The latest tips, insights and thought leadership from the brilliant minds that brought you Ouma.

Roll Up, Roll Up! It's our 2021 Round-Up!

Updated: Aug 4

Reflection; it's something that we should all take the time to do, but that very thing is what always gets in the way. Time.

Well, today we have said to hell with time! We're in a reflective mood and we're going to fully embrace it. Plus, not to toot our own horns, but the past year has given us a lot to reflect on...

Welcome to the Jungle

Perhaps one of the biggest and most exciting things to happen to us within the last year (although there are so many big and exciting things to choose from), was the day we moved into our new office!

After months of working from home, we couldn't wait to work together again, and where better to do that than in a shiny new office space?

From long nights building furniture (we never want to see an IKEA flat-packed office chair again), to carefully piecing together our magnificent foliage wall and selecting our signature scent; the Ouma office was born.

First came our wonderful team members, and then came our plants! Unfortunately, we have lost a few plants along the way (RIP), but thankfully the same cannot be said for our teamies. They have flourished and spread like wildfire - more on this later!

Beanbags firmly established, tea and coffee orders somewhat memorised, and our favourite spots for lunch scoped out; Ouma has officially settled in to Swansea's city centre.

Welcome to the Madhouse!

From little acorns, mighty oaks grow. We used to think this saying was super cheesy, but the past year has shown us that anything is possible!

This time last year, Ouma comprised of the power couple that is Ross & Rachel (leave your 'Friends' jokes at the door, please), and just three team members. The coffee round was easy to remember, our inboxes were slightly less full, and Slack was only used in emergencies.

Since then, we have welcomed some incredible humans to the Ouma family, with a total of eleven team members and counting! Our little venture is officially into double digits, and we can't quite believe it.

We are blown away that we work with such incredibly talented individuals each and every day. This time last year, while our dreams were big, our departments were small. Now, our dreams remain ambitious, but we have the team behind us to make them a reality.

With our recruitment drive still ongoing (see our careers page if you're interested!), we can't wait to see where we will be this time next year. We have a feeling the 2022 roundup is going to be our biggest yet!

And the Awesomeness Award goes to...

2021 was one hell of a year for us, with new team members, a new office, and last but not least - several awards!

Now, alongside our 'paper plate awards' that we presented each other on our Ouma Christmas retreat (more on this later), we have real awards made of metal and glass, standing pride of place in our office. We still can't quite believe it!

The excitement first started to build when we were shortlisted as finalists in the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards for the 'Family Business' category. We were in disbelief, incredibly grateful for the support of our family, friends, and of course our fantastic team members. To have been shortlisted from 4,800 inspiring businesses was an achievement in itself. Fast forward a few months and, spoiler alert, we won!

Good news travels fast, and we soon found ourselves shortlisted again as finalists for the Business Culture Awards for the 'Team Award'. Behind every great business is an even greater team, and at Ouma, we have exactly that! Other finalists included business giants such as HSBC and Radley & Co, so for little old us to be considered alongside them was an achievement in itself!

We didn't walk away with an award that time, but the ceremony was incredibly inspiring, and it made our dreams just that little bit bigger. Nothing is impossible with the right team and the right attitude, and we've got both in abundance.

The Swansea Bay Business Awards must have seen that in us, because in October, we found ourselves dolled up at Brangwyn Hall, anxiously waiting for that one sentence...

"The winner of the 2021 Employer of the Year Award is... Ouma!"

*cue the screaming, expletives and inaudible babbling*

Amidst the cheering, crying, and palm-stinging applause, up walked Ross and Rachel to collect the award, leaving a teary-eyed team bursting with pride.

While we are incredibly grateful for our success at the various awards ceremonies of last year, this one just hit different. We have come so far over the years, from pursuing a passion, to having an award-winning team in the double digits - we have to stop and pinch ourselves some days!

Our team are at the heart and soul of everything we do at Ouma, and we honestly don't know where we would be without their wonderful, passionate and creative souls. These awards, and any future awards that we're lucky enough to win, are all dedicated to them.

We're all going on a... team bonding experience!

Spending time with each other as a team outside of work is so important when it comes to wellbeing and productivity; we've said this since day one.

However, we took this up a notch in 2021! While we still had plenty of lunches out and post-work bevvies, we also quite literally flew down a mountainside together!

Ever been ziplining? How about ziplining with your colleagues? Let's just say, bracing yourself on the platform before whizzing into the empty air is quite the experience!

All jokes aside, we have probably never laughed as much as we did that day. We emerged windswept yet bonded in a way that will stay with us forever. Now, that's what we call a teambuilding experience!

Since we're an office basically full of big kids, it wasn't long before we were embarking on our next adventure, but this one had a slightly more festive spin.

Goodbye work, and hello to a two-night stay at a luxurious cottage in the middle of the Gower countryside. It was time for our Christmas Rustic Retreat!

We donned our matching pyjamas, drank copious amounts of alcohol, ate until we couldn't move, and bubbled away in the jacuzzi until the early hours. This is when we had our prestigious paper plate ceremony, where awards were issued for who would be most likely to become Doctor Who's next assistant, to who would win the Hunger Games (submit your guesses now, people!).

Among all the laughing, off-key karaoke singing, and breezy beachside walks, there was a real sense of friendship and gratitude. Along the way, these incredible humans have gone beyond simply being people we work with; they have become our family.

We have shared our biggest dreams and news with them, as well as our fears and our sorrows. We've allowed these wonderful people to see the humans behind the professionals, and we have accepted each other for who we are - even our pre-caffeinated selves at 9am on a Monday morning!

Is it corny to refer to yourselves as a big 'work family'? Absolutely.

Do we do it anyway? Absolutely!

The past year has seen so many monumental changes happen in such a short space of time, but the simple fact is that we were ready for those changes. We showed up, smashed it, grew significantly in the process, and we're now waiting for whatever 2022 brings our way.

Stay tuned, the way this year is shaping up already means it's set to be our most whopping one yet!.