After years of working with photography and image manipulation, I spent 8 months living in rural France in 2005 and decided to focus on becoming a graphic designer. I studied Multimedia Design at Manchester Metropolitan University and found a post-grad internship in Preston in 2008. I learned quickly how to produce professional, creative and consistent work appealing to each client’s target audience in a pressured environment.
I returned to Buxton in 2008 and spread the word that I offered design services, gradually taking enough projects to start my own business. I founded FreshSpark Creative with Michael Howe, a local friend who had shown explosive entrepreneurial potential during our teens. We built the business from scratch, bootstrapping and running a low risk model using only revenue and no investment. We secured our first large project, supporting a successful funding application and creating a virtual learning environment which allowed us to rent an office and hire our first employee. This is where I met Simon and Nicola in 2009 and began a positive working relationship, collaborating on the majority of our web development projects as MM&B Studio from 2012, which is where my life took a positively unexpected turn.
Together with Simon and Nicola I have seen things which I would never have imagined growing up as a working class lad in the North West of England. The inner workings of many different businesses, large and small, and take pride in being trusted to help with sensitive business and personal data. We have gradually expanded our professional network of business owners and stakeholders covering a range of industries – mainly education, social support, legal and property markets. I am legally bound to non-disclosure about many of our projects, but the ones who have granted us permission to discuss their work are featured on this website. I look forward to continuing the journey of discovery and sharing my experience as our horizons broaden.
I have spent the majority of my time in Adobe’s Photoshop designing user interfaces and user experience designs for our online systems, using Illustrator for promotional print such as business cards, posters, flyers and also animation and motion graphics in After Effects and Premier Pro. I’ve gained experience as a creative director with more senior roles in project planning, brand identity, corporate events, pitch documents, presentation proposals and directing photo shoot projects and sub-contracted artists.
I’m now fifteen years into my professional career as a company director and have worked on projects for well known brands such as Zurich, UKPOS, Pets at Home and Pizza Express. The majority of our workload is based in London and we still find time to support local businesses and community projects in Buxton, helping to launch art galleries, projects, restaurants and events that take place during the busy summer festivals. I think we’ve forged the sweetest existence and I’m always happy to share my experience with people who aspire to run a business with remote operations, and to ultimately continue doing big things with big data.