I will admit that it is strange to be writing a piece for myself, and not for another business owner, helping them find the words to tell their story!
My name is Kate Lloyd, and some of you may know me from Spotlight Newport, or Poppy Marketing. Who am I? Yes, I am the face of Spotlight Newport, and of Poppy Marketing, but I’m much more than that!
I’m passionate about helping local businesses not just grow, but thrive. I’ll admit I just can’t seem to do the same with plants though, much as I would like to! How did I get to be running a networking group and copywriting business in the Newport area? It wouldn’t make an interesting read without a few twists and turns now would it?
I have always loved writing, and reading. In fact, I always have a book or 3 on the go at any one time. Right from a young age, my mum encouraged my creative side. We went to the library regularly, so I could borrow as many books as they would let me. I would draw, paint and write as much as I could.
Growing up in Australia, I was lucky to live near the beach, and would often end up gazing out the school window into the ocean. Being near the ocean is always one of my favourite places to be – especially overnight in a tent. Surprisingly, after leaving school I went in a completely different direction than you would think. Not English, or anything creative, but straight into an Environmental Science degree for me! I’ve always been passionate about where I live, and the natural resources we use, and I absolutely loved my time at university – so much so that I completed not 1, but 2 science degrees in just 4 years.
Fast forward a few years, and I left my job working for a local council, and decided to travel. Jumping on a plane and travelling halfway around the world on my own, I was ready for adventure. Just me, my backpack and a Lonely Planet guide for Europe!
I did the typical Aussie thing of working in a pub in London for a while (it pretty much has to be done) to finance several more months of travel. I spent time then living and working in some beautiful spots in West Wales, the Lake District and more. Wales was where I felt most at home though, and where I met my now husband.
I ended up settling here in South Wales, and decided on a career change. I loved what I did from an environmental side of things, but unfortunately it did involve a lot of compliance work, which just wasn’t what I could see myself doing in 20 years time. Then again, neither was financial services, which is where I somehow found myself.
I wasn’t happy, and one day I just stood there thinking …’How did I get myself into this?’
The question should really have been ‘How do I now get myself out of this?’
I was standing at the front door – ready to go to work. I was working in a corporate job I hated. I had unrealistic targets, and a boss who was a bully. I wasn’t spending enough time with my husband and daughter.
Several nights a week I wasn’t home until after she was in bed. I was miserable. I was at the point where I couldn’t open the door to leave the house without having a panic attack.
This was one of those Sliding Doors moments in my life. Do I push past the fear and panic and keep going into a job I hated, and didn’t want to do any more? Or do I stay in and try and work out what I want to do with my life?
For those that know my story, I didn’t go out that day. In fact, I never went back into that corporate environment again. It wasn’t an instant thing – in fact it took more than 6 months before I felt like I could open the front door, and really go out again. I think I needed that time to find myself, and work out what I wanted to do.
Running my own business wasn’t something I had ever envisioned for myself, but I’m so glad I do. I love helping other businesses with their marketing, and telling their stories. Helping them find their voice. Helping them step out of that door and spread their wings, just as I have.
So, who am I?
I am a force for good in the world.
I am a wife, a mother, a stepmother and step grandmother, a daughter, a sister, a friend.
I am full of good ideas (and probably a few bad ones).
I am a terrible gardener, but I love plants.
I am an environmentalist, and care about the world we live in.
I am a beach lover.
I am passionate about supporting local people, and local businesses.
I am a private person, a little introverted – but once you get to know me, then watch out!
I’m a crazy Aussie, who has made her home here in Wales.
I am someone who hates being in front of the camera.
I am a devourer of books – I love to read, and rarely watch TV.
I am my own worst critic.
I am the friendly ear when you need to talk (or vent).
I am your own personal cheer squad.
I am a lover of musicals – someone who is always belting out a show tune (but usually not in tune).
I am protective.
I am someone who wears their heart on their sleeve.
I am easily distracted.
I am a pyjamas by 8pm kinda person, but definitely NOT an early bird!
I am not one to follow the crowd.
I am a list-maker. I have lists of all my lists.
I am messy. I may be organised, but I have a very cluttered office!
I am the one to help you fight your battles, to help you grow your business and to hold your hand when you need it.
I am the one to watch you spread your wings, and fly like I know you can!
I am not one for labels
I am me.
Kate Lloyd owns and runs Poppy Marketing, a marketing and copywriting company based in South Wales. She writes blogs and social media for local companies, as well as science and engineering companies across the UK. Kate also runs Spotlight Newport, a local business group who come together to encourage people to use local businesses and services wherever possible, and help promote each other. She also runs regular business networking meetings, and workshops.