My name’s Col, I’m a 37 year old Creative Director and Co-founder of Few and Far; a creative studio based in Leeds, UK that works with charities and do-good causes to make the world a better place.
My journey to where I am now started with me having the dream of running my own agency and teaching myself to code and use Photoshop when I was 16 years old.
This was over 20 years ago now, whilst in IT at school, the other kids were learning how to use Excel, I was learning how to make websites – which probably explains why I’m absolutely terrible at using Excel to this day!
I had my first professional opportunity to work in-house at a very small agency when I was 21. I got the job based on my own portfolio of work I did as my own ‘agency’ and pro-bono for companies and friends at the time. I know I was really lucky to get a role this way, but it also showed me that if the work was good then it didn’t matter about my background or qualifications.
I then worked my way up different agencies in the Leeds area, becoming a senior developer at one agency, then leaving and eventually going up the creative ladder and becoming a senior designer. So I have the rare accomplishment of leading teams in two entirely different agency departments on my resume!
Six years ago, I decided that I wasn’t being creatively fulfilled in my full-time role as a senior designer. I enjoyed the work but the lack of face-to-face time with clients, understanding their problems, and figuring out solutions was completely missing. I love problem solving and getting to the bottom of a client’s issues and then actioning solutions to them, but when the work just landed on my desk it became a bit boring and I lost the love for it.
So, I jumped headfirst into the world of freelancing. Which, to this day is still the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make. I did this for 18 months, and initially, it was really good, I felt a larger sense of freedom and more valued as I was being paid to come into an agency or business and was the expert they needed at the time.
However it quickly became similar to working full-time, I was just being paid more but was still just being given work to do, rather than having a true input. I knew I needed to switch it up and fulfil the dream I’d always had before I got too old, and Few and Far was born.
Why do you want to make a difference?
Initially, Few and Far was set up to align with the principles I mentioned earlier; working closely with clients, being more collaborative, understanding their problems, and coming up with great solutions.
We think this way of working – plus our years of experience and expertise – are the perfect fit for charities and do-good causes who want to tell the inspiring and impactful stories of the work they do, to help them increase their donations and to give them to confidence to go out and get more high-value donors.
What are you most proud of?
Two things. The fact that I started Few and Far and that we’re doing it our way and secondly, our most recent project.
This project was for a children’s cancer fund called Lennox and they came to us in a time of need. They were embarrassed by their website and didn’t feel like their brand represented who they were or where they wanted to go at all.
They also had no confidence in the incredible services they provided and needed someone to help bring them forward.
We provided them with a full rebrand, new website, and case for support collateral which has recently allowed them to approach a high-value donor, pitch their incredible service and win them two years of funding.
They’ve told us that this would never have been possible without the work we’ve done and the confidence they’ve been given through their rebrand and it doesn’t get any better than that for us.
Who inspires you?
The charities and causes are genuinely what inspire us. They are all doing incredible work to make a difference and being able to find those likeminded relationships where they know we can help them make even more of a difference has made for our best and most productive times in the agency.
What support have you had?
I’m lucky that I have a great co-founder in Thomas. We have a great relationship and I couldn’t have started the company with anyone else. I also need to give huge props to my wife Fearne and Tom’s wife Sarah who have been absolute rocks for us both in the highs and the lows on our road to becoming a stable and now successful agency. Their support along the way has been incredible.
To find out more about Colin, Thomas, and Few and Far visit few-far.co
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