Crystallised turns 6

North East-based Creative Marketing Agency, Crystallised, mark six years in business with mentoring scheme for young women

Wednesday 27 March, 2019 marks six years in business for Newcastle-based creative marketing agency, Crystallised.

Founded in 2013 by Laura Rothwell, Crystallised works on marketing, digital, PR and events projects with organisations across the arts, cultural and charitable sectors. Since launching six years ago, Crystallised’s turnover has doubled, year-on-year and the business is now proud to count BBC Arts, Crisis, Newcastle University and regional gem, Tyneside Cinema among its clients. 

After intending to join the Intelligence Corps of the British Armed Forces as a 17-year-old, things took an unexpected turn for Crystallised founder, Laura Rothwell, when she took a temporary role as a marketing assistant for an events marketing agency in the West Midlands. Rising through the traditional marketing ranks, gaining both agency and client experience, Laura left her Marketing Director role with a UK art gallery chain in 2013 with the intention of starting a business dedicated to making the arts something everyone could enjoy.

 “When I started the business, my experience told me that there were big differences between the way commercial marketing teams worked and the way that marketing teams in the cultural sector worked,” said Laura “I saw an opportunity – not only for the cultural sector but also for audiences – for marketing to reach more people. I wanted to remove any worries or anxieties people might feel about visiting museums, art galleries, theatres or art institutions and this move towards increased inclusion was something I wanted Crystallised to both drive and be a part of.”

Based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Crystallised has worked with over 90 clients and now supports arts, culture and purpose-led organisations across the UK, Spain and the USA, in telling stories and connecting with new audiences. 

Since 2013, the collective expertise of the team has engaged audiences totalling some 22,045,251 for cultural events including feature film launches and museum shows, art exhibitions and beatboxing nights.

It is the ‘people-first’ ethos of the business however, that is drawing attention from job seekers and admiration from fellow small business owners.

A Real Living Wage commitment, 25 days holiday per year, flexible working hours and a dedicated training budget are all part of the package, but it’s the £250 staff welfare allowance available to all team members annually for “anything that improves or enhances their health and wellbeing”, which is considered a bold statement of intent with regard to the importance the business places on work/life balance.

“This is an innovative approach for a micro-organisation such as Crystallised,” commented Caroline Dixon of Holgate HR, “we work with hundreds of SMEs, and I’ve never seen anyone implement something like this with so few restrictions on how the funds are used. I’ve now advised other organisations to consider the same thing for their own teams.”

In 2019 alone, Crystallised has made two new hires and have plans to recruit for a junior team member in July. In addition, Crystallised are set to be one of the few organisations in the region to embrace the four-day working week; with a trial planned for September, the intention is to implement across the business from March 2020, which will see full-time staff move from a five to a four-day week, with no reduction in pay or benefits.

“I’ve been keenly following the global developments around the gains associated with a reduced working week,” said Laura, “I am hopeful that we will see similar results, albeit on a much smaller scale, to those which were seen in the recently reported New Zealand pilot – happier, more productive team members who are enjoying their lives and their work.”

Finally, Crystallised mark their sixth year with the launch of a free mentoring scheme for women, aged 18-24 years old and based in the North of England, who are interested in carving out a marketing career.

The programme, which will run from June to November is open for applications until Tuesday 30 April 2019, and is designed to offer budding young marketers the first step in their career following a recent report from Charity Creative and Cultural Skills which showed a stark underrepresentation of young people in the arts and culture sectors, in which Crystallised predominantly works. Visit the website to apply for the mentorship scheme before Tuesday 30 April 2019.