03.06.2019

Meet the Team – Kelly

By Kelly

Google ‘Strange Interview Questions’ and you’ll find a whole host of weird and wonderful questions that the interviewee was probably horribly unprepared for. We thought that we’d subject our team at Friends to some of these questions, along with a few (silly and serious) ones of our own. First up, meet Kelly our Brand Strategist & Studio Director who oversees everything we design as an agency.

How do you describe what you do?
I wear a few hats, but my time is mostly spent overseeing the day to day running of Friends. This includes meeting clients and working with them on their brand strategy and ongoing marketing campaigns. In the studio, as well as taking the lead on our interior design projects I also co-ordinate the rest of our design team and help deliver projects within budget and to timeframes. It’s pretty hectic with no two days being the same but I can’t imagine my work life in any other way.

If you weren’t doing this, what would your dream career be?
Garden designer or radio show host. I adore radio.

What was the best series you binged in 2018?
I can’t decide between Grace & Frankie or the Marvellous Mrs Maisel, I loved both of them. I’m a bit of a Netflix addict to be honest, when I find a series I like, I tend to binge watch it within a week!

What design project(s) most caught your eye last year?
I really admire the work of Sean Fennessy. Sean is an super talented photographer who specialises in design, interiors and travel photography. His work has such a light touch and quality about it. I love the colours and mood he manages to capture within his work. Last year Sean’s ‘Time & Space’ exhibition was held in Melbourne and I would have given my right arm to attend. For now though I’ll just have to continue to loose myself in his Instagram feed which to me is just pure joy.

What do you like most about living in Cornwall?
Being so close to both the north and south coast gives me a real sense of space and freedom. Living near the water means everything to me. I just couldn’t live inland, I don’t think I could breathe, I’d feel trapped somehow. I passionately believe that living close to water is a huge healer of mind, body and spirit.

What would your autobiography be called?
The girl that talks too much!

No health implications… what one food would you live off forever?
Cheese, I flippin’ love cheese.

We sometimes we ask new clients to describe what animal their business is. What animal are you and why?
A cat. Soft and fluffy, usually welcoming on the outside, can be a bit stubborn and difficult at times. Likes own company and doing own thing but also needs affection but only when I say so! Would be happiest if left to eat and sleep all day somewhere warm. Yep I’m a human cat.

What do you hope for Friends in the next 10 years?
It would be amazing if we could continue to grow our stable of regular clients across the luxury hotel & travel, fashion and food & drink sectors. These are the sectors that really fire us up and so of course we’re always looking to jump on board with clients of this type. We particularly love working with our clients as a long term partnership, really seeing ourselves as an extension of their own team. Once we begin working with a client we can’t help but get fully stuck into their world and we genuinely care about their business and finding ways to help it succeed. Personally I’d like to work with more international clients as I adore travel and I think it would be amazing for our team to also have the opportunity to travel more and take in inspiration from all over the globe. Quite frankly this would be marvellous.

What brands are catching your eye right now?
Usually I’m drawn to brands that are taking something ordinary and doing something rather extraordinary with it. I like to know what the story behind the brand is and of course it needs to be well-designed.

I studied fashion at university many moons ago and one of my mates Deb who I studied with has recently founded her own company Piece Together. The company is based in Brighton and they create the most exquisite, hand embellished womenswear and accessories. Their Instagram squares are a riot of joyful colour and I kinda want EVERYTHING they design. I’m totally crushing on their ‘Birds of Paradise’ kimono at the moment which is just dazzling, gorgeous and bloody magnificent! This brand is certainly one to watch.

What was your school nickname?
Shoe. I’m not telling the whole story of why, but it was something to do with my extremely skinny legs and some clown like shoes that I used to love, circa 87’. Friends used to phone my house and ask to speak to Kelly Shoe for YEARS!!

If you were stranded on a desert Island, what 3 items would you take?
Radio, my boys, bottomless rum supply.

Any new year’s resolutions for 2019?
Try to focus more, I get very distracted with all the social media and online shenanigans and if I didn’t have to use social media for work I think I’d have taken myself off everything by now. I miss the times before mobile phones, when letter writing and actual real phone calls were the norm. Maybe I could buy myself a typewriter this year and start writing proper letters again.


Sean Fennessey
Piece Together