With another week in the books it’s time to hear from another one of our inspirational members, Marcela Pomphrey.
We discuss her role as Marketing Director at 299 Lighting and what brought the company about, in addition to juggling home-schooling whilst running a business.
WOD: Thanks for joining us. Could you start by giving us an insight into your background, and how you ultimately became involved with the workspace sector?
MP: “I came into the workspace industry late. Personally, I think this is a good thing because it gives me a great perspective from other industries.
My background is fairly unconventional as well. I was born behind the Iron Curtain, in the former Czechoslovakia. I studied German Literature and Journalism at University, planning to pursue a career of German literature translator. Luckily for me, life didn’t follow that plan.
After uni, I had a brief stint as a language teacher and a few years in the live events industry. In 2005, I arrived in the UK, without very good English. As a lover of languages, I found this frustrating so while at Air France at City Airport I worked hard on my English and moved up from the check-in desk to Duty Manager.
Three years later, I landed the job that changed my work life. Thanks to my talent for languages and my go getter attitude, I earned the opportunity to work for performance cycle clothing brand Endura and develop the brand in Europe.
I realised I thrive on developing business, building brands and exploring new markets. In 2009, my husband and I started our own business from our kitchen table as 299 Lighting.
My role was looking after our marketing. Coming from outside the industry, I instantly broke all the ‘rules’. We were more fun and more creative than other lighting companies. It set us apart and set us up for the future. Today, we have a 17 strong team with some very knowledgeable and highly educated people. But our ethos of talking about lighting in an engaging way has stayed the same.”
WOD: Could you tell us a little more about your role at 299 Lighting?
MP: “As Marketing Director, I lead the company’s creative vision. We have a strong identity and an enormous passion that has fuelled us from the first days around our kitchen table. My role is to make sure we stay true to this, every day. I have a fantastic team of five and work with some external companies on very specific projects. I believe we should all do what we’re great at. After all, you won’t catch me playing with spreadsheets, but I love the written word and all things visual.”