Growing Business - Mother Bran
How a determination to build a business around a
young family and shape her own creative direction became a reality for Art
Buyer and Producer Emma Alexander.
Mother Bran launched in September 2017 as a production company supporting independent photographers through production logistics, consultancy and mentoring.With a business model in place and existing clients on board, Emma joined the Enterprise Steps programme in December 2017, working with her mentor Jo Sealy to help formalise processes; to identify, validate and lock down the Mother Bran offering; and to establish public speaking as part of Emma’s skill set.
“Having worked in the creative industry for over 15 years, with over half that time in advertising agencies as an Art Buyer and Producer, I knew I thrived on bringing creative ideas to life through hands-on production. However, I also wanted to create a business that would fit around my young family, and allow me flexibility and autonomy to choose my own clients and direction.” Explains Emma.
One area that Emma was keen to develop while on the programme was a consultancy arm. By mapping out a structured mentoring programme she was able to gain her first consultancy client. Emma has further capitalised on the momentum of regular mentoring support to help her achieve shortlisting for a national business award and count Google among Mother Bran’s clients.
“I realised that public speaking would put me in front of my target audiences and I've really enjoyed developing my networks and contacts with this in mind. Being booked by one of my target clients (Courier Live) has been a proud moment. Growth has been a big challenge though. I have 2 VA's that I use for ad-hoc support and I'm quite disciplined about how much time I spend working on the business, so I'm spending proper quality time with my children, too.”
Emma has developed ‘support’ as one of Mother Bran's core values and this has helped the company to stand out in her industry. While smaller production companies and independent producers work with a photographer's agent, Mother Bran is focused on supporting and championing independent photographers.
“One of the best decisions I came to was to pivot away from supporting scaling businesses and startups, to focusing on independent, unsigned photographers. It's given me a clearer focus, and is an area that I'm already embedded in,” says Emma.
“This has given me the confidence to work towards securing a number of consultancy clients on retainer and recruit an assistant in the coming year. Flexibility, autonomy and pride really describe where I am at the moment with Mother Bran: knowing I have created a profitable business from nothing is deeply rewarding. “
the next steps with your business
Enterprise Steps has developed an innovative programme for London-based pre-start up, start-ups and established businesses to support them in growing to their full potential.
The Enterprise Steps programme is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).