This month marks a milestone for us – we are proud to have reached the grand old age of three.
From our very humble beginnings operating from bedrooms as Innovate Websites to now being a fully-fledged design and digital agency, the last three years have been filled with massive highs, the occasional low and much to look forward to.
To say a big thank you to all of our loyal customers, suppliers and industry friends we are holding a ‘Birthday BBQ’ on 19th July. The event is invite-only, but if you’d like to come along and meet the team and see how we work – or simply come along to chat with some of our customers, then please get in touch and we’ll put your name down!
The story so far – Innovate Websites part 1
In the early days, Brad and Stuart set up a company targeting small local businesses, helping them to improve their digital presence.
Our first customer was a start-up Podiatry business, NK Sports Podiatry and we continue to work with Nick today. He’s grown at a rate of knots over the past few years and we’ve been proud to have helped him along that journey.
Soon after, John arrived bringing a wealth of experience, a love for the sound of his own voice and the inability to make tea or coffee for the team. Working as a trio enabled us to grow faster and created the dynamic that has allowed us to grow and deliver awesome work.
This phase of our growth also introduced us to the lovely Dave Morris of Kyudokan Martial Arts. With his constant stream of jokes and positivity Dave was always a breath of fresh air when he visited the office. As we got to know him we learned of his battle with Parkinson’s and we decided to run The Great South Run for him to raise awareness for the battle that Dave and others go through.
In other news, perennial bachelor John fell in love firstly with Hana and this affection extended quite quickly to her children, the adorable Isabella and Oliver. It’s been a constant source of amusement watching John ‘adjust’ to the rigours of parenting, teenage tantrums, banana skins left in strange places and so on….
In addition to being a committed caring bunch of people, one of the consistent things about our business, is the willingness to change. To review where we are, what’s good and what needs to change. This willingness, to change paved the way for a much improved Innovate.
Innovate Websites – part 2
We still wanted to work with small businesses but decided to engage with slightly more established companies which helped us to provide an improved service and operate with budgets that enabled us to be more creative and offer more value to the customer.
This transition period also welcomed the arrival of Brad’s daughter Hattie. In reality a huge debt of gratitude is afforded to Brad, as his wife Ali endured quite a challenging nine months and Brad spent most of this time building websites at 3am in Costa Coffee at Southampton General.
This phase also saw the arrival of Jess. We needed an organiser, someone that could help John with marketing and further help the company to grow.
We started working with a number of larger business providing ongoing marketing and digital support – all three are still customers.
It was during this time that we made the decision to change again.
Innovate Creative – a full service design and digital agency
Something was missing.
People knew us as a website company but that wasn’t a true reflection of the skills in the studio. Stuart had cut-his-teeth in an agency delivering mainly print design and John had a background in digital. Brad’s technology background also enabled us to service and win more technical work.
We made the easy decision to rebrand and relaunch.
This new company would offer a wider range of services to more varied clients in areas such as food manufacturing, retail, recruitment, charity, automotive and more.
The results that we have achieved during this period have made us incredibly proud. We have retained 96% of our customer base and have so many good stories to tell.
We’ve continued to support local charities and are now starting to get involved in our wider community volunteering at homeless shelters, day care centres and alongside young carers. In addition to this we started to hold more ad-hoc networking events bringing local business together for a spot of curry, some F1 racing and other such fun – with a bumper quiz night being our next venture.
Jess unfortunately left the business in early 2017 but this was only a temporary ‘holiday’ as her and Stuart welcomed their son, Arlo, into the world to cause havoc with his big sister Sofia.
As has been common through the last three years, there’s an itch that we just can help but scratch. The need to change.
The future – our evolution
There is a change coming on the horizon.
We are super excited to be working on a massively new and improved proposition that will help deliver even more value to our current and future customers.
Thank you for the last three years.
Now watch this space.