When we got started back in 2014, we never believed that we'd last this long. The business had no name and had been started after the closure of Erskine Design, where Tom and I had worked together. That month, we scrambled together enough work and invoiced quickly enough that we managed to pay our bills.
Since then, we've outlined our plan to only work for clients that are making a positive impact on society and the environment. We've taken on employees, built great relationships with some amazing clients and committed ourselves to making a difference outside of our work.
All before it was fashionable.
Doing 'good' work
Before Kind, we had spent a long time building up our skills and knowledge and wanted to make sure they were put to good use. While the opportunity to have a directly positive impact with digital work is limited, we could at least make sure that every project we did was aiding a wider cause in some way, whether that be providing education, promoting cultural industries or researching low-carbon energy.
Our first group of clients took a chance on us and we're very glad they did. The ETI, for instance, have been our client for 5 years and while their funding is, sadly, ending soon and the organisation closing they are entrusting us to maintain their legacy through their website and searchable research database.
We've gone on to work with higher education clients such as Nottingham Trent University, Sheffield Hallam and Henley Business School as well as cultural institutions such as the V&A and UK Young Artists.
This array of work has made it easy to motivate ourselves to do a good job, knowing that the end goal is more than just increasing conversion and profit.
The biggest risk we have taken so far was when we employed our first member of the team, Georgia. Not because she wasn't an awesome designer who shared our values, but because it meant that we had to consciously decide that Kind was going to be more than a couple of ageing developers hiding from the job market!
It was definitely worth the risk and we have since enjoyed working with Georgia, Sam, Chris and Michelle as well as our short-term interns Curtis, Sophie and Priyanca, who we are sure will all go on to do good things.
As a team, we all share the same values, which can all be summed up as 'giving a shit'. We care about the quality of the work we produce, we care about it's impact to our client organisations and their audiences and we care about our impact on society and the environment.
To make it official, we joined 1% For The Planet in 2017 and are still Nottingham's only member. The human race, and businesses in particular, have a huge impact on the environment. We use its resources to build our offices and to create the products we sell and use daily. We owe it everything and so we believe that 1% of our turnover is the least we should be giving back.
Looking to the future
So, what next?
We've been making plans for the next 3 years and are very positive about the future of the agency. In the very near term we'll be launching a handful of large projects which we're excited to share. We're looking for a Senior Front-end Developer now and plan to expand our team to around 10 people by the end of 2022.
The environment will continue to be an important cause for us and we continue to look for a long-term non-profit who would not only benefit from our cash donations but also our expertise and enthusiasm.
Finally, we're always on the lookout for organisations we can help in the Education, Arts & Culture, Low-Carbon and any other sectors that continue to have positive impacts on the world. Give us a call if that's you!