness. I look at the faces in the street, every one is deep in thought.
Tomas took us out on the town, there are lots of cool bars. All full of debating youngsters, even enjoying themselves they do it seriously. And boy can they drink, strong eastern Europe drinks, with names like Borovicka, Hruskovica or Ceresnovica. Earnest drinks for earnest people.

We spent two days interviewing staff, which I thought would be hard work. Here employment is very low, less than 2% (lots of companies are coming here), so we was expecting it to be hard to find people. But fortunately, lots of people working Bratislava are really keen to get a job in their home town, especially a funky giftware company rather than a mega company. And really lots of young very qualified folk applied, all speaking good English all very capable. After two days of very serious interviews, very earnest interviews, we were completely emotionally drained. No matter how much we tried to lighten the mood, these guys and girls were just so.. well earnest.
At the end of such days.. you will understand why really needed a strong drink.

Meanwhile back in the UK lots of things are coming back in stock...

Just a reminder... Soon it will be will be Father's Day.

Have a great weekend

Take care


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