Taking a seat at the table

The potential life impact of agreeing to meet for a chat over coffee and cake should never be underestimated. I had met Heather previously at a working lunch hosted by a shared acquaintance; she could not stay to the end as she had to a attend a very well organised pub crawl – there was a map and everything!  As someone who is not a big drinker, and has the directional skills of a bat with its echolocation on the fritz, I will confess to finding the concept of trying to follow a map whilst drunk rather disquieting.

For some reason, our paths crossed on various projects in one respect or another for the next couple of months. It became clear we had common ground in many areas of our lives, and obviously realising we both had a love of cake, coffee, the 90s Seattle grunge movement and rescue cats led to a lot of messages. In fact, it is safe to say that on any day 60% of our messages still relate to those subjects.

At this time I was happily running a commercial marketing agency and had decided to take a year at a slower pace to look at social enterprises. Heather was already running one, so she seemed like an excellent person to have coffee and cake with. In case anyone reading this is short on time or has a limited attention span, the spoiler alert is that my commercial agency ramped up to previously unseen levels of work and client diversity and I became a Director of four CICs within the next few months. As I said at the beginning, the potential life impact of a cup of coffee and a piece of cake should never be underestimated.

I should be clear, I am not a copywriter by trade, never claimed to be, never pretended to be and to be fair, never even considered being a copywriter. But I can write, have written commercially and enjoy writing; however, I prefer to write about what I want to write about, and that is not the role of a copywriter.

You are probably wondering why the bloody hell I would a) be asked to become a director of a copywriting CIC and b) why the hell I would say yes. I’m not entirely sure we had the answers to those questions at the time, although Heather says it is because I needed a copywriter and they had sad faces…

But I was invited to sit at the table, to be clear this is an actual table, in Heather’s dining room, every Tuesday morning, she provides the coffee and I often provide the cake, Annie, the duchess of grammar and proper sentence structure, makes up the trio, she brings glamour and class as standard, and heart, so much heart, to every meeting.

Time has shown why we gravitated to each other, I bring commercial and organisation skills into what is an undervalued and poorly understood creative area. I bring tender- and bid-writing skills, structure and order, but possibly equally importantly I bring understanding, mediation and flexibility when creative chaos is needed by those around me. Obviously, I also bring baked goods and perhaps more randomly the odd stray cat to those in need, probably not the birthday present Heather was expecting.

Heather has a rather nifty talent that I had not previously come across, and, no, I am not talking about her ability to be able to spot a stray oxford comma after a few drinks, although I struggle with them sober. Heather can create a unique tone of voice of any business she meets, she follows up that skill with what could be potentially an even more impressive one – she can then write about any topic in that tone of voice.

As cake has been mentioned repetitively throughout this blog I shall use the saying “the proof is in the pudding”, although that has been bastardised over the years. Kitchen Table Creative CIC works. We have taken three very different skills, three very different personality types and have gone from strength to strength, from helping one-man bands create their first online presence, through to delivering well-known campaigns either directly to clients or via agencies. The KTC team (as it is loving referred to) is able to stand proud by its body of work and declare itself pretty bloody awesome.

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