Cakes, Cocktails, and Critical Thinking...

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Hello everyone. Well, it’s been a wee while. Welcome back. I hope you’re all well, that your business is back in the black, your talented teams have returned, you’ve weathered the storm and are confidently planning your next creative and commercial adventures.

Following hospitality’s temporary demise, I was extremely lucky during Covid to be asked to carry out some interesting ad-hoc assignments. Including working as a NED for a cake brand whose letterbox sales sky rocketed by 120%, a start-up cocktail company who needed an e-commerce website quickly and an advertising agency who required ‘tone of voice’ direction on how to stand out in a challenging competitor marketplace.

Recently I’ve been working in a variety of different roles, for example, auditing an acclaimed entertainment retail brand, reviewing their marketing planning and personnel plus setting up a successor plan for the CEO. Creating brand guidelines and standards for a beautiful new restaurant brand whose core values are a rare combination of warmth, empathy and inclusion; who have no trouble recruiting talented, amazing hospitality-rich people into their family style business. Planning social media campaigns and strategic brand marketing plans for a premium student accommodation brand who have achieved amazing sales success through consistently embracing and exhibiting generosity, kindness, community, safety, style, personality and well-being to their residents and potential tenants.

Life feels ferociously fast right now, working hard to regain pre pandemic speed and paper after the furloughs and financial fall out. I can see London’s still a ghost town on Mondays and Fridays as office staff embrace hybrid working, promiscuously picking their employers and locations according to business surges and local people shortages. Half the high street has disappeared now due to tired brands and digital, to be replaced by exciting experiential concepts, canteens and an abundance of pizza and burgers. I’m very pleased to see my former clients Pizza Pilgrims launching in Brighton too, yum!

20% of people have actually changed careers (according to a survey from Prudential) and 46% of us right now are considering a career change, per data collected by Microsoft. These last few years have really got me thinking about the what, the why and the when. Things like, what sort of working life do I really want? Throughout such a life changing experience, what did I learn?

I concur that cocktails, carbs and cakes will eternally be popular, especially in times of stress, and still smile that my favourite exercise during lockdown was walking to the bakers. I also concur that letterboxes are indeed still a great invention, and that they should become bigger and better as we continue to use our homes as offices and delivery depots. I quickly figured out I had to be extra nice to all my neighbours, who are becoming unpaid post masters. I also realised that very few companies send us genuinely nice, memorable, tangible things in the post, and the power of packaging and good old direct marketing lives on.

To those of you who have made it this far, I’d like to share that, after much professional soul searching, I decided to go back to university and sharpen my skillsets so that I can be of even better use to businesses and brands in the future. Above is a pic of me and my colleagues in the classroom, hoping I’m not that easy to spot…

I’m doing a part time MBA (Master in Business Administration) at University of Sussex, which is a truly wonderful game changer. A humungous thank you has to go to one of my favourite former employers, Robin Rowland OBE, who filled out all the tricky forms and wrote the required reference letter.

"Georgia was with YO! Sushi for three years and in that time was a major player in making YO! Sushi the No.1 global brand it is today."

I’ve almost finished the first year now, and have managed the modules in marketing, brand, finance and leadership. You would think I would’ve skipped through the marketing course, but that was actually the most challenging, academically. Discovering how to listen and learn again, how to be intellectually curious, to collaborate with colleagues from all over the world on assignments, how to debate and challenge constructively as well as think critically – and do homework!

My course director, Sam Roscoe, manages to sum it all up rather nicely, "on the MBA, you’ll learn to think in new and creative ways to overcome the challenges of doing business in a disrupted world."

I welcome any feedback, communication or opportunity to say hello.

For further information on people power, world class brand strategies, business planning or digital expertise please contact