Interview Spolight With Lauren Jones, Founder Of Box Creative

Lauren Jones, founder of Box Creative, is an Accredited Brand Architect and Strategist, MA and BA (Hons) and certified crazy plant lady. She’s designed everything from retail interiors to global brand activations, bespoke furniture to award-winning digital customer experiences, and now helps purposeful organisations and female founders doing the good work, grow using the power of brand. Her design agency has unearthed hundreds of purpose-led brands across the globe and helped female business leaders boldly step into the spotlight.

Thank you for interviewing with us today, can you introduce yourself to us?

I’m Lauren Jones, and I love all things brand and design – been in the industry for over 16 years and STILL get excited about the work!  I’m founder of Box Creative Ltd and co-founder of Girls That Get Sh*t Done. We stand for championing strong women with bold ideas that change the world – those leading purposeful businesses and foundations around the world. Box is a truly global agency of brand experts, strategists, designers and copywriters delivering powerful branding for purposeful businesses, foundations and leaders doing the Good Work in social impact arena. 

Since starting, have you made any changes to your business model?

A What a ride it’s been.  I was a real generalist at the beginning – trying to offer all things to all people. I operated on a time-for-money basis, offering a shopping list of services and deliverables that just didn’t work; wasn’t efficient, wasn’t honouring the value of the work.

Very soon I realised we could provide something very special to a smaller group of clients. Namely those that brought us the most joy and had the most impact – women doing the Good Work: solopreneurs stepping out of corporate life into purpose-driven work, social impact leaders, foundation directors, non-profit leaders. 

Niching allows me to go deep into that woman’s wants and needs, fears, motivations, vision and how I can best serve them – it truly supports in delivering the best work.

As the business has grown, it’s allowed me to bring in other experts in their fields, so we can offer more than most people would expect from a boutique agency.

Have you ever had a mentor? If so, how has this benefitted you either personally or professionally?

I think that title can play such different roles and in different areas of our lives.

My first ‘mentor’, in hindsight, would have been a primary school teacher who encouraged us to ask questions, stay curious, look outside our town, be creative and not be too serious – all at once. He taught more than he could possibly know.

Professionally, I’ve since had Marty Neumeier as a mentor through his Level C programme – worlds apart but super valuable. I’ve also got 2 very close confidentes that I work with – my coach Gill Moakes who is my ultimate cheerleader and arse kicker; and Ruth Gaviria – my previous client who encourages me, grounds me whilst pushing me out of my comfort zone.

I wouldn’t have been able to build the business I have had I not been open to seeking mentorship. I had no idea what I was entering into! I’m now helping others who are treading a similar path, or peers, with my community Girls That Get Sh*t Done and through education workshops at leading universities. 

What outlets do use for marketing?

Relationships! In 2022 I decided to give IG a rest and go all in on LinkedIn – a platform where I could build more meaningful, professional relationships. Brand is so emotional that it really relies on building that connection with people first and foremost, and also the power of connections. Love it.

What or Who has inspired you most recently?

We are so lucky to work with such incredible individuals and teams doing great work in the area of social impact – so it’s hard to say any one!…

I’d say supporting Amanda Nuygen since 2019 through the Elevate Prize Foundation Brand and Marketing Academy I run – she’s the most successful law maker in the US, activists and icon – an inspiration and absolute change-maker. Keep your eyes peeled for her!

Carolina Garica Jayaram is the CEO of the Elevate Prize Foundation and is an incredible leader that it taking the foundation on a thrilling and impactful journey – it’s an honour to work with her and her team.

What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?

Play to your strengths – understand YOU first, and lean into that to best serve your clients and your business. Get help with the rest.

How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?

Answers on a postcard please! I feel this question becomes less relevant when you build a business you adore – it’s less about work/life and more about energy/value.

I used to suffer from work work work – laptop in front of the tv in the evenings, working weekends. But I’ve worked hard to get the right help, systems and mindset in place to work smarter and stay sane.

Name a seminal point in your career so far?

That ‘ah ha’ moment came when I realised I could do it for myself.
It was sparked by a series of events at an agency I worked at – the usual male subordinates getting paid more than me, misunderstanding of creative process, undervalued skill set and being told one day that I ‘cared too much’.  I realised that my care could be best spent elsewhere. That decision has allowed me the opportunity to support women on a similar journey and help them get the confidence to step out of those situations and into their own brilliance.

What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?

When my clients finally see themselves represented in a brand.  It’s often for the very first time – they feel seen, understood, heard and validated. It’s a magical moment.

Are there any leading entrepreneurs or SME leaders that you admire and if so, why?

Melanie Perkins – CEO and co-founder of Canva. She has an incredible story, incredible idea and incredible business that just keeps pushing and innovating. Anyone who helps bring brand and design to the masses, I’m here for!

How do you define your own success?

Growing a successful business whilst still being aligned to my own values and doing what I love, everyday. It’s that meeting point of your passion, skillset and meeting the needs of others. So many people end up sacrificing one of them…

Finally, what can we expect from you next?

Having grown Box Creative to be a hub of incredible creative thinkers and doers in the business, I can now take my voice to bigger audiences where it’s of real value. I want to demonstrate how the power of brand and design is so instrumental in the success of every organisation. I’m intrigued by where that path will lead in supporting amazing women doing the Good Work and amplifying their impact. Who knows?!

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