As a secondary student at Cotham School who is fascinated by the digital marketing world, here are some of the amazing experiences and meetings I had whilst doing my work experience with Studio Cotton.
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1. Lauren Aston Designs: Website Upgrade Check-in
Lauren Aston Designs (a.k.a LAD) is an innovative and unique small business that sells comfy and cosy knitwear and knit kits, developed by Lauren Aston’s creativity.
They have turned what some might call a ‘boring’ or ‘old fashioned’ activity into a modern and fashionable one whilst being sustainable, eco-friendly and inclusive. There is more to see on their website here.
During the meeting on reskinning their website, I have noticed plenty of factors that are considered when creating a webpage.
One of them was how important it is to keep it clean and clear for customers to access. Customers generally like to purchase products quickly and easily without having to think too much about it (as we can be a bit lazy at times).
Another factor was how to bring inclusivity into the website and brand to make customers feel included and understood when viewing the product.
I must say, I wouldn’t have thought that there were many aspects to acknowledge when creating a website before starting my work experience, but it is great that I am able to learn about them at Studio Cotton.
2. Studio Cotton: Team Status Meeting
Every Tuesday morning at Studio Cotton, there’s a team status meeting where the whole team come together to discuss the different tasks each of the members have completed, what are the new tasks and what meeting to attend for that week. They also use this time to plan and schedule ahead on any other events or work that will need to be completed.
However, what I thought was really lovely was how they also spend the time catching up with one another and see how everyone is doing, creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere.
3. The Agency Collective: Membership Network Enquiry
Something that I have always heard is that running a small business or agency can be difficult and stressful. So, organisations like The Agency Collective recognise the reality and offer to help agencies, like Studio Cotton with their struggles and challenges.
They are a peer support group that deals with issues a business may face in legal, marketing, management. As well as encouraging the small businesses to work together and to share inspiration.
The Agency Collective originally contacted Studio Cotton around a year ago, but the founder, Aime Cox wasn’t interested in being apart of a peer support group. Now, she has decided to learn more about them and consider their help.
One particular thing that caught my eye about The Agency Collective was how they are aiming to encourage more women into taking a leadership role in small and big business industry through their campaign, #ACPledge Women in Agencies.
As a girl myself, I deeply understand the gender inequality in this industry, which makes motivating more women very crucial to me as it sets out more representative role models to look up to and inspires many others.
4. Lucy Meek: Website Project Planning Meeting
Lucy Meek created the PR agency Arrow to represent small businesses and to help them get press attention by setting them up with the right journalist.
She is persistent on offering an affordable, flexible and effective service to grow and develop small businesses. However, in the meeting with Studio Cotton, she was discussing expanding her services by paying more attention on growing small businesses’ social media, content, and SEO.
Lucy and Aime discussed about a way to promote more sustainability in her agency. I learnt that there are different ways in which a business or agency may be more sustainable such as, donating a percentage of their profit to maintain trees or for every purchase that they receive, a tree is planted.
This was interesting because not only does it improve an eco-friendly environment but also helps to promote the business.
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5. Sophie Home: Website Project Consultation
Sophie Home is a small business that is located in South East London. They design cotton knit throws, cushions, baby blankets, nursery accessories and more (you can look at them on their website here), but their cushions are the most popular with their customers. Sophie Home was found almost 10 years ago.
In fact, it will be their 10 year anniversary next spring! Sophie (the founder of Sophie Home) wanted to drive her optimism into creating a businesses that was joyful and lively, like her.
Aime had a meeting with Sophie Home to discuss on how Studio Cotton might help them redesign their website. They talked about different elements that they could improve or add in order to upgrade their website, in which I learnt about the many ways Studio Cotton help their clients.
One of the main things was how Studio Cotton is able to design their clients website so that it is unique and adapted to that that particular small businesses, making it seem more professional and less tacky. They also support small businesses to increase their SEO and user experience, including through the Studio Cotton blog.
6. Mimi Granell : Interview With Aime
Mimi Granell is a masters student at UWE in Bristol and a freelance writer – see her blogs here. She is currently writing her final paper on the “problem faced (by women mainly) in different creative industries”.
She wanted to know the problems faced in digital marketing industry, so she contacted Aime and set up an interview to discuss Aime’s own experience as a women who runs a small business.
In the interview, Aime spoke about her journey and what lead her to create Studio Cotton as well as the struggles she faced in previous jobs. Unfortunately, a recurring problem that’s he had to endure in those jobs was the misogyny from her peers.
However, she also learnt a lot about the marketing industry and other aspects in business, which an allowed her to create her own small business – Studio Cotton.
When I heard about her journey, I understood that there are always going to be challenges (some worse than others) but it is vital to know that there is always lights and hope at the end. This was definitely an important thing that I will take away from my work experience.
7. CCW: Website Project Planning Meeting
CCW is an independent business that retails outdoor clothing for men and women, even dogs. It established in 1985 and now has three successful stores across Scotland (see all three stores on their website). CCW is also a family business, owned by the Geddes family.
Emily Geddes came down to Bristol and met Aime to plan and discuss their redesign of their website. Emily and Aime started by discussing on how to make more customers aware of the different stores they have especially, the café in one of the stores, through their website.
They were figuring out a way for their website to be more organised and accessible by rearranging their products and choosing a new colour palette. This reminded me of the beginning of my work experience, where Aime was say how important it is to keep your website as organised and practical for all customers to have an easy access.
After only a week of work experience at Studio Cotton I have learnt and improved so much; not only on things on digital marketing but also valuable skill such as management skills and confidence.
In addition, I learnt about importance of SEO, what Spec work is, the different aspects that are considered when designing a website, the way a small business functions and much, much more.
It was an amazing time and I am grateful that the team was kind and welcoming and that Aime gave me the opportunity to do my work experience at Studio Cotton.