Inside Redbox

Inside Redbox: meet Natalie Janssis, senior project manager

Natalie is a senior project manager at Redbox’s London office.  She spoke to us about her role and her involvement in the one of the biggest ecommerce launches in Redbox’s history and her love of literature and history.

I studied English Literature at Winchester University.  When I left Uni, I got a job as an Intern with MenKind, a retailer specialising in gadgets and accessories for men.  I started out as a copywriter working on product descriptions and blog content alongside the buying team.

After a year, I was put in charge of managing a new website build on Magento for another of the company’s start-ups.  I worked closely with an external agency and the project was a success so much so that they made the decision to move MenKind onto Magento.  I became the ecommerce lead and managed a team responsible for the re-platform and transition from Visualsoft to Magento.  I was with MenKind for just over two years.

Having worked with an agency on the re-platform, I liked the idea of working agency side and applied for a project management role at Flint Technology (now Williams Commerce).  I worked as a project manager for one year then moved to another agency, Vaimo before moving to Redbox Digital.

Tell us more about your role at Redbox?

I’ve been at Redbox for just over four years.  Day-to-day I am the person who sits between the client and the internal teams to make sure all parties remain happy and that the project goes to plan and is completed on time and ideally on budget!

There’s a great team culture at Redbox, it’s a fun, autonomous environment and there’s a lot of trust in people, which is really important.  If I need help, I’ll ask for it and there’s always someone around to lend a hand.

Work achievements

My first client was Screwfix, which was a great project to work on.  It was the big brand opportunities that attracted me to Redbox in the first place.  

My biggest achievement was delivering Fortnum & Mason’s new ecommerce platform – that has been a highlight of the last year.  I feel an enormous sense of pride for what we have achieved as a team in delivering a new online presence for one the world’s most famous brands.

At the start of the engagement, we were fortunate to be taken on a tour of the store by their resident historian, Dr Andrea Tanner.  The store is steeped in history, not surprising given it was founded 312 years ago.  There’s artwork on every wall from well-known artists and we found out that Fortnum’s was the first store to sell tins of baked beans in 1886 after purchasing the entire stock from H J Heinz.  Oh, and it invented the scotch egg!

Andrea has the best job in the world.  She finds old packaging that the store used 100s of years ago from auctions to inspire the team creating the artwork for the packaging now. I love history – I have job envy!

What are your motivations and interests in life?

I’m artistic, I like to paint and I tend to pick-up random crafts wherever I go.

I also read a lot – I’m an English graduate! I love biographies especially the old writers like Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Dickens. I’m currently re-reading Charles Dickens and recently read the biography of Oscar Wild’s wife, Constance Lloyd.  She was a fascinating and tolerant lady!

What’s next on the horizon?

I would consider going back to University to do a PHD in English and History when the time is right.   Some of the mature students are the most interesting, they’ve lived a life and I think it’s always good to go back to something your passionate about in later life.  It wouldn’t be the same experience if I’d gone on to do a PHD straight after my degree.  I have a thirst for learning, especially history and historical events.  Who knows, I may even go on to lecture but that’s way in to the future!

What would you do If you had your time again?

I’d probably be an eccentric historian or English lecturer with a focus on history!

Moto in life?

The last year has challenged most people in lots of different ways.  What has surprised me is how resilient and adept people are.  I see it every day at Redbox with everyone pulling together and doing such a great job.

All too often we are far too critical of ourselves and what the past year has taught us is not to sweat the small stuff or be too hard on ourselves.