When I set We Launch up in April 2010 I had absolutely no idea which individuals would play a part in the future of the business – I simply wanted to build a creative agency that did things a little bit differently, working with people and organisations that inspire us and which aimed higher than everyone else.
Since then we’ve met a lot of people. Startup founders that have either smashed it out of the park, or who never even made it to the start line. Established companies that had the courage of their convictions, or those that succumbed to decades of old-school thinking. Global brands that made a difference, or who got overtaken by the younger challengers. As a team, we love nothing more than seeing our work and ideas achieve something – to solve problems, make a positive difference to our clients’ businesses, and to help them change their part of the world in the process. And that’s always true – no matter whether we’re helping to rebrand an investment bank in New York, a non-profit organisation in Rio, or a startup snack brand in the UK. These were the things I hoped we’d experience – and get to achieve – each and every year.
Personally though, there has been something else that has provided an even greater sense of pride. And it is something I really didn’t anticipate would have such an impact on me as We Launch became more established. At the start, there was just me – working on a spare desk in a clients’ office in Mayfair. And then I sat down in a pub in Herne Hill with an impressively switched on, impossibly bright, creatively hungry young lad who wanted some advice on his portfolio and future direction. His name was Olly and he became our first ever employee – and he’s been the biggest driving force in helping me constantly evolve the agency ever since. When we brainstorm ideas together, I feel that anything is possible. His appetite for the new never ceases to inspire. But he was just the start – because my unfailing source of pride through the years since has been in building a team of incredibly talented young people that have not only joined me on the journey to create something different, but have been vital threads in weaving the fabric of We Launch. They’ve taught me more things than I could ever impart onto them. And as Olly says – we’re more a family than an agency.
Seeing these guys work closely together in the studio is one thing, but watching them bake cakes, give nicknames, share new finds, break for lunch, visit galleries, go for runs, or head off for a cheeky pint after work together is where the pride really kicks in. None of them knew each other before they walked through our doors, and yet in the process of starting up We Launch they will (hopefully) have lifelong friends and memories. And they will have learned a hell of a lot of lessons along the way.
Every one of the team possesses an unwritten something that makes them right for us. For how we work – both together and with clients. Each has an insatiable need to learn and improve. To look outwards rather than within. To speak up and not talk down. To help and encourage without thinking, or being asked. To not be afraid of making mistakes. To laugh at themselves. To go the extra mile when deadlines approach. To step back and appreciate when something needs changing. To want to grow and evolve as we do, as times dictate. To love what they do. And for that, I’m incredibly proud. Being a great creative has nothing on building a great creative team.
So here’s to Olly, Double D, Morph, Lucy, Shiney Hawke, Raqee-D, Rowe Rage, Beardy, KKLocz, Matt, Claire, Crabbler, The Hoff, Freddie, Mr White, Peter, FOMO, Dev and the newest recruits – Romero and Charlotte. I’ve learned to practice what we preach to our clients: be proud of your team because they’re your greatest assets. So let’s all keep aiming high, and inspiring each other as we create tomorrow’s leading brands.