MINIs, ITALY AND GIN

When I started clockstudio back in 1999 it was out of a passion for design and wanting to help people communicate what they do better.

Sixteen years later, and my passion is still the same but has grown and now encompasses branding, marketing and looking at the overall visual aspect of a business.

What I never anticipated from starting my own business is the long standing relationships I would build, where clients become friends, the day-to-day satisfaction – and the very cool things that I might end up doing!

Particular highlights over the years have been a special screening of the Italian Job (back in 2003), in the BMW MINI plant in Oxford, with the MINIs used in the film parked in front of the screen (how cool is that!), and getting to borrow a bright red MINI Cooper for a weekend. A holiday to Tuscany with a client that specialises in study holidays to Italy, with personal tours of local vine yards and having dinner with the then CEO of Time Warner in the very quaint town of Camiligano. Going to a posh awards dinner with the WDC Spey Bay team to see them win Marketing Campaign of the Year. And more recently getting invited to the launch of Shetland Reel Gin on the most northerly inhabitated island in the UK, Unst.

Italian Job screening 2003

Italian Job screening – BMW Plant Oxford 2003

I’d been working on the design of the logo and bottle label over a few months, and Steve and I were delighted to be invited to the official launch. Unst isn’t the easiest of places to get to; a 14 hour ferry journey across the North Sea, driving across mainland Shetland to another ferry, across to Yell, driving across Yell to reach another ferry across to Unst. What an adventure (with thankfully no sea sickness!).

The launch was attended by local businesses, people that have supported the project, and the local MSP, and more unusually an award winning American musician and Dolly Parton’s guitarist, Jim Salestrom. Jim, has been friends with Frank and Debbie Strang, partners in Shetland Reel Gin for many years, and as well as coming along to support the launch had written a jingle for the occasion. He also performed a concert in the local village hall which most of the island attended – a night not to be missed! The following evening was an open-mic night, for the local artists to come and perform and also hear Jim play again. The special guests were the Unst Vikings, in full regalia, who delighted in trying the new gin, performing a couple of their viking songs (by which time they were all a little worse for wear). But the highlight had to be of them all singing and dancing to Mamma Mia by Abba. Who knew Shetland Vikings liked Abba?!

Shetland Reel Gin at Eshaness

Shetland Reel Gin at Eshaness, Shetland

We were sorry to leave after having such a fantastic weekend. We met so many lovely people and had a blast.

Who knew running your own business could be so blimming exciting?!

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