Our Stories: Jessie Scoullar

Written by Jen Hacker.

Like so many of us, work changed a lot for Jessie Scoullar in 2020. After losing a few projects at the beginning of lockdown, she turned her talents towards helping others and got involved with Help Musicians UK, a charity that provides support for artists.Jessie Scoullar

In a time when work is dwindling, she’s been flat out for the past few months. “I think I’ve worked with about 50 artists, helping them build a foundation to grow engagement with their fans,” Jessie said.

In her role as a mentor, Jessie helps newer artists and those less established online to find ways of expanding and creating special products and experiences for their fans. This is especially important now that touring and appearances have all been put on hold. As she says “Bands gotta make money.”

Starting out as an artist management assistant, Jessie worked with some of the biggest names in the New Zealand music scene. “My first experience with artists in NZ was with Bic Runga when she was recording her album, Birds,” she said. “I was just driving them around and getting them lunch,” she shrugs, but with names like Neil Finn, Anika Moa and Shayne Cartner it was a stellar start.

Jessie moved to London in 2007, following her two older sisters and a lot of friends all embarking on their OE. Once she arrived in London, Jessie began working for PRS for music where she stayed for two years before accepting voluntary redundancy.

Our Stories: Tiffany Hardy

Written by Bronwyn Huband.

For many people, Coronavirus has been at least a change of pace and at most a life changer, whether that be a new job, or even moving back to New Zealand.Tiffany Hardy Voice Booth 2

Faced with the prospect of not having her usual drumbeat of work, Tiffany Hardy did not let losing her job stop her. She spent time reading and thinking about what she wanted to do with her career, before rapidly deciding to set up her own business mid-crisis.

Reading our book club book, The Squiggly Career, was a game changer – it sparked the passion in Tiffany to use her skills more to help people. The book is based on the idea that we don’t work our way up the career ladder any more, instead we squiggle our way around.

“I have had quite a squiggly career, working in radio, TV, the travel industry and in production, so it’s been quite the squiggly ride,” Tiffany said.

After reading the “Super Strengths” chapter of the Squiggly Career it really made her think and assess things. Not only did it get her to figure out her super strengths, but it pointed out that the ones that are most important are not necessarily your strongest strengths, but the ones that you enjoy the most and that make you happy.

Our Stories: Brooke Dennis

Written by Bronwyn Huband.

Brooke Dennis is one of many expat New Zealanders in London who have had to diversify their businesses over recent weeks. She’s one of the brains behind The Scrub Hub – an initiative created to provide scrubs to doctors when suppliers couldn’t meet demand.Brooke Dennis

For Brooke, COVID-19 has meant she can’t run the business, she set up only six months ago to provide a space for textile making. However, instead of wallowing in this she looked at what she could do to help.

The chance to do something to help came by way of a friend asking Brooke if she could sew some scrubs for one doctor. That one doctor’s request turned into creating hundreds of PPE-type scrubs for consultants across London. The scrubs are not certified PPE but instead are used by consultants and the like, who wanted to be easily identifiable and not be in their usual clothes for work.

Quality is not compromised. Brooke set out a standard for quality and craftsmanship – volunteers had to be very good sewers. She also uses cotton, because it’s better for the environment, as well as being comfortable and breathable.

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