Inspirational Woman: Laura Giffard | Founder, Perq Studio

Laura Giffard Perq Studio

Laura founded Perq Studio in 2017, having honed her brand, design and campaign management expertise in top agencies and qualified her aptitude for strategic thinking with an MBA in Entrepreneurship.

Her strategic focus, creative passion and dedication to client satisfaction form the ethos behind the Perq Studio brand.

Laura’s Italian heritage not only influenced the choice of name for the studio but is reflected daily in the warmth of her people-centred approach. As a hands-on founder, she oversees all client relationships; agreeing a vision and strategy for mutual success before nurturing each phase of brand, design and campaign development.

When not fastidiously working on client briefs, Laura is active in promoting marketing as a force for economic and public benefit through her charitable membership role as Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Marketors.

Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role

I’m originally from Italy but moved to Liverpool for University, staying on to achieve my MBA in Entrepreneurship. After graduation I moved to London where I worked in top agencies across sectors such as B2B, tech, beauty and retail before founding my own integrated creative agency, Perq Studio, in 2017. As the Founder & Strategist I balance running the overall business with building client strategies across brand, communications and research.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Yes, but I didn’t follow it! There’s a transition after University when you accept that your ideal version of starting your career is very different than the reality. I realised that so many decisions are actually based on how life shapes you and that you have to keep adjusting.  Seizing opportunities and being open to change serves you better than blindly following a plan.

Have you faced any challenges along the way?

When you launch a business, you’re filled with energy and self-belief, but when things take time or new business goes quiet, it’s hard not to be filled with self-doubt. As challenging as these times can be, they are crucial moments of self-reflection and help me re-evaluate and set priorities, strengthening our own brand to hit the ground running again. The perpetual challenge is achieving balance. Juggling the demands of having a young child, a dog, a charitable role as Liveryman for the Worshipful Company of Marketors and running Perq Studio is a fine art, one that I’m still fine tuning at times.

What has been your biggest achievement to date?

Opening Perq Studio, without a doubt. I wanted the freedom to explore new ideas and ways of working, which wasn’t always feasible when I worked for other people. I love that if we believe in an idea strongly enough we can make it happen without hoops to jump through. To give you an example, I’ve always believed that allowing our minds to engage more outside of work will fuel our creativity and ultimately increase our productivity inside of work. So we trialled and implemented a four day working week, which has been a resounding success. Being able to implement initiatives like #Tuesplays whilst producing dynamic and celebrated outcomes for clients is everything.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

My incredible team. Without a doubt. Having Nikki in place for Creative, myself for Strategy and Louise in Project Management is the key to Perq Studio thriving. I recognise that some elements of success will always come from being in the right place at the right time, and that any luck needs to be supported with a lot of hard work, but nothing is more important than having the right people to make things happen.

How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?

I think that for mentoring to be truly valuable both parties need an intangible understanding and natural chemistry born from similar experiences, I’ve learned from people I’ve mentored as much as the other way around. It’s essential to have set goals and the mentee needs to be ready to work – the mentor is a sounding board to help you make decisions, not someone to tell you what to do. I’m hearing a lot about reverse mentoring at the moment too and I find it a really interesting concept as I know that one of young people’s great advantages is keeping things fresh and bringing new concepts to the table, they’re not constrained by “this is how we do things around here”.

If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Parity, what would it be?

What a big topic – where do you even start? Luckily, I’ve never had a boss who has made gender an issue, but when Perq Studio first started I found myself in many uncomfortable situations. These ranged from not being taken seriously to full blown business meetings turning into a dubious date, so I adopted a policy of no after-hours meetings and I’ve learned that when I command respect, I’m given it. I would invest in education – teach people gender does not define us as individuals and question your own bias so you take positive action to accelerate the pace of change!

If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

Just because somebody says something, it doesn’t make it real.  Learning to follow my own intuition and dismiss limitations placed on me by others was a revelation, and I feel like I would have found my true calling sooner if I’d trusted myself more. I want to raise my daughter to know that she can be who she wants to be and find her own way in the world, without worrying about what others make of it.

What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?

The next challenge will be surviving year three! 90 per cent of start-up businesses fail within the first three years, and I’m determined that Perq Studio won’t become a part of that statistic. Looking further ahead, I want to solidify our reputation as a creative powerhouse with boutique service and continue to make Perq Studio a business that brings joy, purpose and meaning to my team and their work.

Related Posts

Comment on this

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

X