Writing this series, #TeamCoco get a lot of enquiries from readers looking to make the leap from working in-house, as an employee with less of the freedom but all of the paid holiday and perks – to the wide open road of running your own thing.
Today, we chat with Abigail, founder of creative business You&Me Collective.
HOC: Hey, Abigail! Let’s start with the tricky stuff… What’s your elevator pitch for You&Me Collective?
Abigail: We are a London based luxury boutique digital marketing team. I head-up and manage an incredibly creative dream-team of marketing experts; from social media management, PR and communications to website design and photography. You & Me was created to inspire businesses, help them grow and create their digital dream.
HOC: Sounds awesome. Where did it all start, what was your first job?
Abigail: I have always worked in hospitality. Starting as a waitress when I was 18, I worked hard and in stressful environments which prepared me for my first leap to the City with a bespoke Events Management Agency. From there I grew a passion for design, creativity and that end goal – my job was to design fabulous parties and immersive themes for Christmas, corporates and milestone birthdays!
HOC: From there, how did you come to starting your own communications company?
Abigail: I was asked by one of my friends if I could manage their social media, I loved it. My job at the time was managing content for a fast paced platform similar to a magazine format, which allowed me to grow my skills for content creation, growth hacking and being on top of the news constantly.
I knew I always wanted to have my own business, with the plan to move away from the City and create a flexible life for my partner and I, so this passion just exploded a need for You & Me. I decided to leave my job (which was very tough!) and take the risk to go it alone – the best risk I have ever taken.
HOC: What is about your industry / job that you love?
Abigail: Everyone and every digital concept is so unique. One moment the team are working with a luxury beauty company on the communications, pulling strings to launch a new app or with a bespoke catering company that sends private chefs to client’s homes. From PR to photography, every day is different and creative – my brain is thanking me for choosing a career that makes it be creative every single day. Plus, I get to work with the most amazing people.
HOC: Who would be your dream client?
Abigail: Without sounding too cliche, I love all of my clients and thank the stars for sending them my way – every single direction is different and we don’t work with competitors of our clients so its a wide variety of industries. We have just signed with one of London’s biggest hotel groups which was a huge win for us. But, a dream client, I would say is Mulberry, I would LOVE to delve behind their marketing, find out what makes such an iconic brand tick as well as getting to see and photograph the latest lines.
HOC: It you weren’t doing this, what could have career plan B looked like?
Abigail: I would still be in a full-time job, counting my 21 days holiday! I loved events and it was a huge decision to leave, but I think if I wasn’t doing this I’d have had to travel and find some new inspiration.
HOC: You offer a whole range of services, how do you manage it all?
Abigail: That’s all down to my amazing team! Without Charlotte and Louise I would struggle to manage everything for sure; Charlotte is our Social and Content Director who oversees all social media services and Louise and I tackle large PR and communications briefs and Campaign Management together; they both continue to keep me calm, we have regular future planning meetings (with a lot of gin) and work together to smash those goals. I strongly believe in the power of your team, people work for people, we celebrate every win and help each other with every speed bump.
When you own your own business, its a 24 hour love, I work hard and long hours but it’s never ‘work’, its my passion and we just can’t wait to see what the future brings for You & Me.
HOC: What are your favourite productivity hacks?
Abigail: Loud music, a well-organised todo list and some great coffee! I love to use Toggl to keep track of my productive hours and take a break (whether its a gym class, team lunch or online shopping) in the middle of the day to let my brain rest, ready for the evening.
HOC: What’s your work set up like, do you have an office you go to everyday or are you out on the road? If on the road, tell us a secret about an amazing place to work from that you might not have thought about?
Abigail: I have an office, I work there mostly everyday – although some weeks I’m out on the road Monday to Friday. Louise and I found a spot yesterday at Montcalm London Royal House in their Burdock restaurant; it had such a buzz whilst being a great place to chat, take a phone call and eat great food – as well as endless plugs and phone chargers in the table – an essential for out of the office working. But that’s a secret just for you, we don’t want it to get too busy now!
HOC: The ’10 years ago’ challenge is all the rage on insta at the moment, what advice do you have for the 2009 you?
Abigail: Studying isn’t everything, have fun, don’t worry, it’ll all work out in the end. I know that’s such bad advice for a young adult but I was obsessed with good grades and I wasn’t as creative as I am now. My childhood friend Jess would be jumping up and down that I have finally admitted that. I’d tell young-me to pick up a pencil and draw, dust your camera off and also, you will turn out like your parents!