Meet Iva Troj
Our New Marketing Consultant

HELLO, IVA, TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF…

There are several different answers to this one 🙂 There is my background (I grew up in Eastern Europe during the last decade of communism and was raised by an oncologist mother and a technician/winemaker father with passion for football and fishing); my profession (something to do with art, design, identity, teaching, culture, psychology, history and everything in between or what it says on my many diplomas, all a mighty confusing soup); and all the places I’ve called home during the adult part of my life (USA, Sweden and now UK). There is also that whole story about my work. I’ve worked in advertising for iconic brands, had a very exciting career as a design manager, founded 5-6 companies, including a fashion label and a publishing house, done research and dreamed of a phd at some point in time and am now living in the UK with an art practice that has taken on a life of its own.

 

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But there is also a narrative that only makes sense to me and a few close friends. That one is very basic and has a lot to do with being a parent, working long hours, constantly trying to make sense of the world and the people in it, having food and sleep whenever needed and the occasional exercising of one’s right to at least one decent vice so that sanity can be sustained.

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WELL, THAT’S A RICH AND VARIED CAREER! WHAT ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS FOR YOU?

My career has actually made a full circle, which to me is a highlight in itself. I signed up for a career in the arts early on (at 13-14) because I was accepted in one of those wunderkind schools for talented children. That plan changed when I became a mother at a young age and had to find a way to support myself and my baby son in a place that was new to me and thousands of miles away from family and friends. Sweden changed most of the plans I made before I moved there and that remained a fact until recently when I moved to Brighton and decided to make an u-turn back to what I was originally meant to do. It wasn’t a conscious decision entirely, it was something that had to happen.

That said, I cannot imagine painting full-time, It’s not how I function. I have questions, you see, and those cannot all be answered by art alone. There is science and there is life and whatever lies here, there and everywhere. There is also design which is something I see as a mere expression of all that other stuff I just mentioned. To me design rhymes with research just as much as art does. And I never joined the cult of technology although I am obsessed with gadgets, software and taking things apart just so I can put them back together. That’s because I don’t see it as an isolated thing. I believe in science and everything rooted in science. Artists are often viewed as some kind of spirituality gnomes that indulge in flaky self-discovery and long conversations with their muses, heads left open hoping that some kind of genius lightning will strike. That’s just silly. Most artists that I admire are intelligent curious people that very often do more than just one thing.

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR DESIGN MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE

That story has a funny start. It was some time in the late 90s that I had this epiphany that created problems for me in what my dad called ”the world of fancy pants advertising”. It was the realisation that all these titles ”art director”, ”creative director”, ”new media director”, etc, all referred to one single profession which was of course Design Manager. I started referring to myself as a design manager instead of my many confusing titles (and I’ve had them all and many more). It turned out that this was news to everybody else and some of my colleagues saw it as an act of war. I was handed a new set of business cards with something like ”New Media Innovator Sultan Clan Chief Of The North” on top and the whole thing went mad. I knew that hierarchies were a big thing in that world but that was just too much and I started wishing myself out of there.

Not long after I was headhunted to IBM Nordic to lead a design team in their new Innovation Centre. I ended up becoming obsessed with learning everything I possibly could about systems, business components, the thinking behind it all and what do people mean when they say words. I was lucky to be in a team with the best possible leader, Yvonne Lörstad, who immediately recognized this as a skill much needed in a world where tech and creative didn’t talk to each other because they didn’t know how to. Not long after I was in charge of a network of professionals pursuing user-centricity and doing a lot of research that was swiftly translated into creative solutions for brands such as CocaCola, Volvo, Mercedes Benz, GoreTex, Sony Ericsson and Nokia. Design was of course a big part of it and having a background in traditional arts, illustration, typography and printmaking helped a whole lot.

  

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YOUR ART IS TRULY AMAZING! HOW DID YOU GET INTO THAT?

Thank you 🙂 As I was saying before, I started early but took a long long pause. Going back to making art was a trip over a very rocky mountain. I know that I made it look easy but believe me it was not. It basically meant reexamining everything I’d learned during the past 3-4 decades and relearning a lot of things. One thing that made it particularly difficult was the fact that I was from a foreign country and went to a school that to most people in the Western world sounded like something out of Harry Potter. It is amazing to me that institutionalization is still a thing. It is also amazing that my gender somehow matters (not in a good way) and the art world is still addicted to people not being paid in the same way it was back in 1910.

 

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WHAT’S HAVE YOU GOT COMING UP IN YOUR ART WORLD? 

I have a show in Beaux Gallery in Bath, UK right now. That is until end of August 2019.

I am right now working on a show that I consider to be a milestone of a sort. It is for a gallery in LA called Dark Art Emporium and the place as such inspired some thoughts that later resulted in a much bigger commitment on an emotional level. What happened was I moved into a studio above Presuming Ed’s Coffee House in Brighton and met some very interesting people (including Pleece & Co) that shared my views in many ways. Somehow conversations and collaborations happened and in that process many of the stories I’ve been carrying around started to materialise in the work I was doing for the LA exhibit. I am really looking forward to continuing in this direction, not only because I enjoy the work and the company but mainly because the conversation carries such promise.

 

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WHAT WILL YOU BE DOING WITH PLEECE & CO?

I sort of started answering that question from my point of view but moving towards Pleece & Co and your point of view, the way I understand it, I can honestly say that my skillset fits right in with what you have created already. I come from an innovation cluster in  the middle of a global arena where I learned to do the work and keep my mind open but structured. It is something I hope to never unlearn.

Regarding the type of work I will be doing… that depends on what needs to be done and I’m more than comfortable with doing many different things, from business development, strategy and management to hands-on design work if the team needs assistance.

One thing I know to be true is that the company you keep is as important as the beliefs you have and the work you do. And I know I’m in good company.

 

ivatrojart.com

 

Harriet’s Of Hove
What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? is a series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Harriet’s Of Hove is a plastic-free pantry based on Blatchington Road in Hove, providing customers with ethical eco-friendly supplies, refills and packaging alternatives. We caught up with Harriet to ask her about the shop and the ideas behind it.

 

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HOW WAS HARRIET’S OF HOVE STARTED?

HoH was started as a form of protest with the way the supermarkets had become. It was following Plastic Free July 2018 and the frustrations of finding shopping plastic free so difficult. So, my partner (Mhiran) and I decided to take on the venture of opening a plastic free shop!

 

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HOW LONG HAS THIS IDEA BEEN WITH YOU?

We properly decided to commit to the venture August 2018 and we opened Harriet’s of Hove in 12 weeks. Previous to Plastic Free July last year, it had never crossed my mind!

 

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HOW HAVE THE LOCAL COMMUNITY REACTED?

The local community have been fantastic. Many people are already committed to doing what they can and other are excited to be starting their refilling journey. The shop really has become a little hub for the community, In which people stop and chat. Put the World to rights, and just enjoy discussing food again.

They is also I diverse amount of environmental discussion and plastics debate in store and that’s exactly what we wanted to create.

 

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HOW DO YOU CHOOSE WHAT TO STOCK IN THE SHOP?

A mixture of stocking what we used beforehand. Seeing what is available in bulk and minimal packaging. But also there has been a wonderful amount of local suppliers and independent makers who have approached us to sell their products in store. This has been really exciting for us.

 

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WHAT’S THE MOST FRUSTRATING THING ABOUT WASTE GENERATED BY REGULAR SHOPS/SUPERMARKETS?

That is easy!! The amount that is non-recyclable and completely unnecessary. This waste outlives us on the landfill or ends up in the sea. It has no further purpose and costs local councils money to process it.

 

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WHAT ARE A FEW TIPS FOR AVERAGE PEOPLE TO CUT DOWN ON UNNECESSARY PLASTICS/WASTE?

A little organisation goes a long way! Preparing meals and remembering to take reusables out with you. Also, to start with a bit at a time. Changes don’t happen over night so little but often is a winner.

Oh! And ENJOY IT. Shopping sustainably and consciously bring many benefits and improves the ‘feel good factor’ of how we live and consume.

 

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HOW CAN WE HELP SPREAD THE WORD?

Harriet’s of Hove has a lively Instagram, Facebook and Twitter account. We don’t just use our social media to promote products and the shop, but also to spread awareness and campaign information.

However, ‘word of mouth’ is a great favourite of ours. For those that are interested in plastic free living or lowering, we’re right here for them. Let them know.

 

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WHY HOVE?

I was born in Brighton and have lived in Hove most of my life. I has a special place in my heart. Also (possibly more honestly) going to Brighton to refill was a long trek and now I don’t have to go so far myself!….Hove was missing this facility, so we wanted to provide something really local for Hovians alike.

 

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WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS FOR HARRIET’S OF HOVE?

Who knows?! It has certainly been a rollercoaster of a year, so perhaps just breathe a little for now. At the pace we are learning and growing, it is very hard to say about future plans. However, we have no current plans to open another store. We want to grow this baby well first.

We will continue to campaign and listen and will provide what we can, with what resources we have available.

 

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If you would like to feature and tell us your story, please contact us: david@pleeceandco.com 

 

Pleece Force
Meet Saskia Pleece

SO, ANOTHER PLEECE IN THE CO. TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF

My name is Saskia Pleece, I’m a 20 year old student living in Brighton. I grew up in Finland, as I am half Finnish, but I moved back to the UK for my A levels a few years ago. I’m currently studying Art and Design at Greater Brighton Metropolitan and working for Pleece & Co, but moving to Bournemouth this September to start my degree in Marketing Communications and Advertising.

 

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DO YOU FEEL FINNISH OR ENGLISH?

This is actually a question I get asked all the time, and I still don’t know how to answer it. I feel equally Finnish as I do English, yet sometimes I feel foreign. You mould as a person depending on your surroundings, and I feel like I have gained traits and attributes from both countries. I have been lucky enough to be accustomed to two different cultures!

 

 

WHAT IS THE FINNISH EDUCATION SYSTEM LIKE TO GROW UP IN? (ASSUMING YOU TALK ABOUT THIS – PLEASE! AND COMPARE IT TO THE CRAP ENGLISH VERSION!!) 

The Finnish eduction system is actually ranked “best in the world”. This is because Finnish schools give less homework, don’t have standardised tests and have an overall relaxed approach to education.

Unlike England, Finland only has public schools, you start at age 7 and emphasize that competition is not as important as cooperation. They also focus on racial and social equality within schools and education is free for everyone. This includes University degrees as well, which makes the University prices in the UK seem even more ridiculous.

The Finnish eduction system was ultimately great to grow up in. I learned in a relaxed environment where academia was not forcibly drilled in to you, which made me more creative and the person I am today.

 

 

WHAT ARE YOUR PASSIONS?

I am a creative person who loves art and design, and who is interested in learning more about the world of marketing and advertising. I love meeting new people and traveling around the world!

 

TELL US ABOUT THE COURSE YOU’RE STUDYING AT BOURNEMOUTH UNI IN SEPTEMBER (ASSUME YOU’LL ANSWER THAT MARKETING / ADVERTISING IS A PASSION IN PREVIOUS QUESTION!)

I am going to Bournemouth University this September to study Marketing Communications with Advertising. The degree is designed to produce “visionary marketing communications professionals” and I will be learning about branding, strategy, creative, research and analysis, media planning and general innovation. I am so excited, as the degree sounds amazing. Clearly the only downside is that it isn’t in Brighton!

 

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WHAT WORK ARE YOU DOING WITH PLEECE & CO?

I’ve been doing a variety of things – I covered the social media on the day for the recent English’s Chef Off event,  I’ve been researching content for Pleece & Co and one of their B2B clients, I help out with photoshoots and I’m also working on some data input and segmentation with an education client. Gary’s been telling me about his approach to marketing and the needs of the various clients and I’m gaining some valuable insight and experience before heading to uni.

 

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR YOU?

​Hopefully I will be working internationally or working for a successful agency after my degree. I might even start up my own, depending on what I become more passionate about. I am excited to work in this field and I can’t wait to see where it will take me!

 

Kevin Miller
What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Kevin Miller is the Commercial Manager of Whitehawk Football Club, We spoke to him about Whitehawk, work and what the future holds for him and the club.

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TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF – A POTTED HISTORY!

I’m Kevin Miller, lived in Brighton for ten years, born in East London so West Ham United fan by birth. Parents bought a small guest house and moved the family to Cliftonville near Margate when I was twelve, After education I moved back to London ten years later.

I always wanted to be a journalist/ writer, but you gotta start somewhere, so naturally the best place to start is shoe shop manager at Freeman Hardy Willis in Woolwich. (ask your gran about them, kids).

After that I took a couple of agency jobs, found a small flat in Westminster, and got a job at legendary punk/ mod shoe emporium Shelly’s just off Carnaby Street. (Cooler shoes). It was ’88/’89 and London was full of smiley t-shirts, kicker boots and wallabies shoes. Sigh, happy daze…

 

 

Then, a couple of years at a small record label in Cricklewood, selling not too popular classical, jazz, rock and easy listening (but some excellent 70’s Dub) to small independent record shops. That got me into big record retailer Tower Records in ’93 (I was a rep for the label). The rest of the decade was spent there in sales, management, marketing, PR, advertising and publishing. It was the height of Britpop, dance music was still huge, Euro ’96 and all that, great times…However, nothing lasts for ever, and I left Tower in 2001. Freelanced for a couple of years selling ads for the South Bank Centre and Jazz Cafe. Married in ’02, child in ‘04, and in ’05, Football beckoned. Watford (3 seasons), Palace (5), Lewes (4) and now Whitehawk…

So far, my football record is as follows: Three promotions, (one administration), two relegations, two play-off finals, three play-off semi-finals, one Sussex FA Cup Final, one FA Cup semi-final, one League Cup semi-final and one Sussex FA Cup semi-final. Never a dull moment…

 

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WHAT WAS IT LIKE BEING INVOLVED IN THE COMMERCIAL DEPARTMENTS AT PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL CLUBS? ANY STORIES YOU CAN SHARE?

My first game of my first full season was at Watford – their first game back in the top flight – against Fergie’s Manchester United. The night before, all the staff including Chairman & CEO were at the ground making sure everything was ready – setting out all the corporate boxes and cutlery in the lounges, and attaching the last of the ad boards around Vicarage Road. This was pre LED advertising, and because we were ground sharing with Saracens, we had to use a kind of velcro system (stuck on what looked like A-frame gym mattresses!), that meant that whether was a ‘double-header’ (Watford on a Saturday, Sarries on a Sunday), every ad board had to be changed, which was a nightmare for the ground staff.

I’d sold a huge advertising site in the disused area of an old stand. We built a frame and the ad agency we were working with placed a huge sportswear brands name & logo on it.

 

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The following day as I was watching the game from the stand opposite, I felt very proud that our first home game had gone off with out a hitch…

My phone buzzed in my pocket. I left it as I’d just replied to my wife who was asking me how it was going. It buzzed again. A couple of minutes later it rang. Irritated now, I took the phone out of my pocket and was about to bark ‘Hello!’ to my wife when I realised that it was the MD from the Ad Agency.

“Hiya? What’s up?” I answer.

“Kev, I’ve just had the CEO (of the sportswear brand) on the phone!” he replied. “He’s watching the game from his Villa.”

“Excellent!” I said “Did he call to say that he loves the big ad board?”

“No!” He said sternly. “He said, that if you don’t get that steward blocking the letter ‘A’, of the name, he’ll remove it and demand his money back!”

I looked up. Sure enough, there in front of the big A, was George, Watford steward of twenty years, doing his duty that side of the stand, and watching the game in front of thousands of pounds of global advertising.

“I’m on it!” I put the phone down and used the two-way radio to contact control, who relayed the message to George. I watched as he made two large comedy sideways steps to the left, revealing the ad board in full. A text followed with a ‘Cheers!’ from the agency, and panic over, I carried on with match duties.

 

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It made me realise that, despite being in a small part of a small suburban town watching a game of football, the whole world was watching, and so everything – everything! – had to be perfect. It also made me realise that this was not a job of glamour and status, it was a passion. It never happened again.

 

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WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE PROFESSIONAL GAME’S RELATIONSHIP WITH NON LEAGUE?

England has the most vibrant and successful football pyramid structures in the world. Some matches in our divisions six & seven, attract more fans to their matches than Italian French and Spanish second divisions. Grassroots football is attracting a new generation of fans, a little disenfranchised with the Premier League experience, despite it being a world class product.

That said, professional football needs a strong structure behind it to continue the production line of great talent, as does the FA, and the game in this country is more than just the professionals. The Premier League’s cash is filtering down to grassroots level, but its not enough, nor is it quick enough.

 

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I would love to see an organisation created that can utilise some of that Premier League cash, to set up a kind of ,’help centre’ for non-league football clubs. A place to learn about new marketing techniques, social media, planning, budgeting, health & safety…

A lot of non-league clubs are still run on effort, energy, passion and tradition, and it is essential that we maintain the pyramid structure, and offer the thousands of small football clubs around the land the chance to survive and change in the modern era.

 

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HOW DOES YOUR ROLE WITH WHITEHAWK FC DIFFER FROM OTHER CLUBS?

Every club is different, and has its own needs and delivery. Whitehawk FC, despite being Brighton’s second biggest football club, still suffers from being tagged with the reputation of the nearby estate within East Brighton, once the biggest and most economically deprived in the country. The club is branded as a place that business finds a little unattractive. Crowds at matches are modest at best, and there’s a lot of ‘upgrading’ to be done.

 

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That said, there’s a new vibrancy and sense of purpose on the estate, and at the club, there’s an amazing group of volunteers making it all work and have been doing so for a long, long time.

We’re re-structuring the marketing, commercial, online and social media sections of the club to make them a little fitter, a little more productive. Next summer (2020) begins year of the club’s 75th Anniversary, and I hope that some of the elements put in place now, will maximise the opportunities for the club to grow by then.

It’s hard work but very rewarding…

 

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WE KNOW THE HAWKS ULTRAS ARE A VOCAL, VISIBLE CROWD WITH A STRONG AND CLEAR MESSAGE, WHO ARE THEY AND WHAT IS YOUR RELATIONSHIP LIKE WITH THEM?

 The fans, the ‘Ultras’ are keeping the flame burning right now. They are a group of locals and Brightonian’s who a few years ago set up the fan base as an ironic gesture, but have nothing whatsoever to do with those big global near army-style Ultras. They have set themselves up with an incredible set of social and moral values. Anti-racism, homophobia, sexism, violence – they don’t swear on the terraces, design and sell their own merchandise, run the club shop, their own fanzine, and bang their own drums, (and store them in a shed at the ground).

I first met them at the first pre-season friendly when I arrived last July, and I quickly recognised that they are the lifeblood of the club. I’ve been working with some of them to create some amazing social projects. Earlier in the season they raised funds on-line to bring 30 kids from Grenfell a day out at the seaside. I worked with them to make the kids mascots, we gave them complimentary hospitality, and they loved it. We’ve worked with local charities, setting up soccer schools for kids on the estate, and there are plans to do a lot lot more.

It’s a family, and we’re all doing it together because we love it.

 

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WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR WHITEHAWK FC?

Big crowds, a vibrant, culturally diverse, socially aware young, cool, tech-savvy fanbase around the region and around the world, and crammed full of everything that this amazing city has to offer. A junior section, a re-instated womens team, mens and womens vets and walking football teams, and a pathway for young people who love the game, to be inspired by the club and play for the club until they become legends.

We want businesses to want to join us, we need businesses to help us, and we want the city to be rightly proud of two clubs, one attracting a global audience, and one that can celebrate everything that the city offers…

One game, Two teams, two different objectives.

 

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Football is the Winner…

 Kevin Miller

If you would like to feature and tell us your story, please contact us: david@pleeceandco.com 

 

“Are they or aren’t they?”
What we’ve been up to lately…

Pleece & Co March 2019

Hi, how you doing? Sorry it’s been so long since we’ve been in touch. How are things? What have you done with your hair? We like it. It suits you.

What have we been up to? Thanks for asking. Well, where do we start?

 

How about Presuming Ed’s? No, not the guy in the Withnail film, although that’s where the name comes from of course. ‘Ed’s’ is an old skool Brighton coffee/VR/EscapeRoom/venue/ale/nut house on the London Road. It’s ugly beautiful. We love it. Revolutions are supposed to start here. We started working with them late 2018 and we’ve recently set up a couple of events there which went rather well.

One was with Whitehawk FCs ‘Hawks Ultras’, a friendly, vociferous bunch of football fans that push back on the stereotype and celebrate diversity. They’re making Whitehawk the coolest club in England right now with their positive message and anti-racism/homophobia/sexism stance. Premier League, take note. Here’s the vid we took at the event, take a butcher’s here.

 

 

 The other event was with Tropical Sushi and Pure Gym. Tropical sell their protein packed poke bowls at Ed’s and we wanted to push a healthy eating agenda out for Jan, so we set up a flashdance/mob, pushed back the chairs and tables and had an 80s style, ONJ workout in Ed’s with the lovely peeps from Pure Gym across the road. Twenty minutes in, sweat on, poke bowls all round afterwards. Rich, Ed’s owner, even managed to play some awful 80s power workout tunes that probably featured in Tom Cruise pics of the time.

 

 

 Next we helped launch VYD, Pleece & Co owner Gary’s social enterprise side venture. It fuses creative projects with football and helps to change lives for people in disadvantaged areas (it says here). Rumour has it the name, an acronym, was chosen as Gary hates them so much but just like the combination of these letters together. This is from a branding ‘expert’. Go figure.

A noble venture indeed, though, and one that we fully support. We created the identity and website for the company which you can see here https://vydcic.org

 

 

We also launched the brand and website for the London Survivors Gateway. This is a new organisation that has brought a range of partners on board to provide a new London wide service for survivors of sexual abuse (pan gender).

We won a competitive tender in partnership with our friends, web partners and all round wonderful people at Surface Impression. We worked on the naming piece, brand identity and website design. We also held a workshop in London with key partners to thrash out the key benefits, messages, elevator pitch and strap line for the new org before taking this discovery forward into the design process (sorry, slipping into buzz word speak…)

You can review the results here http://survivorsgateway.london/. Such a great initiative to be involved in.

 

 

Lastly, we meet up with local creative director for hire and bloody nice bloke (as Tim nice but dim might say), Jake McGowan, ex-Livity creative director and now owner of boutique agency, Playing Field.

 

 

Jake shared his thoughts on where the best work was coming from in the agency world at the moment, as well as the work his award winning Cannes Lions video and how pub dads can’t take their beer (this bit was off camera.)

Is that ok as an update for now? Apologies, we won’t leave it so long next time. Forgive us. We’ll be in touch. Promise.

Jake McGowan
What’s Your Story?

What’s Your Story? is a monthly series in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention.

Jake McGowan is a Creative Director, Content Strategist and Film Director based in Brighton. We spoke to him about his work, processes and what the future holds for him.

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TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOURSELF 

I am a Brightonian, born here and lived till I started to get a bit agitated, as you do in your home town. I  took the logical path and moved to South London in the early 2000’s to educate and experience, although it became more experience then education if I am honest. I had smaller stints in NYC, Berlin and Ireland and finally returned home to Brighton with my wife and two boys a few years ago. As far as a profession, I am still working it out, although I mainly consult for various brands and agencies on creative approach and more specifically culture related strategies. I am also a film director represented by Pundersons Gardens

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WHAT WORK ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF?

I try to adopt an approach to my work that has a basis of purpose, beyond a traditional marketing or sales incentives for clients. I want to produce work that ‘gives’ a little more, wether that is in the form of opportunity,  or to facilitate creative culture in some way, rather than take massive corporate size bites out of it.

I worked as senior creative strategist at youth-led communication agency Livity  based in Brixton a few years ago where the doors are flung open to the local youngsters to come and be involved with commercial and public sector projects, helping brands and charities find their place within youth-culture whilst we offered mentorship and experience in all aspects of the project and production to the young people. I developed Open Shoot for Topman there, a kind of crowd sourced campaign, where the creative process of producing an official music videos for well known UK artists was opened up to aspiring young creatives. The image stimulus was submited publicly by fans, which then guided the direction of the film. We held workshops with the artist and established directors and creative experts. Friendships were formed and continued beyond the project, and ultimately the finished film had input from thousands of people. The project was a heart warming experience, despite the corporate fire fighting that went with it. It survived past my initial inception for another two seasons and I have seen similar projects executed for other brands in reaction to this.

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HOW DOES YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS WORK?

It differs dramatically whilst not changing at all. I like to build creative parameters with enough space within them to be able to throw in some off the cuff on the spot creativity. I co directed with Chris Read a short 8MM film for an industry film competition for Cannes Lions. The competitions parameters were the kind of fun rules I like in order to create. We had one Super 8 Cartridge and a camera to create the film shot by shot, no editing, no post work and the first time you see it matched with your separately recorded audio is on the big screen at the premiere. We won first prize at Cannes Lions, beating industry giants Mother, Droga5, Iris etc and were quite smug about it. This precarious nature of dancing on the edge between success and disaster is the kind of process I like.

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WHAT AGENCIES OR WORK DO YOU ADMIRE AT THE MOMENT AND WHY?

I will always have deep respect for Livity and what they have tried to do, opening up CSR to brands, trying to guide their responsibility initiatives for the right reasons and not solely for ego or PR. I am mostly taken by individuals for their creativity, one of my best mates Dave Lane has continuously impressed me over the years, his magazine The Gourmand that he makes with his partner Marina is a modern classic in terms of an aesthetic. I also like to see how smaller younger more dynamic agencies are shoving, lazy, insane process-driven agencies and brands out the way with fluid design first mentalities, Superimpose Studios being one.

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WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG THING IN ONLINE?

Offline!

Despite digital being my world in a lot of ways, I really feel there has to be a tipping point with peoples attention. We are continuously using that scroll thumb for a split-second engagement with things, it sometimes feels like the wool is being tightly pulled over our eyes. The more bombardment of information and ’content’ the less anything means. Political disasters become hilarious memes. We are all cackling away at nonsense while the world disintegrates around us. Purpose driven creativity, small scale nurturing and an expression of compassion needs to be a focus whatever the platform or context.

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WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD?

I have recently started Playing Field  with some good pals. I think we were all a little jaded from the traditional agency set up and wanted to create a more streamlined approach which maximises creativity. Effectively it is a consortium and collective of all the amazing creative talent we know creating cultural things that we like together, for enjoyment or pay. Our first project was with Gestalt sound designers for London Design Festival producing a film and sound experience across all four floors of an ancient windmill in Brixton. Some exciting fields of play lined up here.

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What’s Your Story?
Catch Up Portraits November 2018

What’s Your Story? is a monthly blog series we run in which we find and talk to interesting people in our local community, whether they run a business, have an interesting job or do something else that we think is worthy of wider attention. 

Our first interview was with Gary Parselle of Private Press back in October 2016, so after 2 years and 15 WYS blogs , we popped in to catch up with some of our participants. No interviews this time, just photos.

Thanks again for everybody’s help with the series – if you would like to feature and tell us your story, please contact us: david@pleeceandco.com 

 

Gary Parselle – Private Press

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Livvi White – Dopple Press

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Jess Davies – Stoney Point

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Andrew Garnett – Family Store 

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Alice Sharville – Spiderplant

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Alys Dobbie – Between Two Thorns

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Curate Labs
Headspaces Interview October 2018

Pleece & Co has found a home in Mocatta House – part of Spaces Brighton. We now share a building with a number of creative and diverse companies, and we thought it was time to get to know them a little better.

Headspaces is a collaboration blog series between Pleece & Co and Spaces in which we talk to our neighbours about their businesses, work advice and what puts them in a good headspace. 

This months conversation is with Curate Labs, an independent, sustainable creative design studio based here in Brighton and in London.

 

QUESTIONS WITH ABB-D CHOUDHURY – CO-FOUNDER
SPACES GROUND FLOOR

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR COMPANY

Predominantly we are a design studio with a focus on ethical and sustainable design. Through our work we look to advocate empathy, purpose and practicality. We offer end-to-end solutions often incorporating branding, creative content, design strategy and web design. We deliver both digital and physical products and functionality dependant on project objectives.

Alongside the studio, we run two publications – Curate Magazine and The Annual Digest and a series of ethical & sustainably centred travel guides named Wandering Through.

 

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR TEAM

Abb-d Choudhury and Sara Scobie are design partners and founders of CL. As a duo we both oversee the day to day running of the business and all stages throughout each project. Over the years we have grown a talented remote team of incredible and innovative freelancers, contractors and contributors whom we work with on a project-by-project basis.

 

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WHY SPACES?

We spent a good few months looking for a space to grow from and use as a base of operation. Of all we tried, SPACES seemed to be the most accommodating. Being close to Brighton station is also useful due to London connections. We’re also suckers for simple Scandinavian interior design, good coffee helps too!

 

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WHAT CHALLENGES DO YOU ENCOUNTER AS A COMPANY?

At the moment, time and resource is a real challenge. Being only two of us means internal resource can become stretched. For client work this isn’t a problem, but making time for our publications and the travel guides is the tricky part.

Our personal projects create an opportunity to always be on the hunt for trends, culture hacks and interesting destinations around the globe. These insights and lessons are invaluable for our design services, we challenge our clients to consider their process’s and approach to work, as we should all be working towards our A game and sometimes that means assessing practice, communication and process.

 

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WHAT MAKES YOUR COMPANY UNIQUE?

As a company, we are constantly experimenting and pushing the creative threshold to provide something beyond the norm, we look to position our clients as industry leaders. What makes us special is our values and ethics towards work that matters (at least to us). We’re selective with the projects we take on and the clients we partner with. We look to work with companies that strive for authenticity, push to create an ethical culture and wish to refine a sustainable business model.

 

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BEST PIECE OF WORK ADVICE YOU’VE BEEN GIVEN?

Abb-d: Surround yourself with people better then you and always do your own thing.

Sara: Concentrate on what you believe in, trends pass, your approach is what sets you apart and makes you interesting.

 

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WHAT PUTS YOU IN A GOOD HEADSPACE?

Abb-d: Travel, sunshine, the positive parts of human nature and publishing great content.

Sara: Soulful conversations, 8 hours of sleep, regular yoga practice and plenty of herbal teas.

 

curatelabs.co

spacesworks.com

 

Buzz Free
Pleece & Co October 2018

Burger Brothers vs Brexit

With the impending apocalypse that is Brexit looming closer by each passing darkening hour, we thought we’d ignore the incompetence of the politicians to lead us and eat burgers instead. Tastes nicer than cake for a start.

If you’ve not visited Burger Brothers in Brighton, then you’re missing out. These guys know their onions (on their burgers.) They’re a great brand too, effortlessly oozing as much cool as the cheese from one of their scooby snack sized burgers.

Anyway, we went down to visit them, sample their wares and took shots of them and their modest operation. Get down and try them if you haven’t already; your mouth will sing, belly will wobble and your toilet will be full, just the sort of experience you should be looking for when eating a burger.

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Next up on the menu…
 

Always leave room for more is out motto and that’s just as well as we work with a street’s worth of eateries and restaurants. Next stop was Cin Cin, the ‘flavour of the month, nay year, nay decade’ in Brighton.

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We’ve been with owner Dave and Cin Cin for years now, helping them on their road to the recent michelin mention from festival and pop up to the launch and opening of their second restaurant in Hove earlier this year.

 

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Gary recently visited Cin Cin Vine Street and held a ‘Brand Values’ session with The Cin Cin team, where the heat was on (literally as he delivered the session right next to the open kitchen stove) and passion abounded as the fabulous staff talked about what Cin Cin means to them, what it should mean to their valued customers and what their positioning should be from right across the business.

 

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Show us your ID

We’ve produced several new identities recently. We’re not sure why they have come in at such a rate, but we’re not complaining. There’s something incredibly fulfilling about creating something from scratch that will represent what a company looks like and stands for.

Here’s the work we’ve been doing, which one’s your fave?

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Montpelier Villa FC – grassroots football identity

Glowing Bumps – pregnancy fitness start up

Beyond – care leavers charity start up

London Survivors Gateway – sexual violence triage model

 

Notworking

 

Last but most definitely not least, is our new (anti) networking event, What’s Your Problem? which is basically a few business owners getting together informally, either in the Spaces bar on the roof terrace or in a spit and sawdust boozer, to discuss business matters, throw anything in the ring, and to massage each others shoulders, egos and weary heads as well as scratching each others’ backs and helping to share each others’ loads. You never know, we could even end up working together, but this isn’t about that. It’s about a few like-minded people sharing ideas and experiences. And possibly getting pissed and building more genuine, better relationships.

If you like the sound of that, ring my bell and bring a bottle.

What’s Your Problem?
Our new (anti) networking group

Running a business can be rewarding but also tough (wow, what insight I hear you say), especially in these days of Trexit (geddit?) and general national and global uncertainty. Who knows what a ‘no deal Brexit’ looks like (certainly not this government) and the outcomes could be catastrophic for British business – or not. It’s difficult to tell.

We all run businesses for different reasons, but sometimes we forget to focus on the things that unite us as business owners. These can be a range of issues – HR, business development, long term planning, securing loans, best practice, sourcing strategic partners, what to eat for lunch to reduce the ever expanding waistline brought about by too many ‘I’ve made it through another day’ drinking sessions.

Why do we run our own businesses? We all get fired up at the outset, crack our mission statement, scream about how we are going to change the – sorry, our, world, but then it becomes a struggle, a labour of love – unless you’re one of those people who enjoys the cold sweats at 4am when you’ve forgotten to pay the PAYE.

 

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Has your business drifted away from its original intention? How many times have you referred to your business plan? Have you even got one? And why do we spend time on clients, making them successful only to be cast aside like a cigarette butt flicked out of a moving car window. It’s easier to sack your agency than make people redundant, obviously, but what are you gaining? Cost savings? Well, in most cases no, it’s more expensive to employ. And do you get the expertise that you would with an agency? No, you don’t. So there. Rant over. For now.

You might be asking why is he so bitter? Well, I’m not…ok, I am, sometimes, but being a sole owner, there are times when you go through periods of self doubt and wonder if it’s all worth it. But then another day dawns and you’re all pumped up again after 4 double espressos and the world is your oyster, or clam, more like…at least until after lunch and the inevitable physical and mental ‘slump’. Then you’re just hoping to make it through another day until you can crack open a cold one.

People, associates, strangers, often ask ‘how’s it going’ at the start of a ‘business meeting’ and you invariable end up answering ‘yes, good…’ and then pick out a job from your mental filing cabinet you did 5 years ago that had a decent budget and name attached to it. Really you mean ‘fuck it’s hard and I often wake up in a cold sweat wondering how I’m going to put tartare sauce on the table tonight…’

Anyway, to the point. A problem shared is a problem, well, still, but it’s good to chat it through, peer to peer, nonetheless so you realise you’re not alone. Or if you are, you have people who might’ve been through the same scenario and can share their experience. I always find it’s comforting, therapeutic, exhausting, fun, disappointing, to get together with other business owners and share concerns, joys, frustrations, cigarettes and alcohol.

So, I’ve set up this new (anti) networking group called ‘What’s Your Problem?’ which is basically a few business owners getting together informally, either in the Spaces bar on the roof terrace or in a spit and sawdust boozer, to discuss business matters, throw anything in the ring, and to massage each others shoulders, egos and weary heads as well as scratching each others’ backs and helping to share each others’ loads. You never know, we could even end up working together, but this isn’t about that. It’s about a few like-minded people sharing ideas and experiences.

I personally hate networking, so it’s not about that. Go and join the BNI if that’s your bag. I find chatting to other business owners useful. I’m not lonely, honest.

We can do it in the pub, although my dodgy tinnitus might make it a bit hard for me to hear, although I have mastered lip reading lately, or we can do it – well, anywhere. The key is that it’s informal, there’s no agenda, you just bring your ideas, frustrations, concerns, hopes and despairs to the table in a non judgemental, non corporate environment where wearing ties and not wearing socks is banned. Rules are for fools, apart from those two.

If you’re interested in joining me, send me an email here gary@pleeceandco.com and we can arrange something. I reckon we need 4 of us to call it a ‘gathering’, or maybe a ‘Notworking’ chat.