Founded by Sarah McCrady and Abbie Hartshorn in Jan 2015, Absolute Agency are based at the Northern Design Centre in Gateshead and provide branding and design solutions to a range of small and large businesses across the North East and beyond. Services include brand audits, strategy, digital, web and design.
For Sarah, the decision to launch her own business was partly a lifestyle choice. She said,
“I have worked at some of the best design agencies across the region, but as a parent of two children, I was keen to have more flexibility and a better work-life balance. I was nervous about making the leap from full time employment but also I didn’t want to look back later in life and wonder ‘what if?’, so with a huge leap of faith, Absolute was born.”
Over the last couple of years the business has grown steadily with a range of regular clients including NCFE, Baker Furniture and Drayton Partners. Absolute has also completed projects for Northumbria Police, Procter and Gamble and Kanuka Tea and during the last year have appointed both a project manager and designer to support their ongoing expansion.
“For us, Absolute defines being the best at what we do and not compromising on delivering anything less. We often talk about how lucky we are to have chosen design as a career and even after all these years we still love what we do. The most rewarding part is seeing our client’s grow, building brands that really encapsulate the essence of who they are and knowing that we have been part of that journey with them.”
Sarah joined the Captured course following a recommendation from a friend who attended the programme’s inaugural scheme back in 2016.
Assigned to mentor John Souter, Head of Customer Services at Nexus, Sarah was keen to have someone to challenge her on Absolute’s business strategy helping her review the difficult balance of working in the business delivering client work, with working on the business and shaping future growth. Sarah also wanted the opportunity to network with other small businesses sharing experiences and challenges.
“The Captured programme was very inspirational providing an opportunity to learn from both small businesses whilst gaining the perspective of larger organisations. Having John as a mentor has been invaluable. As business owners you can become very insular in the day to day job, so it’s been important to have someone independent provide that much needed challenge. He has certainly given us more confidence to make decisions, see the value of the services we provide and helped us look at the bigger picture. We have also become more proactive at scoping and planning our client work over the long term rather than the short term. This has helped with cashflow, new work wins and forecasting.”
John has offered to continue the role of mentoring Sarah and the team, visiting them every quarter to support them with their strategy. Sarah concluded;
“Some days I have to pinch myself. I am so lucky to say that after 22 years I still love what I do. For Absolute the most important thing is to do a good job and for clients to be delighted with our work. I would certainly recommend the Captured programme to other businesses looking for growth and support. Here’s to the next 22 years!”
For further information contact Co-Founder and Design Director at Absolute Agency Sarah McCrady on Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07595700586, http://www.absolute-agency.co.uk/