An Interview with Charlotte Surridge
During this series have been interviewing some of the most inspiring and talented people, all of whom have faced many challenges to achieve the success we see today.
Next up is the co-founder and head of PR for Swannack Made, a British company who not only champion female cricketers but with generations of family knowledge have branched out to set up a stand alone, made to order cricket bat company.
Tell us about Swannack and the industry?
Swannack makes exclusive cricket bats that are all designed, sourced and made in the UK. Something that very few other brands can claim to do. We personally source and manufacture each willow tree enabling us to have full control over the quality of wood that each bat is made out of. By only using the top three grades of willow in our bats, we can proudly say that any player using a Swannack will have the best quality bat available. Cricket as a game has been around for hundreds of years and although the manufacturing process for making bats has modernised the materials used have stayed the same. The best quality bats are made out of English Willow so maintaining a constant supply of trees for a growing industry is of upmost importance. Each tree that is felled is personally replanted by us and over the last few years we have spent time working with farmers/land owners showing them that any wet land they may have previously deemed unusable is actually a perfect place for willow tree plantations. As a family we have five generations of cricketing knowledge and have spent a lot of time pouring that expertise into our new bat range. We make bats that you'll be proud to own. And bats that we're so proud of we stake our name by them.
How did you get into the Cricket Bat industry?
I was always aware of the family history, we have a lot of the old Stuart Surridge bats at home and with my father still very much working within the tree manufacturing side of the industry, growing up I understood there was a lot of cricketing knowledge floating around! Whilst studying at Reading University I used to drive over to my father's yard at Aldermaston and help him with various different taskss - splitting clefts, grading, planting trees etc, so this is when I started to really learn about the industry. It wasn't until 2015 and the birth of Swannack that I really started to take more of a central role within the business.
Is this a family venture? What’s your role within the business? Yes, very much so. My father is heading up bat design and manufacturing as he has a lot of knowledge in this area. I am working a lot more on the marketing/PR, business development and the sales side of things, however, my father and I work very closely together with decisions on any area of the business being made jointly.
If you could chose any Cricket player in the world to be seen using one of your bats who would it be? and why?
I think that it is a really interesting time for women's cricket. The recent world cup, won by England, brought in a record number of viewers and supporters, which is fantastic. I think i'm (currently) the only women heading up a cricketing brand so following the female theme my choice would be Sarah Taylor.
What's your favorite 'chill out' / switch off activity (yoga, run, cooking etc)
I like to get to the gym a few times a week, it really helps me ground myself when the week might have been a bit manic. Other than that nothing beats a nice leisurely walk in Battersea Park and if I can borrow someone’s dog to accompany me, even better! What’s your guilty pleasure? (Chocolate / champagne/ blow dry etc?)
Chocolate chocolate and more chocolate...
Favourite place for a girls night out?
I wouldn't say that I have one specific place, but nothing beats a good cocktail bar and a round of Espresso Martini's.
Whats you're favorite outdoor activity?
Again, I wouldn't say that I have one definite thing but I do love getting out into the country air for a nice long walk.
What product could you not live without in your professional life?
My favourite pen. I think that the pen I use effects how good my handwriting is and if my handwriting is neat it makes me feel organised. (Hello Geek!)
What product / accessory could you not live without in your day to day life?
Headphones. I love to listen to music when i'm out walking. I also like listening to inspirational business/entrepreneur podcasts. My favourite at the moment is the School of Greatness by Lewes Howes.
Why do you use notebooks over digital?
I'm old school! I feel like writing notes or putting a to do list on paper really helps my mind to focus. I just don't get the same organised feeling from doing that digitally. I like looking back over my notes and being able to physically tick off things i've achieved for the day.
What’s special about your Rollo London notebook.
I love how sophisticated it is! Nothing beats having a product that you know is good quality. I would quite happily pay more for that. I'm a massive stationary fan so was ridiculously excited when I came across Rollo London.
What’s your website?
PERSONLISE YOUR NOTEBOOK