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A Week in My Life: James Hyett, Commercial Director at Vortex Commerce


This week James Hyett, Commercial Director at Vortex Commerce, a Magento specialist agency in Leeds, runs us through a week in his working life. To suggest another senior media or creative figure for A Week In My Life, please email

Monday 20th March:

After a quick morning walk, my mind is awake and ready for the Monday commute from leafy Harrogate into bustling Leeds. With our recent move in February, we’ve all been extremely busy these past few weeks, and the next five days will be no exception.

Me and the Technical Director Bruce Mead gather the team together for an energy-infusing stand-up meeting at 9.30am to go through everything we achieved last week, and assign tasks for the coming week. Although things have been full-on lately, this is just how we like it here at Vortex – plenty of daily tasks and challenges for us to get our teeth stuck into! We have two websites going live this week and several projects being completed for our roster of clients. With the team prepped and ready, we split up and crack on with a Monday Motivation playlist providing a positive musical backdrop to the office’s workload.

Tuesday 21st March:

Today involves a meeting with a potential client in London who would like a website built, so I’m ready early to get the train from Leeds. I somehow manage leave my phone at home today.

With my MacBook and train wi-fi saving the day, I spend the journey productively by going through my inbox and responding to emails. Despite Vortex having an office in London, I am meeting the client at their own site in Richmond.

The meeting is such a success that it overruns and I manage to miss my train back up north. The office is still half-full when I arrive back just after 6pm, and I settle at my desk to catch up on a few hours’ work. It turns into a late night and we end up ordering a faithful Deliveroo to keep up the energy.

Wednesday 22nd March:

I’m back in the office and catch up with the whole team on what they were working on yesterday. The day is a full but positive one – I receive a call at midday from a new eCommerce platform asking us to partner with them, and a site we’ve been building for the past few weeks goes live, making it our 121st build. It’s moments like this when I sit back and think about how far myself and Bruce have come since our very first business venture in Sixth Form!

Some of our developers have been working on optimising checkouts for some of our Magento stores this week. I check in with them and we discuss the final details. Getting projects like this rolled out to clients is a great way to give their site an edge and improve functionality.

The news of the Westminster attack comes through mid-afternoon and we are all sombrely reminded of the realities of our current security threat.

Thursday 23rd March:

There are a few meetings going on today, and at 8.30am I try to get through a client specification I left open at page 11. The first one starts at 10am, and one of our existing clients comes in to discuss building a new trade site for a different arm of their business. This is a fantastic opportunity to expand into new sectors using Magento’s innovative multi-site functionality, and we have a long discussion about how to go about it.

Next on the agenda is a creative kick-off meeting with another new client we have just taken on. We go through an artistic mood board we put together prior to the meeting so we can establish what the client likes and dislikes, as supported by our knowledge of eCommerce best practice. These sorts of meetings are vital and allow us to ascertain their preferred style that will form the basis of their creative concepts.

Soon 7pm rolls around and as the second site of the week goes live, I am more than aware I’m still on page 11 of the client specification I started this morning.

Friday 24th March:

It’s Red Nose Day, so the office has a very positive vibe when I walk in. Someone has baked red cupcakes and the Friday Feeling playlist is on as everyone starts to warm up for their weekends. I start the specification on page 25 today (success!) and get through it without distractions until our team round up meeting at 9.30am.

I work on finalising lots of smaller pieces of work that have accumulated through the week, and I write up an award entry for one of the projects we completed for a client at the start of this year. We’re hoping to follow up our success in the UK Digital Experience Awards last December this year!

I have discussion with our Senior Client Manager, Andy, about starting a new internal marketing initiative. We receive very good news through regarding a MailChimp integration for a client, and review an extremely positive return on investment from a PPC campaign which has doubled their revenue so far.

As the week draws to a close, I head off to my wedding dinner tasting with my fiancée before going for a few drinks. My mind is focussed on a weekend of watching sport and seeing family.

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