When Jackie suggested a “2019 in review” December blog post, I didn’t realize how interesting of an exercise it would be for me to look back on our year and acknowledge our progress. As I do, it’s hard to believe that this time last year I was saying so long (but not farewell) to our longest serving team member Livi as she moved to Spain. I never could have imagined that a short 12 months later our team would have grown from two to five!
So, here are some of the highlights…
In January, I completed a business acceleration with Vitality, a female focused business accelerator. This was a tough, eye-opening, and motivating experience that caused me to intensely focus on what kind of company I wanted to build. I credit Vitality with spurring the growth that I&Co. achieved this year.
In February, we wrapped up yet another successful Women’s Heritage Walk with over 60 participants and the launch of a refreshed brand identity. It’s hard to believe we’re about to embark on the sixth edition of the Walk in five short weeks and our first ever Men’s Heritage Walk in six weeks. Interested applicants to the latter are still welcome!
In March, I welcomed Jackie and Eman to the team as Brand Manager and Social Media Manager respectively. Their recruitment has augmented the team’s skill set tremendously and they both offer so much to both I&Co. and its clients.
In April, we onboarded two new brand management clients Azher and Boutique Living Collection, both of whom were in the process of launching new brands to market. They were completely different projects that challenged and grew our team.
Market research grew to be an important service offering for I&Co. in 2019. In May, we embarked on a fascinating research project with a soon to be launched e-commerce brand. Through our focus groups and quantitative survey, we helped the brand shape a strategy and redirect their approach to better resonate with the target audience.
In June, we worked with the wonderful Tribe Dubai to immerse the team more deeply into their
homegrown furniture and home styling brand. Brand advocacy training is one of our favourite things to do with clients, as it is so rewarding to see teams ignited with love for the brands they work for. We were also enlisted to market the Ellevate Dubai annual forum, which was an incredible event by all accounts.
In July, we all refreshed and rejuvenated with the team spreading around the globe for summer fun. Ohhh that seems so far away now!
In August, we moved into our new office in Business Bay. Up until then we had all been working remotely, but as our team grew, we needed a space to call our own. Come by for a coffee!
September was our busiest month ever, and we serviced a total of eight clients to kick off the post-summer season. That was definitely a dive into the deep end after the holiday period, and we expanded out team with our wonderful Junior Brand Manager Israa to continue offering our clients the best service possible. During this month we began working with Mona and the Insight Out team, who are among the most passionate clients we have ever had.
In October, we kicked off the Women’s Heritage Walk for 2020 and announced the first ever Men’s Heritage Walk. We have worked with the organizers of these events for four years now. We also ventured into the exciting world of podcasting with one of our clients, and we foresee many more podcasts in our future. Big shout out to Chirag of Amaeya Media and the Grapevine team for all their support on this project.
In November, we brought a client’s dream to life. At the beginning of our work together, Mouza Al Hameli defined success as an event that would bring together her friends and family to launch her academy Azher. It was incredibly rewarding to be a part of her process from idea all the way to execution. We also sadly said farewell to Tanya Theodory-Sleiman who had been a part of the I&Co. team for 18 months. We wish her the best in her new, exciting role.
And here we are in December looking back on a fantastic 2019 and wondering what 2020 will have in store for us.
Hope to see you all then!