2020 was a tough year for so many of us. And running a small business like mine was no easy task. A feeling of uncertainty was a common theme throughout the year. And I didn't know what a year without face to face events would be like. It's fair to say that any new ways of working or new clients were high on my priority list, but finding them was not going to be easy.
I should start by saying that in the past many of my clients have come to me through recommendations and networking. The artist in me makes me naturally curious and I am really interested in people and what they do, so networking is just an opportunity to be a bit nosey. During lockdown the perfect opportunity arose for me to network, but this time it was digitally. I was lucky enough to attend the digital version of Newcastle Start Up weekwhich is run by the amazing Paul Lancaster. Paul had scheduled some wonderful guests doing live interviews within the facebook group and I watched the interview with Chris Jewitt and Des Kennedy from Food & Drink North East. When they were speaking what struck me was that they had a genuine passion for high quality local food and drink companies and that those companies might be the perfect clients for me as a designer. I love to collaborate with like minded people and I could see that there was some real potential in teaming up.
After the live I got straight on the case and sent Chris an email to find out if FADNE might be interest in working with me. Chris immediately suggested we have an informal chat about what I do and how we might work together. In the course of the conversation he told me about all of the amazing work that FADNE have been doing and how so many food and drink businesses have had to change the way they work as so many of the face to face events that they attended had been cancelled. Chris mentioned that there was a winery on my doorstep, which was a great surprise to me, called Laneburg Winery. Chris mentioned that Laneburg where looking for some good quality wine boxes and that they had been talking to a number of national manufacturers but they would love to find someone local to work with.
So I started to do a bit of research into Laneburg Winery and I got in touch with them direct. Laneburg are an urban winery based in Gateshead, they buy in grapes from vineyards throughout the UK and then they make their wine and sell it online and through a number of stockists, bars and restaurants such as Blackfriars, Hinnies, The Black Horse, Bistro 46, Fenwicks of Newcastle, Fortnum & Mason, Discover Durham, The Rare Drop, & Rehill's of Jesmond.
I spoke to Elise Lane who is the CEO and head wine maker of Laneburg. It was wonderful connecting to a fellow business woman and finding that we had a great deal in common and that she was really keen to work with me. This was most definitely a wonderful moment towards the end of a pretty challenging year. And it opened up a whole world of opportunities for me as a designer.
Elise was keen to get a number of wine boxes produced for her Christmas and gifting offer and she needed them pretty quickly. We came up with a plan to create some beautiful locally themed double wine boxes for her award winning wine.
The design itself was made up of a number of local landmarks from Newcastle & Gateshead including the Angel of the North, the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, Baltic Gallery & Sage Gateshead and the Laneburg logo.
Through my own small business I am aware that photography is everything and so I suggested to Elise that we should use my local photographer Marion Botella to create some beautiful festive imagery to help promote and sell this beautiful wine box gift sets. This was a winning combination and Laneburg had a very successful festive season. In fact I did head down to the Jesmond Food and Drink market just before Christmas to see how things were going and Elise said the wine boxes were selling really well. And at the food market she had to restock twice as she sold out!!!
If you would like to work with me please head over to my contact page here.
You can find out more about Laneburg Winery here
You can find out more about Newcastle start up week and their membership here
You can find out more about Food and Drink North East here