LONDON - In this CNCS blogpost we are pleased to introduce Doodlette. In this series we speak to innovative and expanding businesses as they reveal their highlights and challenges, in addition to providing some top tips for success. This series tells the stories of of bright thinkers who leveraged their creativity to revolutionise the world as we know it.
This week we speak to Emma and Manuela, cofounders of Doodlette. Doodlette is a "visual storytelling creative agency specialising in illustration for businesses."
What does your company do?
We are a visual storytelling creative agency specialising in illustration for businesses. We provide informative illustrations that aim to help companies communicate using visuals. This can be anything from an illustrated sales pitch, infographics, live whiteboard facilitation at a meeting or conference or more recently whiteboard explainer animation videos.
Doodlette cofounders Manuela and Emma
How have you come up with this business idea?
When we met we were were both freelance illustrators but with backgrounds in tech, startups, sales and digital marketing. We were both keen not to lose everything we had learnt in our more corporate jobs while pursuing a career in the arts, and decided to join forces to try to combine the two. Our initial idea was to do live illustration at events. We wanted to bring illustration into the world of business and use it as a tool for communication.
How hard was it to get your idea off the ground? What have you found most challenging?
It all happened very quickly so it wasn’t too difficult. We came up with our idea and within a couple of days we had our first two events. We didn’t have time to overthink it or hesitate, we just started and had to work out all the details later. The most challenging thing is probably trying to juggle not only the work from clients, but also the admin of actually running a business, sales and marketing, social media, finance etc when there are only two of us. We are learning a lot as we go!
What have you learned from the process?
When you’re a small business, particularly in the creative industry, people expect you to do a lot in return for exposure. We have learned to be confident positioning ourselves as a bonafide business, and to know the value of our work when approaching clients or responding to enquiries. Also, creative work can be very time consuming and complex, so we are starting to learn how to put the right value on our work for each project and put clear contracts in place.
An illustration Doodlette has created for Cocoon Networks
What are the highlights of your expansion?
After 2-3 months of getting everything off the ground and starting our business properly, I would say a huge highlight has been getting approached by big global brands, who had heard of us through word of mouth. We haven’t had a chance to do any proper marketing or outbound sales yet and this is to the the fact that companies keep finding us and reaching out. This is extremely exciting and very encouraging for the future!
What advice would you give to an entrepreneur willing to start a business?
Don’t let fear stop you from executing a plan. It is very easy to have a good idea and just sit on it until you give yourself reasons not to make it happen. Visualise what you want to achieve, and then make a plan and execute it. If you are working on your idea a bit every day, it will take shape, just don't hesitate too much.
An illustration Doodlette has created for The Difference Collective
Why are you here at Cocoon? How has this environment contributed to the growth of your company?
We know a few people here at Cocoon who recommended the space to us and had invited us in to do some live drawings. We really liked the fixed desk area when we visited, and location wise, it is perfect for us, in between Shoreditch and the City which is where most of our clients are based.
What are your plans for the future?
It is still early days, but we are starting to hone our niche at the moment and work with companies in really exciting areas like Healthcare Innovation, AI, Machine Learning and Cryptocurrency. We definitely want to continue down this path and in the new year we plan to focus a lot more on animation, and hopefully grow a small team.