It all began a hazy six-ish years ago on the side of picturesque country road in Somerset, when my mum met Jon, her neighbour. At that time, Noisy Little Monkey was a mere embryo of the spotty teenager you see today and Jon was in a panic. He was selling like crazy but delivering like… well less crazy shall we say and he needed some help. Nic hadn’t quite given up her successful, well paid, fulfilling career in Bristol to join the team (apart from making sure clients were actually billed) so my mum kindly volunteered me for the role of “helper”. She’s good like that.
Although, I wasn’t looking for a job. I’d literally just given birth to my third child and was wrestling with the reality that my life would never be the same again. I’d never be able to go to the toilet on my own and I’d be bitter for the rest of my life, about the loss of my life. I was also battling with the guilt of not being “that mum” who’s highlight of the week was taking little Fifi to a local toddler group and decorating the kitchen walls with crap pieces of kiddie craft.
But just to satisfy my intrigue about some guy who actually thought “Noisy Little Monkey” was a good name for a company, and because the job would only involve a 10 minute commute, I gave Jon a call. That was it. Jon and I spent an hour sat round a table at Monkey HQ (the kitchen) and laughed. A lot. I started the following week.
- NLM's first HQ in Silicone Mallet (Shepton Mallet) affectionately known as the "The Dungeon" -
Six years on, I seem to have done every job in the company and more (I helped serve the cup cakes at Jon & Nic’s wedding!). I started writing reports for clients on improving visitor traffic when I hadn’t really grasped the meaning of SEO. It involved cutting and pasting complicated graphs into a document whilst hoping they didn’t ask me questions about what it all meant. We did link building when it was all about the link, not the source, so spammy directories that listed an assortment of 500 different types of company were perfectly legit.
I wrote blogs about architectural awards, trampolines and health supplements. I crafted and sent out numerous newsletters (some with accidental typos and missing links), created random Facebook competitions and learned how to Tweet. I’ve set up and transferred data between more CMSs, CRMs and productivity tools than I could have dreamed of and more recently, run two decent sized conferences and a handful of networking events. But in all of that, my favourites have to be:
Hanging out at the annual Mid-Somerset Show, flinging screaming monkeys at small terrified children and taking photos of strange fluffy dogs.
- We still sponsor "The Noisy Little Monkey Perpetual Cup For A Dog Who Hasn't Won A Prize Yet" at the Mid-Somerset Show -
Being “in-charge” of the office with Jon’s mum Marilyn so that Jon & Nic could finally have a holiday (we did quite a lot of chatting, and sometimes answered the phone).
The day Tash joined me in the dungeon, so when Nic & Jon were out at meetings, I wasn't alone. Cold, but not alone. That's when the fun (and images) really started (note: it was such a long time ago, digital photography was not what it is today).
The annual summer bbqs, especially the ones when the neighbours were invited because it wouldn’t have been much of a party with just the 4 of us.
Home baking. With the exception of Tash’s cookie monster cakes that had so much food colouring in, I had to pull over on the way home to be sick!
Six (pretty dodgy) Christmas campaigns, which thankfully have improved over the years and no longer involve endless glitter or me & Jon attempting to sing. I’ll do anything if you give me wine.
And finally, one of our first and best clients, Pixie Dust. https://twitter.com/teampixie
But over and above all of that, just being at the start of such an exciting young business where people matter, enthusiasm is rife, work is hard and jokes are taken to an unnecessary extreme.
I’m going to miss my Noisy Little Monkey family.
BTW. I love being a mum really. And none of my children are called Fifi. But I still hate craft.
Cover Photo: Blue Ice in South Greenland, Camilla Hey