The WoJo™ Champion – delivering on an “Idea”

The Formary Team have returned from the UK, after a very successful launch of WoJo™ – it was great to get the accolades of awards and positive media coverage; to have great meetings, see new exciting stuff and have new projects on our table. We thank everyone who was involved and helped make it such a positive, great week – special thanks to the team at SweeneyVesty for their tireless energies around the PR and managing the launch.

Significant for me were two events not directly related to the launch, that bought home how much effort it had taken develop WoJo™ – events that emphasised the level of dedication, commitment and perseverance that is required to take develop such an “idea” from concept to delivery (blind faith and sheer bloody mindlessness were key requirements as well!).

On the Wednesday post-launch we were asked to speak at the University of London to a group of MA & BA Design Students – we had some idea of what the students were studying but there was no set agenda, so neither we nor they knew exactly what was coming. We were faced with a room full of students from all over the world, eager to learn, bright, and very cool… we briefly told them how the idea had come about and the “positive” story of WoJo™, then the “conversation” moved into talking about actually how it had been achieved and the challenges that were faced (and overcome) – it soon took on a discussion about the commercial realities of design and sustainability.

It made me realise how far we’d come, how much effort it had taken, and gave me a real sense of personal satisfaction as to what we had done. I think it gave the students a sense of just what’s involved in such a project – the questions they asked were searching and the discussion open and enjoyable.  We came away thinking there was so much more we could tell them… many thanks to Anne Marr for hosting us and giving us the opportunity to share the story.  Anne I think you can expect we’ll be back one day to pass on that extra stuff!

The other event, emphasised that such a venture needs a some luck (the proverbial “foot in the door”) and in our case this came in the form of our WoJo™ Champion, Elizabeth Ghaly (Senior Interior Designer in Starbucks’ Seattle HO).  Elizabeth was there on day one when the idea was pitched to Starbucks and totally embraced the concept – she has lived, breathed and championed the idea – there have been up’s and down’s, curve balls, high’s and low’s… but there’s always been this constant ray of light – “we just have to get this done”.   It’s only right that her team recently honoured her role in this project, and how cool is this…

Elizabeth (right) receiving her WoJo™ Award

Elizabeth Ghaly (right) receiving her WoJo™ Award

Elizabeth the Burlap (aka Jute) Queen

Elizabeth the Burlap (aka Jute) Queen

Elizabeth you deserve this (and so much more), you are delightful and we thank you for being our WoJo™ Champion!