a little bit about me.

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seedlip x links of london 2019 @lateef.p
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July 2020

[4min read]

hello, I'm Jonny.

and I'm the founder of hello gubs.

Yep, that's me with the old side-eye there as a kid. I'm pretty sure I thought I looked so cool up there, on that wooden play thing, arm casually resting there, ready for my candid photoshoot.

Anyway, I thought I'd introduce myself properly, and to do that I want to tell you my story up until now. 

 

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So, I was born in Newcastle in the North of England, youngest of three kids and quickly found myself in the role of the underdog. Proving myself was something that I thrived upon and I've recently realised this has gone on to impact a lot of my life choices so far. I have found that working with people & brands that are easily dismissed and have a point to prove is what I really love. And that's why, with hello gubs I want us to focus on underdog brands.

Moving out of Newcastle and down to Nottingham for University came next, and it was here that I started a small T-Shirt business with my mate, Nick. It was born out of the idea that people at University should support their local independent brands as they look for ways to define themselves amongst their peers vs the world of fast fashion that surrounded us. We were a bit naïve really, and only ever wanted to make enough money to make more t-shirts. Which we did, and we had a great time doing it and managed to sell out of a number of lines, all designed by us in our Uni flat. I guess it was also a great opportunity for me to put into practice what I was studying at the time around the effects of branding & brand names for my Psychology degree. (Oh, it was called Thursday Clothing Co. - maybe it'll come back one day...)

After University, I moved to Australia (initially to play rugby!) and found myself living in Sydney and working in a number of different bars. My favourite bar to work in was called The Whisky Room; a bar tucked away at the back of a super busy pub, I worked there with 2 of my mates and we served whisky cocktails and chatted about whisky all day & all night. It was here that I realised I loved to tell the stories of brands. It was more than describing tasting notes and how to drink it. Having this direct communication with our customers gave me an incredible insight into how these stories are best told, how they can inspire and how important brand stories truly are in drinks. I also learned that closing down bars at 4am really isn't as fun as telling stories, and so I set out to pursue a career on 'the other side of the bar'.

As my Australian visa came to an end, I got a job working for Maxxium in London as part of their Brand Development team. I was working with some of the biggest whisky brands in the world like The Macallan & Maker’s Mark. I loved this role but I soon realised that the commercial side of sales wasn’t where I thrived, but building brands and engaging bartenders & consumers with our brand’s stories was what I really loved.


It was this love of telling brands stories married up with my love for an underdog that led me to my next role in the business which was focused on seeding 2 brands within the top London bars, those brands were Naked Grouse & Brugal 1888.  This was both super challenging & super rewarding in equal measure, which culminated in collaborating with Dandelyan (World’s Best Bar at the time) on an international Bar Swap with Naked Grouse. An intense couple of weeks spent first in Tel Aviv then back in London was an incredible experience. Seeing the power of brands in bringing our bartending community together from two very different parts of the world was something that I will never forget.

In Jan 2019 I began a new challenge at Seedlip as UK Brand Ambassador, and what a journey that has been. Working on a truly innovative & disruptive brand was just what I was looking for and I learnt so much during this time. From launching the sister brand, Æcorn, to over 50 of the UK's top bars to launching NOgroni ® to the world at London Cocktail Week. There was also the weekend in Monaco, serving drinks at the Mercedes VIP Bar at the finish line of the Grand Prix - not too bad! 

 

Seedlip are a brand that have genuinely disrupted the drinks industry and has done this through an incredible focus on detail, clear strategic positioning based on strong consumer insights and a ‘world’s first’ approach to brand building. 

And so now, it's time for me to use my experience, my skills & my strategic thinking to help other brands grow. I truly have a passion for brands, I love getting into the gritty detail of a brand to find the real stories behind why they were created and what mission they are on. And ultimately for me, a good brand always starts with a good story.

 

I believe in great stories, now I want to help you tell yours.