A Client Case Study by Emma de Polnay
I met chef Janie Fraser back in 2012 at a fantastic Wellness retreat weekend in North Devon. Pilates in a sun filled studio, nordic walking, nutritious cookery classes and homemade cake in the heavenly setting of a beautifully restored old mill.
Janie and I instantly connected as friends. We spent most of the weekend together giggling a lot and sharing our personal and career journey stories. It was clear to me that Janie had a really defined sense of great style. She also had a very clear vision for a new private dining brand to be called Baked Salt, which would aim to fuse her wealth of experience as a professional chef with her enduring passion for great design.
When it was time to head home from Devon, Janie and I promised to keep in touch as friends but she was also very enthusiastic about the prospect of working with My Special PA, to help her realise her new business idea. Finding more clients was the last thing I went to a wellness retreat for, but I was inspired by Janie’s creative vision. A week or so later Janie called me and we started hatching a plan for project – Baked Salt
How MSPA helped Janie:
1) Business Strategy – initially I worked strategically with Janie. I helped her get focussed, draw out her vision, map it out and then we created a clear plan of action – in bite sized chunks.
2) Administration – we then helped Janie get set up with a domain name, web hosting, business templates and collated her large (but rather scattered) address book entries into an online mailing list.
3) Supplier Recommendation – Next we saved Janie a lot of ‘shopping around’ time by connecting her with a trusted branding designer and a web developer to build the Baked Salt website. One of MSPA’s preferred design suppliers Nat Foster was a great fit to work with Janie – in temperament, approach and in her design sensibilities. Nat also had a lot of experience with some high end food and hospitality brands both in the UK and internationally.
Nat worked very closely with Janie and helped her to transcribe her Pinterest mood boards, treasured recipe book pages and clippings from her favourite design magazines into a brilliantly simple and well positioned brand design. Nat then brought her long standing collaborator web developer, Paul Robinson on board to build the site.
4) Copywriting, Proofreading & Supplier Liaison – as the website build was nearing completion, Janie came back to My Special PA – she was now looking for help with finalising and uploading the content and testing all aspects of the site to ensure features and functionality worked as expected. At this point, I assigned Rachel Goldberg to work with Janie so she would benefit from her unique combination of first class copywriting skills, her business acumen and Rachel’s own considerable cooking experience and passion for food.
Rachel’s role included: extensive liaison with both Nat and Paul on Janie’s behalf, raising and following up on queries, and assisting with copywriting (alongside a third party copywriter) and proofreading.
In my experience of working with digital design agencies and individuals, getting a website to that longed for completion and launch can be often be arduous for all concerned. No matter how experienced and diligent everyone is, the energy can just inadvertently ‘drop’ as bugs need fixing and endless content needs creating and proofing. At this stage, Rachel added considerable value; a discerning and fresh pair of eyes and her warmth and enthusiasm for the subject matter helped provide an injection of renewed energy to the project.
“Thank you so much to Emma and Rachel at My Special PA, I’ve now got a website that I really want to shout about! They helped me work out what my brand Baked Salt really stood for, got me properly organised and thinking strategically and introduced me to the right branding and web suppliers to take my ideas forward.
Once the website was designed, Rachel was incredibly helpful and supportive in helping project manage the website to completion. I have very little technical know-how so it was just what was needed.
Now the site is live, Rachel is continuing to help me by working on my marketing and business development, including a regular newsletter to my mailing list, maintaining my blog and my social media planning. I have been doing cooking events for around 15 years but I finally have this exciting new brand which properly represents me, and my love for food and design.” Janie Fraser