Posted: November 1, 2020

Emily’s story: stepping into something new

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As the world celebrated the arrival of 2020 I, like many people, had big plans. New Year, new opportunities, new adventures…

Starting an agency was definitely not one of those big plans.

2019 had actually been good for me. I’d been running my design business solo for almost four years. I’d worked on some great projects and learned a lot. However, I was starting to fall out of love with freelancing and looking for something different

The nature of freelancing is that you enter projects at a variety of stages. Much of the time I found myself being brought into design projects mid-process, and leaving before they were completed and delivered to clients. As a direct result, I wouldn’t often have the opportunity to develop and evolve the brands I was creating post-launch, or when delivering UI design I couldn’t see it through to the build. Not having the chance to see a project through and help it grow successfully was becoming a common frustration.

So, as Christmas 2019 arrived, I decided to make the shift to a permanent role – offering some stability, the chance to manage a team and work on projects I really cared about. Having carefully considered my preferences, I began my job hunt, looking for a role delivering:

  • Designer Director / Lead, or Senior role with managerial responsibilities
  • Working on projects in the sustainability / ethical / education sectors 
  • Brand development work for digital projects, and
  • UI and UX 

I found myself struggling to find anything fitting my criteria. Very few creative agencies specialised in sustainability, and there weren’t many creative in-house roles that covered all my requirements. Added to that, so many roles that I did apply for, I received no response from. Nothing. As the weeks and months passed, this became quite disheartening, as you can imagine. 

And then, March arrived, and the UK went into lockdown. 

With the benefit of hindsight, it was probably a blessing in disguise that I hadn’t found a permanent role, as I may well have been let go shortly after. That said, freelance opportunities became rare, and I was left feeling completely deflated. Not only were my ambitions to get a permanent job failing, but I didn’t even have much freelance work to do in the meantime.

I was, however, working with one client regularly across a number of projects, and one of these, a brand refresh project, involved collaborating with Suellen. We found we worked really well together and, as importantly, realised we had a shared desire to work in the vegan, sustainability and ethical sector.

We didn’t really discuss starting an agency; it just kind of happened organically. Lockdown had given us both time to consider what we wanted out of our careers separately, and the realization that we could help each other achieve our goals quickly become apparent. Initially, we thought we’d recommend work to each other; both of us are often asked to suggest suitable marketers and designers. But we soon realised that it wasn’t quite what we needed.  

We toyed with the idea of starting an agency for much of the summer but, with the ongoing pandemic and a potential recession on the horizon, we felt we weren’t quite ready to take the leap. We had, however, started noticing more and more businesses opening up – and, more importantly to us, many of them needed help with branding and digital. We began researching the sectors we particularly wanted to work with: vegan, sustainable and ethical businesses, and discovered a surge in like-minded brands launching. It started to become clear what we needed to do.

So now our quest is to help these brands, providing marketing and digital expertise to grow and amplify their positive influences on the future of the planet.

And just like that, Two Shoes Creative was born. Something different!

I’ll save you the sales pitch – but if you would like to find out more about us why not head over to twoshoescreative.co.uk

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Emily Jones

Founder and Creative Lead at Two Shoes Creative

twoshoescreative logo 2024

The creative agency for nice people doing nice things

The creative agency for nice people doing nice things