It’s Valentines Day. The day when Hallmark remind us to swap the usual “have you put the bin out” morning exchanges with ‘I love you’s. Despite rallying calls from every shop I frequent (has anyone decided to mark today with M&S’ Love Sausage?), I don’t usually go in for Valentine’s Day. It’s so close to Pancake Day, which involves carbs and syrup, so I concentrate my efforts there.
But, I’ve woken up feeling the love, so I’ve burrowed my way out of the quilt of cards that i’m buried under to return the sentiment… to my clients (sorry, wife).
Since going it alone in 2017, my clients have given me so much love and support that I need to give props. If you’re not name-checked here, dear client, please know my love is there implicitly (or you haven’t paid your invoice).
My clients inspire me
I’ve recently being extolling the virtues of SEO to Grace Hillard, of Grace Wellbeing. Not only is she sickeningly inspiring with her relaxation workshops, reflexology treatments and inclusive play sessions, it seems cracking the whip to get her blogging has unearthed a brilliant writer. I love reading her blogs, like this little number, ‘I’m Crap at Relaxation… and other Stories’, and I’m happy being the proud instructor, but when I admitted that I’d written the grand total of 0 blogs for my own website, the pupil turned teacher and Grace challenged me to write one of my own. Well here you go, love.
My clients empower others
Listen, I’m not choosy – you can look at my dating history – but somehow I’ve managed to amass a wonderful calibre of client to market for, whose product or offering I actually adore. Like birdsoup – I’ve been working with these top birds since just before I went freelance and have helped them build a brand full of personality. Our first Skype involved me pitching whilst just under the view of the webcam, I was breastfeeding my son in an effort to keep-him-the-hell-quiet for half an hour. Not only did they not mind, but they celebrated it. Not in a Woo! Tits! Webcam! kind of way, but their whole schtick is about empowering women (and educating employers) to achieve equality in the workplace. They have given so much strength to so many women and if you feel like you could do with your own power boost, book yourself on their Creating Female Leaders workshop in March.
Special props also has to be given to the inspirational Marie Oakes of Trend Academy, who has trusted me so much with the handling of her brand, and whose website we re-launched this week. Marie is an uber talent; not only does she carry the roles of designer for Alexander McQueen and Mulberry, to name a couple, on her CV, but she’s now taking her experience and using it to educate the next generation of fashion hopefuls with her online fashion courses and inspirational talks. With a huge focus around promoting wellbeing in the industry, it’s wonderful to know there’s a voice of both resilience and creativity out there for people to look up to.
My clients create things of beauty
As a freelance marketing manager, of sorts, I get to really celebrate and promote the wares of not just one, but many industries. From footwear to flowers, I really think I get to shout about the very best this country (and beyond) has to offer.
Bowhill & Elliott, established in 1874, are manufacturers of the most exquisite house shoes and slippers the world has seen. Not many people realise, but beneath its flagship shop on London Street, the processes of clicking, binding, lasting and turning are being carried out by hand. ‘Artisan’ is a term bandied around a bit nowadays – I bet there’s even an Artisan digital marketing company (just checked; there is) – but this handmade craft has produced slippers for royalty, music royalty (Elton John & David Furnish had B&E slippers made for their wedding), movie stars and even this mere mortal. My Bowhill & Elliott monogrammed slippers are the most divine thing to have graced my feet and one does refuse to put one’s bin out in them.
Working with heritage brands is something of a speciality of mine. Helping long-established brands reflect their history and character in a digital world is a real passion, and something I got to do with long-standing boat builders on the Broads, Landamores. They build day launches like the beautiful mahogany Mayfly and even sea-faring motor yachts, like the Jersey Boat. I was honoured to rebrand Landamores and its Jersey range, to reflect the classic elegance of their workmanship.
Someone who will be drowning in her own sea of Valentines today, albeit the bouquets of others, will be Libby Peryer of Niche Flowers. Libby’s reputation was always going to be enough to make her new venture a success, but I was proud to be given the tasking of branding Niche and building the website – a daunting task when the proprietor exudes as much creativity as Libby does. Watching Libby wrangle single blooms into these arresting floral masterpieces is baffling. She’s a quick blur of twine and stems, which suddenly manifests as the most beautiful ‘I love you’, ‘with sympathy’ or ‘just coz’.
There are more to mention – happily I have amassed an incredible bunch of clients who have given me that smug aura of someone who loves their job. But I want to leave you with this video, that I was so chuffed to be asked make with Gill Jones, of Gill Jones Photography. As a North Wales wedding photographer, Gill sees love every day, and in this video, beautifully written by Gill herself, she captures the essence of love better than any Hallmark card. Or love sausage, for that matter.