I love celebrating small businesses, especially in my local area. I’ve lived in and around Tunbridge Wells, in Kent in the south of England since 2004. Another fabulous duo who love championing local independents businesses are Emma and Kayleigh from Small Fry Marketing.
They offer a bespoke service ranging from creative marketing, social media, event planning and business development. I thought it was about time they had the LadyM Meets interview series treatment so let’s get down to it
Q. What encouraged you to get into this industry and what was your route into it?
Kayleigh: After completing my Business and Psychology degree, I went into Marketing and spent a number of years working for large organisations. When I entered the world of work, Social Media had really taken off and in my spare time I enjoyed following people in the area. I soon engaged in conversation with many of them including No.6 Clinic. After exchanging tweets I visited for a facial and ended up falling in love with the business as a client. After having a few facials with the business owner we formed a friendship and she asked if I would help with their business development, 4 years later I am still there, and now work alongside other independents.
Emma: My background is in art and design (I studied Fine Art at Uni and have my own illustration business Peas-in-a-Pod) yet my path merged into marketing whilst managing an auction house. It seemed a natural fit for me, yet one I hadn’t really thought about until I started doing it. I’ve always been a creative thinker and using this as a way to problem solve, build strategies and develop brands has become second nature. I took professional qualifications after i’d been working in the industry for four years and never looked back!
We met around 3 years ago and clicked as both friends and marketers, complimenting one another’s skills. Through working, networking and engaging with the local market we noticed there was demand from small businesses to have help with their marketing efforts, no matter how big or small they or their plans are, so we act as either their marketing team or teach them the tools to do it themselves. With our shared appreciation of the local area and passion about helping small businesses to thrive, Small Fry Marketing was born!
Q. What is a typical working day for you?
Our business is so varied and that’s why we love it. We are often out and about at new client meetings, delivering training sessions to groups of business owners – we call these our ‘Small Clinics’, content planning for clients or developing our own business strategies.
Q. Where are you based, how much of an inspiration is your city and what are your favourite cities around the world?
We are based in and around the Tunbridge Wells area. The independent businesses and entrepreneurial people of Tunbridge Wells are the reason we set up Small Fry. Locality is really important to us – supporting what is on your doorstep is so vital and at the heart of what we’re about.
Kayleigh: I love travelling and found this question hard to answer but I would choose most places in Thailand, if you haven’t been I urge you to go.
Emma: I love anywhere that has a vibrant arts community – Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Brighton, Folkestone. I have a lot of love for places that support their home grown talent and I do adore the Great British seaside!
Q. What’s the most rewarding part of your work? What is your greatest accomplishment so far?
Finding out the ‘who’ behind the ‘what’ is always so inspiring to us and working with independent business owners affords us the opportunity to hear their journeys and see their talents, both personally and business related; which is why when we help our clients meet their objectives, it is even more rewarding. Our greatest accomplishment so far was our recent Christmas collaboration with St John’s are of the town and business owners based there. The aim was to help promote the independent shopping area and hid ‘St John the Christmas bear’ in shop window displays. We received a lot of support from the local community and gained fantastic PR for St Johns as well as the charity we supported.
Q. What is next for you? What are your goals for 2017?
Our goals for 2017 are to meet exciting new businesses and people, to continue to provide the best possible service for our existing clients and to have a successful campaign as mentioned above.
Quick Fire Round
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Kayleigh: Passionate, compassionate and optimistic.
Emma: Thoughtful, creative, inquisitive
Who would play you in a movie about your life?
Kayleigh: Margot Robbie – we look nothing alike but who wouldn’t want to be played by her!
Emma: Marion Cotillard – she’s just so captivating!
Who is your ultimate style icon?
Kayleigh: I follow lots of inspirational women on Instagram and through this see honest, affordable fashion advice; I would say they are my current style icons.
Emma: Like Kayleigh, I’m inspired by so many that it’s hard to choose – the important thing to me is that it’s not just what they look like, it’s also what they’re about. I love Dawn O’Porter – I love her vintage inspired Bob by Dop Collection, feminist backbone, ethical views and she has a killer fringe to boot.
Bonus Question – if you didn’t do the job you do now – what would be your dream job and where?
Kayleigh: I would like to be a yoga teacher in the Maldives…
Emma: Writing and illustrating children’s books, living by the sea…
Wow, I certainly wish I was joining Kayleigh and Emma by the sea in the Maldives.. perhaps with a glass of something cool and sparkly!
You can follow Small Fry Marketing via social media while we wait for their fab website to be finished;