Life at a start-up: terrible-desk edition

In the first in a series of behind-the-scenes blogs, we’re taking a minute to talk about life at The Pool: day-to-day stuff along with the more business side of things.

We want to give a more detailed look at who’s in The Pool, how they ended up there and why it works the way it does. Today we’re featuring editor-in-chief Sam Baker, social media manager Caroline O’Donoghue (hello, hi) and fashion and beauty editor Frankie Graddon.

There’s nothing quite as revealing as someone’s workspace. You could be someone’s best friend, have gone on holidays with them, spent 127 hours with them trapped in a crevasse, but if you haven’t had a poke around their desk, you simply don’t know them. Who in their right mind would keep this many receipts? What kind of adult has this many crumbs in their keyboard? And – good God, Lemon – how many Pret napkins can one human have?

I’m Sam, prime supporter, President and editorial manager in-head of The Pool. More or less, that implies I’m answerable for the vision for The Pool both as far as the genuine site, yet in addition the greater business. I figure I may require a rests.


Whoever came up with the phrase “out of sight, out of mind” must have been thinking of me. Basically, if I can’t see it, I forget I have it – whether it’s what’s in my wardrobe or what’s on my desk. I have to have what I’m using right in front of me. Today, my desk is all about coffee, Post-it Notes, books that we’re featuring on The Pool next and more coffee (I have jetlag). Plus, whatever came in the post today and hasn’t yet made it on to someone else’s desk. Just out of shot there’s an enormous pile of paper. Legal stuff and maths, mainly. It lurks on the corner of the desk as a constant reminder of its existence, but not front of mind, if I can avoid it.


I have an unhealthy relationship with Post-it Notes. My contribution to the world’s Post-it Note mountain is an ongoing source of shame. This is quite restrained compared with normal. If I took this picture at the end of the week, when I’m planning the weekend wheel, it would be a sea of the little square multi-coloured ones…

I’m Caroline and I’m the social media manager for The Pool. That means I plan, create and report on all The Pool’s social content. I also write longer pieces sometimes, when there’s time.


Jo Morrell (The Pool’s chief commercial officer) once described my desk as a “living organism”, which I think just means she’d prefer if I didn’t keep so much food on it. Unfair, really, as she’s generally the first one to steal a cheeky Ryvita.

Otherwise I’ve got a large stack of books that I know I should read but haven’t, a biscuit box the Baileys Prize For Fiction sent us and various Post-it Notes that remind me of things I would otherwise definitely forget: image dimensions for each platform, growth figures and ideas for how to promote The Pool more than we already do. I am also the only Pool member with two screens which makes me feel #soblessed.


Muji pens! They’re beautiful and cheap, and you can buy them in boxes of eight, which I do. I also love my Ryman’s sketchbook for notes and an adult is that if you have messy handwriting, don’t piss about with lined paper. Lined paper is the devil and will make you feel bad about yourself, and you should buy unlined sketchbooks wherever possible.

I’m Frankie Graddon, fashion and beauty editor of The Pool. That means that I plan, create and commission the bits on The Pool that are about clothes and make-up. Lovely stuff.


A brilliant mess of new beauty products that are on my list to try out and report back on. I am basically a human guinea pig – I’ll give anything a go. The new Jawbone UP2 launched last week, so I am going to join the wearable tech revolution and start counting steps. I fear I may get obsessed. My highly advanced laptop stand is in fact Amber Jane Butchart’s brilliant book, Nautical Chic, full of gorgeous archive pictures, from Coco Chanel to Adam Ant.


Marks & Spencer’s little notebooks are perfect to stash in your handbag for emergency note-taking. Plus they look really nice.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *