5 awesome things that happened at Brand by Me this year!
A look back at all of our achievements at Brand by Me in our birthday year. And what we learned along the way.
It’s coming up to the end of 2021 (how has that happened?!). How are you feeling?
Tired? Happy? Bemused? Proud? Anxious? Excited? Not sure how you got through it?
Yes. Us too. We are feeling all of these things, to be honest. And that’s ok. You can be feeling all these things, or you can be feeling none of these things. It’s all completely valid. Because (as much as I hate both saying, and hearing this) we are STILL in unprecedented times. We’ve learnt that there is no normal to go back to. And we think that’s a good thing in many ways.
But if these last couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that we should own and celebrate our achievements.
So, in (probably) chronological order, here are our 5 awesome achievements of 2021:
- We turned 5 in March (an achievement given that 20% of businesses fail in their first year and around 60% will go bust within their first three years.
- We hit our biggest year EVER in terms of turnover. In the year that we have been our most single-minded, in terms of our social justice focus.
- We launched our series of anti-racism brand masterclasses ‘The Hot Seat’, combating a longstanding fear of doing our own events. Don’t get us wrong – our Founder LOVES speaking but running our own event was way out of our comfort zone. But they have been brilliant – you can get a ticket to the next one here.
- We won the Lloyds Bank small business of the year award and the quote from Lloyds about why we won was EVERYTHING!
“Collette has put her passion into a business model that will ultimately contribute towards making the world a better, fairer place. There couldn’t be a more deserving recipient of this award.”
- We received SO MUCH media coverage this year – from an appearance on BBC World Service about supporting Black women in business to our Third Sector column on facing the fear, and being featured in Vice magazine talking about racism in the charity sector. Plus, our work with Santander around women of colour in business was featured in this brilliant report by Involve about Black Inclusion in business.
And what did we learn along the way? Again, it’s our 5th birthday so here’s another list of 5:
- It’s ESSENTIAL to say no – frankly we are still learning this but this year, it feels like we’ve said no to more stuff than ever before and we think it’s created space for some of the awesome stuff above.
- It’s OK to change your mind – whilst consistency is important for any brand, so is learning, which means that you will evolve your thinking over time and that’s ok (especially when it comes to social justice).
- Resilience is not a badge of honour – it’s the product of trauma. So often, we have been praised for our resilience (as a business and individuals). It’s not a compliment and we are going to focus our energy on making sure others don’t face similar hurdles.
- Rest is a priority – this is self-explanatory.
- Progress over perfection – This wisdom comes from our accomplice and accessibility lead, Sulaiman R. Khan FRSA. Perfectionism is actually the enemy of progress because it’s an unattainable state that stops you from getting stuff out there in the meantime. So focus on and celebrate the progress- stop aiming for perfection!
So there it is – 5 AWESOME achievements and 5 massive learnings for our 5th birthday year!
A massive thank you to the clients who have made the last 5 years possible, and the incredible individuals and partners who have been part of Team Brand by Me over the years.