Welcome to my new blog series Creative Collective where I interview my favorite creatives.
Kicking off with none other than my very best pal and creative powerhouse, Nerrisa Pratt.
What led you to what you are doing now? Can you share a little bit about your creative journey?
For as long as I can remember I’ve been creative, always making things from clothes for my dolls to baking those awful cupcakes from a pre-mixed bag and forcing my parents to pretend the were the most delicious tings that had ever been passed their lips. Coming from a house where creativity was encouraged meant that I never really knew any other way to be. All throughout school I sewed little accessories from my bedroom and in school, textiles was the only lesson I ever took even a little bit seriously.
I always wanted to be a fashion designer and after doing a foundation course in art and design, an exceptionally honest tutor told me that I 'talk so much I should be working in fashion, but as a PR’. Talking and clothes I thought to myself? I was sold.
So off I went to UCA in Epsom, where I did a degree in Fashion Promotion and Imaging (That’s PR & Marketing to you and I) and although I hated every second there socially, I loved being thrown into industry and worked back stage at Fashion Week, PR Agencies and more, all so that when I left I would already know what I wanted to do for the rest of my life - you see, I’m a totally control freak so the unknown is not an option for me!
Luckily, all my hard work paid off and around 6 months after graduating, I got my first proper big girl job at a full-service agency where my first ever client was IKEA and it was an amazing way to get to know the ropes in the crazy work of PR. I’ve slept in an IKEA store on the shop floor, turned a houseboat into a floating shop and many more strange things only I can claim to have done.
Fast-forward to now and after a brief, depressing stint at Debenhams HQ, I went freelance, building u my business until I could launch my passion project, Untld Project, a full-service agency for creative, crafty and independent brands. Our goal is to act as an extension of any small business, giving them the tools they need to grow their brand through a range of services which quite frankly, don’t cost a bloody fortune.
I also stay creative in a range of ways, from creating projects for brands like Hobbycraft, Cricut and more oh and recently set up my first ever product based business, The Bargello Edit, which aims to revive a retro-colourful craft - all the hallmarks I look for in a hobby.
What's your favorite part about what you do?
Sounds cheesy, but I love the variety that every day being self-employed brings. I’m not great at repetition and I love being busy, I think it keeps my brain working properly so having to adapt and make things happen is something that really makes me thrive as a person.
I also love that I actually have a life now thanks to the flexibility that my job offers, it was hard in the beginning, but I can at least claim some semblance of a social life when I need to.
What about the most challenging part?
Switching off. When you do what you love, it means that work is enjoyable and so sometimes, it can be easy to get carried away and throw yourself into it 24/7 which is not healthy. I have to put strict boundaries in place, earning money from your hobby can mean you loose your hobby so you have to ensure that you know the difference between what’s work and what’s play.
What are you currently working on & how can we get involved?
I guess there are a few ways depending on what your poison is, if you’re a small business looking to ups your PR & Marketing game, then Untld Project is here for you, otherwise, if you just fancy an easy going craft workshop on a Sunday with an excuse to ’stitch and bitch’ then head over to The Bargello Edit where I can most definitely make that happen for you.
What advice would you give to anyone that is starting out?
Trust your gut and as soon as you can afford too, outsource the things you hate doing. It’s how I’ve managed to keep the magic and the fun alive in any aspect of my business - after all it’s why we work for ourselves.
What's next for your business?
Who knows, I’m always striving to be creative and bring my customers and clients something new and exciting and in a year where things have been a little ‘off’ I’m pretty proud of the resilience I’ve shown. Next up is to just keep the ideas flowing and bring new exciting projects ti the world that make me happy and keep me fulfilled. Oh and snacks, there are always snacks.