Behind the scenes in the workshop with our super-efficient Head of Production, Nicola Crowley – the person who makes sure that the production schedule is on track and the quality of each hut is up to our exacting standards…
Can you talk us through your role at Plankbridge?
I joined Plankbridge in February 2022 in an administrative role and moved into my current job as Head of Production in the autumn that year. Plankbridge are great at supporting staff and providing opportunities to develop and progress. I now manage the production schedule, ensuring quality is maintained throughout the build process, and look after a highly skilled team of 22.
Do you have a favourite shepherd’s hut model?
It has to be the RHS Bothy – I love its unique shape and beautiful chestnut wood interior. It’s such an inviting space to relax in (although it now has some competition from our new Tiny House, which is nearing completion and looks set to be a staple model here at Plankbridge).
Which colours from the Plankbridge colour chart would you choose for your dream shepherd’s hut?
I’d choose Oxlip for the upper half of my Bothy and Oak Apple for the bottom, with a waxed finish for the interior chestnut cladding to bring out the natural grain in the wood. Then I’d just add a wood burner, a comfy chair, a bookcase desk under the window and an old Forties radio to tune into.
What is the best thing about working at Plankbridge?
Everything – it’s my dream job! I was so excited when I first saw the role advertised that I rushed around the house to tell my son that I was going to work here (that was before I’d even applied). Working at Plankbridge is such a great fit for me: every project is special and it’s wonderful seeing a customer’s dream turned into a reality.
I love working with the team – they are like an extended family. It’s great hearing the sounds from the workshop filter into my office, especially when the team is in full singing mode and clearly very happy in their work.
And I also love the fact that the Plankbridge workshop is in the middle of the Dorset countryside, which means I can take my two Springer-collie cross hounds, Pluto and Lunar, who spend the day in the office with me, for a walk at lunchtime. They also sit in on the production meetings and listen to all the discussions!
How do you like to relax at weekends?
I dance. I have a keen interest in the music and fashion of the Thirties and Forties and started dancing as a teenager. I now teach swing jive classes and regularly attend vintage dances and festivals. I also enjoy upcycling furniture, sewing, cooking, working on my little cottage and, most of all, being outdoors and in the garden.
Do you have a favourite place locally to eat?
There are so many! One of my favourites is The Anchor Inn at Seatown, along with The Club House at West Bexington and The Hive at Burton Bradstock – all in beachside locations which is where I love to walk, especially on a cold, blustery winter’s day.
Meet more of our team here