Situated in the heart of Lancaster our studio is very much in Lancashire, we were both born at Lancaster hospital, a few years apart, (sorry Rob) and we both continue to live here now.
Being Morecambe born and bred is something we are both immensely proud of and definitely has it’s advantages.
Lancaster and Morecambe boasts a large creative community. It’s definitely thriving, with more creative studios and agencies appearing, talented freelancers and technology and digital innovators. It’s somewhere which will continue growing and encouraging creative and digital innovation.
For the rest of this blog, Bekkie’s going to talk about some of things she’s been up to over the last couple of months in Lancashire.
We are both passionate about encouraging people to do what they’re passionate about and that they can achieve anything if they work hard regardless of age, gender, background or where you’re from. I spoke to sixth form students at my old high school, Morecambe Bay Academy, about this in March.
I was invited as an ex pupil to inspire the 50+ students and discuss how “being from Morecambe” doesn’t mean you can’t be successful – you can do anything you want if you work hard & are passionate.
I wasn’t there to push university or tell them all to get jobs, or careers in design, just there to open their eyes to the possibilities out there.
In February I found out I’d been accepted on to the next cohort of Lancashire Forum. Hosted by Matt Hutchinson, the Lancashire Forum is a 6 month programme delivered by Lancaster University Management School, as part of Boost Business Lancashire. The programme helps business owners grow their business. Whilst the physical programme has been postponed, since Lockdown I’ve already found advantages to being part of such a successful Lancashire programme. I’ve connected with clients and business owners that have been on the programme who have shared their experiences and offered advice that they learnt on the course. One new acquaintance talked me through her experience of the business model canvas exercise and how it revolutionised her business and how adding in terms, contracts and process helped streamline her business. These are connections I might not have made without the programme. Whilst the programme is still to go ahead physically post lockdown I’m looking forward to starting the student Consultancy project and business model canvas in coming weeks.
Another great Lancashire networking opportunity was the SUB36 social hosted by Richard Slater. Whilst Lancashire has an abundance of talent the SUB36 community and awards celebrate those young business leaders and owners, under the age of 36, who are making an impact in their respective fields.
During the social we got to hear from past winners of the SUB36 awards, as well as Marco Vaghetti, founder of LANX Shoes, who shared his experience of growing his business. Post the event I was able to connect with other like minded business owners and find potential new suppliers.
Finally another Lancashire lockdown initiative I’ve been part of is Boost Business Lancashire ‘Get talking with like-minded business people’ – a weekly forum to discuss current business-related issues with a group of peers, whilst also a networking opportunity.
Unfortunately the COVID-19 pandemic is undoubtedly changing the economic future and this forum gives us a chance to look at and envision what the ‘new normal’ is going to look like, with the majority of us working from home this forum is a safe space to discuss everything from social distancing to furlough and beyond.
Whilst traditional networking isn’t really my thing, this Boost group has given me a safe place to hear from other business owners and how they’re adapting whilst also giving me a weekly routine. What is has also shed light on is again the amount of wonderful and successful businesses in Lancashire – in a range of industries!
Whilst this is a snapshot of some of things I’ve been up to in Lancashire in the recent months there are so many more reasons we are proud to be located here. With a rich history, amazing small businesses (and food businesses) local to us, several prestigious universities and an abundance of talent, Lancashire and Lancaster in particular will only get stronger, more competitive and continue to be a phenomenal place to live and work. Somewhere we are proud to be.