This sounds cliché, but another annual marker in the diary has sailed past and I wonder where the time has gone.

Truth is, since flying our humble bedroom beginnings to a typically edgy factory conversion in Shoreditch, a lot has happened. When Ed and I were scaling ladders, painting, cabling and building furniture like men possessed, we had no idea how the year ahead would shape up.

I’m shamelessly proud of what we have achieved so I thought I’d share my five personal highlights.

  1. Investing in young people

It’s no secret that Ed and I are pretty young business owners, so encouraging and developing talent from a young age is something we’re keen to do. We firmly believe that this is our world and we are the people to deliver marketing fit for today.  

This year we’ve been blessed with the opportunity to meet and work with some of what I believe to be the greatest young minds in the business. Take Zara, our apprentice, for example. When she joined the tree, and she won’t mind me saying, she was a relatively shy school-leaver.

However, her inherent grasp of the modern world has driven her to master social media, a number of different CMS platforms and hone her email marketing skills. Moreover, we’ve been able to celebrate a nomination with her as The National Apprentice of the Year – results to come.

  1. PR outreach and blogger engagement

A year ago, our social and content outreach approach looked like a very different beast. Over this last year we’ve successfully launched a fully-fledged PR and influencer outreach offering. Successfully upskilling our existing team and introducing new talent to the tree house has delivered some wonderful highs:

  • Rhianna blogger event at Wembley with Simplexity Travel.
  • More than 50 pieces of coverage over the last two months with our skincare client, Frezyderm, including the Mirror, Sunday Times, Cosmo, Heat, Evening Standard and vlogging with Made in Chelsea stars.
  • Media partnership and Nice Guys Premier giveaway with the Sun for Porky’s, just to mention a few.
  1. Our Greek odyssey 

Soon after the move to the Shoreditch peninsula, we continued to welcome new clients to our roster. One of those brands are Greek skincare leaders, Frezyderm, who signified a shift for us.  

As one of the tree’s first truly integrated FMCG account wins, our work to launch them in the UK has been a real credit to the diversity of our team’s knowledge and expertise.

Over the past 8 months, we’ve successfully launched Frezyderm’s fully-integrated, content-lead strategy which is delivering significant inroads in PR, programmatic advertising, social and community management as well as event and B2B channel marketing support. 

  1. Educating Rita

For those that know me, education has played a significant role in the lives of those most important to me. With my mother having been a head mistress and then running a successful CSR and education communications agency, I’ve really enjoyed being able to align the tree with the education sector.  

Over the last 12 months, we’ve designed and built three University websites for Northumbria University and Ulster University in partnership with QA Higher Education.

This digital partnership has now evolved, as we deliver international content and programmatic advertising initiatives to help QA drive sign-up for their post graduated and masters offering.

On a completely personal level, I was also incredibly honoured to have been invited by the team at QA to guest lecture on Google Analytics to their Roehampton University International Marketing Students, too.

  1. What we’ve been working on behind then scenes

This stuff gives me goose bumps. This year the tree launched its very own piece of technology.

We’ve always known that a service offering was only going to be part of the puzzle and that’s why we’ve invested significantly in Root, our very own content management system.

At this stage, the roadmap for Root is under wraps, however this innovative new platform provides our clients a highly secure, efficient code base to layer their most trusted content assets into. The interface is easy-as-you-like and feedback from our developers and external developers has been really positive. Having already built five websites using this CMS, we’ll be developing this rapidly over the next 12 months.

As things change almost daily at the tree, it’s difficult to say how long we may find ourselves in our converted print house, however what is for sure is the future’s going to throw up a million and one challenges and incredible opportunities, thanks to our incredible team and clients.