"Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength".
Oval Station's "thought of the day", 4th June 2017.
The original subject for this post was going to be our first year in pictures. But after the horrific London attacks that happened over the weekend I want to dedicate these words to my home, my city and the place not only of my birth but also of Mac&Moore.
London has long been seen as an epicentre for creativity, entrepreneurship and collaboration and with hindsight has been the perfect place for us to set-up on our own startup journey. This city has made me the person I am today, a person I’m really proud of. It's not only allowed me to cut my teeth in the best place in the world for advertising but also introduced me to a whole host of talented and wonderful individuals I’m lucky to call colleagues and friends.
So here are a few words as a tribute about why I believe London is such a great city to live and work in and why I believe it will continue to inspire a creative and diverse community for generations to come.
Women's rights matter
Great creative work can only happen, in my belief, when you are open minded to other people’s opinions & values. One of the main things we strive to do at Mac&Moore is to hero the contribution women have to our society and how much we can achieve as a collective. The communities we’ve joined and the events we’ve attended across London have not only empowered us but given us the opportunity to witness camaraderie on an incredible level. Taking part in the Women's March earlier this year allowed us to experience first hand the resilience and fighting spirit of London. It felt amazing to be part of a movement that was uniting to fight for good.
London is also home to the wonderful Women Who whom I would like to thank for their amazing networking events and voice. Also on our thank you list are WACL & their Gather event and all of the brilliant women we’ve worked with so far along our journey. You’ve made such a difference to us and have pushed us to keep striving for the equality we know we deserve. A special tribute as well to our amazing fellow #girlbosses Tori, Josi and Sophie whom we work with day-to-day & who make work a fun and creative process. There may still be work to be done on getting gender equality but i'm certain the people of London are leading the way.
A home for first class creative talent
These past 11 years I’ve learnt to not produce any work that I’m less than proud of. This isn’t just for reputation reasons, but also because I believe great work makes a real difference – for businesses, people (clients and staff alike) as well as ourselves. Great work isn’t possible without great collaboration. Our business set-up means we work with world class freelancers on a number of different projects. Without beautiful and thoughtful design, excellent and thorough web development amongst a whole host of other freelance skills we wouldn’t be able to achieve the great end results we have for our clients. London has no shortage of great creative and entrepreneurial talent and spirit and we’re so excited to be able to tap into it. There's no surprise that some of the most world-renowned brands and creative businesses have head quarters in our fair city.
A particular “shout out” to two of our favourite fellow #girldonegood designers Danii Kedik and Vicky Barlow who have worked alongside us on various Mac&Moore projects. May we continue to work (and drink wine) together for years to come.
Finally I can't forget to thank Nat. Even though she's a sassy queen she is also the best partner in crime I could ask for. It's been incredible to watch her confidence and talent grow over the past year and i'm lucky to work alongside someone who produces magnificent and intelligent work full of authenticity and honesty. Her voice and writing is going to do amazing things, I know it.
We’re made of strong stuff
For anyone reading this that isn’t a British citizen we have long lived within a stereotype of stiff upper lip, tea drinking and stoicism. London is also, at times, a tough place to live. It’s a busy and sometimes lonely city. Having said that I’m beyond proud of being a Londoner. The grit and determination I have as a result of living and growing up in part here has allowed me to bounce back after personal and professional knock backs. I’m a fighter – for what I believe in, for doing things properly and helping others as well as myself. I can also can feel the collective strength and spirit of our city even through the darkest of moments.
I know Nat feels just as strongly that her home town of Manchester, a city that has also in recent times come under attack, has contributed to her character and perseverance when times have gotten tough. I also believe that it's fantastic to have a partnership that represent two of the best cities in the UK, if not the world. Manchester, London - we'll do you proud, we promise.
Start-ups and small businesses thrive in London and continue to do so. I’ve mentioned how we’ve got involved in a number of freelance and start-up events and communities across London. What I’ve been so amazed by is how willing people are to help each other and offer out advice. We have a network of amazing people we work with and we often meet for coffee/drinks to discuss new ideas, the best way to handle the ups & downs and our mentors who have given their sage advice in exchange for a glass of wine or friendly chat. What is even better is the diversity of people we meet and from all different disciplines, backgrounds and nationalities. This diversity offers us different points of views and perspectives allowing our work to have more depth and creativity.
We've worked with individuals who are from all corners of the globe who we've been lucky to meet in London. One of these folk is Cornell Tukiri (a kiwi, once a fellow Londoner and now residing in South Africa #jetsetter) who's featured on our blog and took the photograph within this post at London Bridge, a place we've often visited and will continue to do so.
I know London will continue to be home to so many amazing people from around the world who have so much to contribute to our society and culture.
So Happy 1st Birthday Mac&Moore and may this be the first of many more to come.
Thank you London for making it all possible. May you continue to offer the world amazing talent, spirit, courage and wonderful communities. We love you and we'll never stop fighting the good fight.