GG. Work Hard – Play Hard.

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These are a few interview style questions that we put to the music artist GG about her battle with work life balance as she conquers all in an exciting and challenging industry.

Music and the arts are a big talking point right now with a move away from faceless corporate jobs towards the dream of ‘making your stamp on your industry’. But what is it really like for a young adult trying to make their way in an ever-condensing market of signers and songwriters? Read GG’s answers to find out.

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Work Hard. Play Hard. Elizabeth Harwood.

These are a few interview style questions that we put to Elizabeth about her battle with work life balance as she slogs it about in the city designing and promoting her designer scarf brand.

Start-up projects and entrepreneurship are a big talking point right now with a move away from faceless corporate jobs towards the dream of ‘making your stamp on your industry’. But what is it really like for a young adult trying to make their way in an ever-condensing market of brands and influencers? Read Elizabeth’s answers to find out.

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What is your role now and what are the main responsibilities for you?

I am a one-woman band so I do absolutely everything! But my passion is the creative side, specifically designing the collection. Luckily, I have had a tremendous amount of support from The Princes Trust, from friends and family. I think the key is to harness all your contacts and all the opportunities which are available to you. I have my strengths and weaknesses and I am unbelievably thankful to those who have been there to help.

Currently, my main focus is on promoting my collection and making sure my brand is more widely known.

How long have you been doing this for and what did you do before?

I launched Elizabeth Harwood on 1st February 2017, but have been working with the Princes Trust for the last 18 months on their Enterprise scheme. As soon as I graduated I started designing my collection and applied to the program, it supports young people with a range of help from training and mentoring support to funding and resources.

Beforehand, I studied for my Art Foundation and BA Degree at UAL. During my foundation year, I always sneaked down the corridor to the printing studios where the BA & MA students were creating such impressive work. The way that a piece of art can be applied to many mediums from books to wallpaper and fashion completely fascinated me so I made sure I got a place on the course. I then went on to study my BA, since the second year I knew I wanted to create my own collection. Creating scarves seemed natural medium as I had a scarf which was glued to me when I was younger; it was gold and grey and had the most beautiful paisley design – believe it or not, my mum actually won it in a raffle.  My mum used to go crazy at me telling me that I needed a new one as it got so tatty and worn (I refused). The scarf reminded me of countless memories and adventures I had as a teenager, I couldn’t bear to let it go. It became more than a scarf to me – occasionally I still wear it so please don’t tell my mum.

Can you think of any key challenges you had to overcome and how did you battle them to get to where you are?

Every day I face new challenges, starting a business is a something completely new to me so I am always learning. As a business owner it is essential to persevere – it is such a rewarding experience when you know you can put a tick in the box, and you’ve learnt something new! I am challenged every day and I love that the business is growing just as I am. 

What is the dream, or where would you like to see yourself in five or ten years?

Objects deserve the human touch, as a craftsman (or woman) you should be honest, genuine and responsible for the products you create. However it is your clients make product iconic and emotional. True luxury is when you care about the environment and how it affects the wearer, you care about the emotions it gives them as the objects we make shape us. There is no creativity without meaning.  For me, the object isn’t the end goal; it is my clients and their emotions who truly make the product.

In five or ten years, every entrepreneur including myself wants business success. Personally I want my clients to tell me when and where they have worn their scarf, to remember absolutely everything they did when wearing it. I aspire to creating something that is going to add something unique and special to someone’s life. It should bring joy and happiness into their everyday. The objects we have, create positive feelings, but it is the client who gives it the meaning, history and emotions. When this happens it is truly magical.

How do you find balancing lifestyle and downtime with your job?

It’s in me, it is who I am, every day I wake up and I am so excited and passionate by what I am doing. The possibilities that are right in front of me excite me and help push me forward. I wouldn’t say there is one particular busy or down time as I put my all into every aspect of my life whether it is my business or seeing friends. It is important to surround yourself with people who make you happy and who want the best for you – they help to support and motivate you through any difficulties. I am incredibly lucky to have friends and family who are so supportive and do just that.

I think when you have routine everything falls into place, 22:00 bed times and early mornings. I work out before I go to work so that I have evenings for events or time to myself or with the people I love. If it means enough to you, then you can make it happen. If you’re making excuses then you may not truly know where your heart lies. 

If you could give one piece of advice to a young spark looking to start their business, what would that be?

If you’re passionate enough, you will find a way to make it happen. Trust your instincts.

What has been your favourite event you have attended this month? If not month, this year?

At the end of November I was fortunate enough to take part in the annual Princes Trust Christmas Fayre. I sold several scarves and one client will always stay in my mind, he was an elderly man in a chocolate brown wax jacket which was worn at the sleeves, he looked as though he had left his farm to come straight to the event.

He attended the event with his wife, who he would not stop doting on. She fell in love with one of the scarves and before I knew it a credit card was flapping in front of my face- he couldn’t wait to spoil her. One of the most pricesless experiences I have ever had was seeing the look on her face as he gave her the gift, it was incredibly heart-warming. I hope there are more men and women out there who have that exact experience when giving or receiving a piece of my collection.

And finally, what do you think is the best part about being an upcoming, self-employed business owner right now?

I am doing what I love.

Thank you so much for talking to us and telling us about your experiences so honestly! We can’t wait to hear all about what you get up to in the future, keep in touch!

Check out Elizabeth’s collection here and make sure to follow her on Facebook and Instagram!

Do you have any tips or advice on how to overcome challenges in the working world? Let us know by talking to us on Twitter! 

Also if you want a cheeky behind the scenes look in to Team yada make sure to check our insta!

Why not email the author about featuring on the blog or getting in touch with yada Events app: rhys.terrar@yada.events 

Try out the app and see how you can use it for your next event management project.

Download it on the App Store or Google Play and follow us

online:

www.yada.events

Work Hard – Play Hard. Swakara Atwell-Bennett.

These are a few interview style questions that we put to Swakara about her battle with work-life balance as she slogs it about in the city with her creative group Better Shared. (Which we’re hosting a screening of their new series tomorrow at WeWork Spitalfields! RSVP/ Get tickets HERE

Start-up projects and entrepreneurship are a big talking point right now with a move away from faceless corporate jobs towards the dream of ‘making your stamp on your industry’. But what is it really like for a young adult trying to make their way in an ever-condensing market of brands and influencers? Read Swakara’s answers to find out.

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What is your role now and what are the main responsibilities for you?

I am the Founder and Creative Director of BetterShared.co a platform for creatives of African / Caribbean descent. I also Freelance as a Designer / Art Director under Swakara Ltd.

My role mainly involves a lot of researching, I am always on the lookout for new creatives and general inspiration – It’s something I can’t switch off, you can spot something or someone anywhere. Most of my time is spent planning, editing and curating content for our interview features, social media and any events or campaigns we have scheduled. I have become a bit of a list addict which helps me keep on top of everything and alongside my marketing assistant, we plan our social a month in advance. The favourite part of my role, however, has to be interviewing, whether that is in person or over Skype / Google Hangouts. As a Freelance Designer, I work on a mixture of projects from UI design to branding and occasionally motion graphics and print.

How long have you been doing this for and what did you do before?

It will be two years this August, prior to this I worked full-time as a Graphic Designer at a branding agency in Shoreditch. I loved my job, but working within the creative industry also allowed me to witness the lack of diversity and lack of representation. The average graphic designer is still a white middle aged male so a black female Graphic Designer in the UK I am something of a rarity.

Can you think of any key challenges you had to overcome and how did you battle them to get to where you are?

I would say I am still battling them as there are new challenges every day, BetterShared exists to inspire, promote and connect people so the business element is something that has only recently manifested. Asking people for help was something I wasn’t so keen on at the beginning but it has been crucial – especially if you are launching something on your own. It’s not a bad thing if you can’t do it all or you need help once in awhile, without the help of my team who jumped onto BetterShared from the idea phase – it would have stayed as just that, an idea.

Another example was our birthday event, we underestimated the scale and it ended up going way over budget. We were trying to fit too many things into one event until we realised that sometimes less is more, on the day we scaled it back and the event was a success, the people, the music, and vibes were magical. Although I’m a lover of lists, at times you need to be able to think on your feet.

What is the dream, or where would you like to see yourself in five or ten years?

The dream would be to be one of if not the largest creative network in the world, somewhere that creatives know they can connect to one another and find future icons.

Personally, I would love to be balancing a business and motherhood as I would hope to have at least one or two lil’ ones by then.

How do you find balancing lifestyle and downtime with your job?

Most of the time even when I am supposed to be ‘taking time out’ I am thinking about BetterShared, since I have started I have found it hard to switch off from it completely. I do make the effort, however, to ensure I still see my friends and family and turn my notifications off when I’m relaxing, especially on holiday. It’s hard, but I think it’s necessary to give your mind a rest or at least find time to take up a hobby, it’s not always easy I do find weeks or months when downtime feels non-existent but then I will give myself a few days of chill after a hectic period. I’m definitely making more of an effort this year to focus on my well-being.

If you could give one piece of advice to a young spark looking to start their business, what would that be?

Don’t be afraid to just try things, the hardest part (as cheesy as it sounds) is just starting. I posted a launch date on Insta before we had even edited our first piece of video content. It was scary and looking back I may have done things differently but it forced me to make an idea a reality. Also, stick to it, a lot of people expect overnight success and it generally takes a lot longer than you’d expect. If you’re looking for an easy ride you’re probably in the wrong profession, it’s a brilliant feeling to know something you have imagined or dreamt of is finally happening but you have to be prepared to work your ass off to get it there.

What has been your favourite event you have attended this month? If not month, this year?

Bloom The Film launch last year was brilliant, I loved the accompanying exhibition which featured female artists from across the globe who created pieces in response to the coming-of-age film. The film itself is moving and the work was beautiful, they also included little details such as the bike from the film and flowers were scattered across the exhibition. Huge s/o to Jesse Gassongo-Alexander, the Writer, Director and Curator of the film and exhibition. Also Screened Nights – a summer screening of shorts by up and coming Directors. They had summer and winter events, it such a good concept can’t wait for their 2017 edition!

And finally, what do you think is the best part about being an upcoming, self-employed business owner right now?

The best part for me is knowing that I am working on something I’ve built that I’m truly passionate about – you spend over half of your life working so it may as well be on something you enjoy. Also in the age of social, it’s much easier to reach an audience and connect with people whether that’s for advice, partnerships or even testing ideas.

Thank you so much for talking to us and telling us about your experiences! We can’t wait for the screening! 

Make sure to check out Better Shared’s website here and follow them on Twitter.

And RSVP for the screening here!

Do you have any tips or advice on how to overcome challenges in the working world? Let us know by talking to us on Twitter!

Why not email the author about featuring on the blog or getting in touch with yada Events app. rhys.terrar@yada.events

Try out the app and see how you can use it for your next event management project.

Download it on the App Store or Google Play and follow us

online:

www.yada.events

Work Hard. Play Hard. – Sam Way

We speak to singer-songwriter Sam Way about his work/life balance as he makes his way, carving out a life, and a career in the big smoke.

Music and the arts are a big talking point right now with a move away from faceless corporate jobs towards the dream of ‘making your stamp on your industry’. But what is it really like for a young adult trying to make their way in an ever-condensing market of signers and songwriters? Read Sam’s answers to find out.

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How would you describe your style of music and who are some of your main inspirations?

 For me, before style, comes the song. Everything starts by the working with an instrument, working with the words, and the meaning of the song itself. In terms of production, the new album leans towards an ‘epic indie pop’ sound, but I’m always open to finding the ‘right’ production values for the song itself, but then again, is there a ‘right’ answer. I guess you just have to trust your ears. I grew up relishing the word play and dynamism of EMINEM, got really into this the sound of dubstep and it’s pioneers like BENGA, but lately I’ve been so inspired by reading Patty Smiths incredible bio, ‘Just Kids’ But the most inspiring things to me in terms of songwriting are the relationships I have, the people around me and the stories we carry.

 

How long have you been doing this for and what did you do before?

 My first release was in 2014 – I had originally moved up to London to pursue the unlikely career – it felt weird at the time anyway – as a male model. I was scouted when I was 16 and moved up here to the big smoke when I was 21. I only really picked up the guitar and started songwriting a years or two into living here, kind of as therapy, to process everything that was going on in my life at the time.

 

Can you think of any key challenges you had to overcome and how did you battle them to get to where you are?

 Absolutely, challenges are everywhere. I guess in a way I’m proud of the fact I just did what I did, I believed in myself from the very beginning, and always did things my own way. No pun intended. (lol) I met a few people in the industry who said they would help and ultimately just provided me with resistance, or who made a lot of promises and then didn’t come through. That just taught me, ‘you always have to drive the bus’ I obviously fucked up a whole lot too, broke strings onstage, had moments of doubt and frustration, highs and lows – but I never stopped loving having found an creative outlet, and always chipped away at what has become my craft,

What is the dream, or where would you like to see yourself in five or ten years?

 There are ample dreams, I want to play Glasto, the Pyramid stage – the crowd to sing your song back at you. That would fill me with tears I think. That would be a dream. I want one of my songs to be on the end credits of some incredible film, the sort where everyone leaves the cinema in awe. I want to tour the world, singing everyday, meeting new people and working with other creators to create work that challenges us as artists and the people who listen to it. This is a long way off, but one day, I want to be the ‘cool, weird old granddad’ who sings to my children’s children –  makes them laugh, makes them think about life, and make them fall in love with music 

 How do you find balancing lifestyle and downtime with your music?

 For me it’s all about, health, micro-goals, focusing, yoga, and space – one that I have to create just so I can be creative. Time management is key when your entire life is in flux, and planning, if you don’t plan ahead, by more than 3 months at least, then your not going about things the right way.

 

If you could give one piece of advice to a young spark looking to start in the music industry, what would that be?

 Use everything you’ve got going for you, start with you friends, if there’re not going to support you, you have an uphill struggle ahead. Be brave, invest in yourself, and be realistic too. Don’t stress, when is stress ever worth it. Don’t even focus on making it, whatever that means to you. But set your own definition of success and stick to that. Believe. Work with other people. Never Stop learning, and…of course….drive that bus….

 

What has been your favourite event you have attended this month? If not month, this year?

 I enjoyed the DIESEL party that was in a warehouse space in east London back in Feb – for fashion week. It was a totally unplanned adventure, and I even made a music video out if it too. 😉 (Now that’s a hustle)

And finally, what do you think is the best part about being an upcoming musician right now?

 Life is honestly, exciting….what more can you want?….

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Thank you so much for talking to us and telling us about your experiences! We love the new single, pretty liability which came out today! (which you can listen to here) and make sure to check out Sam on Twitter and Instagram

Do you have any tips or advice on how to overcome challenges in the working world? Let us know by talking to us on Twitter!

Why not email the author about featuring on the blog or getting in touch with yada Events app: rhys.terrar@yada.events

Try out the app and see how you can use it for your next event management project.

Download it on the App Store or Google Play and follow us

online:

www.yada.events

 

Work Hard – Play Hard. Lucie Chiocchetti (Bonjour Lucie)

These are a few interview style questions that we put to Lucie (Bonjour Lucie) about her battle with work life balance as she slogs it about in the city as graphic designer and as a creative art director.

Start-up projects and entrepreneurship are a big talking point right now with a move away from faceless corporate jobs towards the dream of ‘making your stamp on your industry’. But what is it really like for a young adult trying to make their way in an ever-condensing market of agencies  and freelancers? Read Lucie’s answers to find out.

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What is your role now and what are the main responsibilities for you?

My role? I don’t know if I could shrink it to “one” role: I’m both the director and the employees of my business at the moment, so I wear all of the company hats: sales, strategy, marketing, business development, actual work for clients, etc. I’d say that my main responsibility is to be in charge of business development (finding clients) so my business keeps running.

How long have you been doing this for and what did you do before?

It’s been 9 months, but truly I’ve been only business developing for 2 months as I was working with one major retain client for the previous 7 months.

Before that I was a simple in-house designer, I’ve been working as a designer across the design industry for 3 years after graduating and worked in institutions, retailers and creative agencies. I tried them all and decided that I wanted to create my own path.

Can you think of any key challenges you had to overcome and how did you battle them to get to where you are?

I think one of the biggest challenges is having to answer to your friends and family. They often tell you that “you work really hard but where’s the result?” Trying to explain them that no business starts in one day. You need time to establish it, try things, develop your own way of doing it etc… It takes time. It’s not easy to overcome because yes, you see the time you spend on it and the little result. But I think you need to have faith in yourself and just keep working. Hard work always pays off.

A more business oriented challenge is to simply to acknowledge that I was doing BUSINESS. I’m a designer by trade and in design schools they don’t tell you how to sell your brand, they tell you how to create brands for other people. I wasn’t prepared for the conviction and confidence you need in a business/sales role as well! However, I’ve learned that you just need to kick yourself out of your comfort zone and just go for it, and learn. Learning comes with practicing, the more you practice the better you become. Networking events are the best place to start.

What is the dream, or where would you like to see yourself in five or ten years?

What I’ve noticed from being a designer in an agency, there were 2 big challenges:

1. Facing a work environment that has a lack of culture or leadership, and feeling like a easily replaceable resource to the company

2. Confronting clients that are feeling let down by creative agencies because either the agency will just do whatever the client asks to get the invoice paid, or alternatively, the agency is so good that they simply don’t listen to their clients anymore and just do whatever they want to push out their own style out.

My ambition in creating my business was (and still is) to challenge those problems and prove the world that it is:

  1. Possible to do business AND have productive employees with open minded and healthy work environments (and I’m not talking about offering snacks at the cafeteria) and still make profit.
  2. Allow people to trust the creative industry again by offering them a real partnership on projects, based on honesty and a genuinely creative approach.

The dream is to develop this business into a proper agency with people on board, but most of all having the recognition from both the inside (employee) and the outside (clients) that we offer a truly different service than any other creative or marketing agency.

How do you find balancing lifestyle and downtime with your job?

TE-RRI-BLE

I’m a perfectionist (yes, a super cliché one!) which means, I don’t know when to stop. Then all of the sudden, my body just tells me off and I’m spending a whole day in bed (feeling super guilty of being in bed all day) because I just can’t do anything else.

It’s something I’m really working on. I’m trying to install routines and force myself to have work hours times and break times and “me” times. It is a long way to get there as I’m still “working too much” but when you’re your own boss and you have to manage every tiny piece of information and detail of your business, it’s hard to let go and find the time to stop.

I think this is another big challenge and I guess step by step you learn how to manage your time (and I’m still learning!).

If you could give one piece of advice to a young spark looking to start their business, what would that be?

Before your start I would recommend to sit down and take the time to list everything that’s involved in being your own boss:

  • being your own accountant/social media manager
  • to having to learn more about business or finding clients,
  • noticing that you might not make any profit in your first year and that you’ll have to make sacrifices on a lot of things… take the time to realise how much it will cost and take you to do it and what will be your responsibilities.

Now this list will be scary AS F. But you have to stay neutral to it and ask yourself honestly: am I ready for that?

If yes, then: Embrace your fears, jump out of your comfort zone, ask for help whenever you need it, build your network, believe in your work, work hard and do it!

To quote the film director Xavier Dolan who once said in Canne: “ I believe everything is possible to those who dream, dare, work and never give up”

What has been your favourite event you have attended this month? If not month, this year?

This month I’m very excited about the Q&A I’m hosting for students of my old  design school. They’re coming from France to meet with a few design agencies and I will meet them to answer their questions about what it’s like to starting up in London as a designer.

And finally, what do you think is the best part about being an upcoming, self-employed business owner right now?

I CAN DO IT MY WAY! I no longer get told “how it should be” or “how you should do” or “this is how WE do it, so you do it this way” etc. I get to create my own rules and how the business should be and this is delighting.

Thank you so much for talking to us and telling us about your experiences! We love your designs and blogs. Check out Lucie’s website/blog, follow her on Twitter and of course like her Facebook page

Do you have any tips or advice on how to overcome challenges in the working world? Let us know by talking to us on Twitter!

Why not email the author about featuring on the blog or getting in touch with yada Events app. rhys.terrar@yada.events

Try out the app and see how you can use it for your next event management project.

Download it on the App Store or Google Play and follow us

online:

www.yada.events