20 years ago I started
I started Mettro 20 years ago as a fugitive from the design industry. I was a creative, an experienced studio manager, and a woman with a dream. The dream was of running my own show, working with great clients, and creating some exciting projects I could be truly proud of.
My background was in graphic design, and I had been lucky enough to work with a lot of great people over the years. After being in management for so long, I relished the opportunity to get my creative on, and get back to strategising, designing user interfaces, championing user experience and producing web and multimedia projects. That creativity was something I had missed as a manager, and one of the things about running your own show is you get to do a bit of everything. I love that!
That initial two-year start-up period was seriously tough, and yet it holds some of my fondest memories. Funny how tough times can do that, isn’t it? I was working myself harder than ever before – working into the night, and over the weekends, just to make ends meet. But I was lucky enough to be working with some great friends in a co-op situation, so we had each other to lean on, and we forged strong relationships that I still value today.
“I put Mettro’s success down to that tenacity that I developed in those early days, and my ability to always find a bright side. When we hit rough patches – and there are always rough patches in any business – I never hesitate to jump right in and figure out how we can work our way out of this funk.”
The years before the GFC hit were by far our glory days. Clients had money to spend, they were brave enough to try some creative ideas, and the vibe was overwhelmingly optimistic. Once the GFC hit things definitely got tougher, and media spend is often one of the first to be slashed when times get tough (which is a big mistake if you ask me).
But we have to ride the wave we’re given, and it has been a great exercise in a different kind of creativity, to be able to produce solutions for our clients that can give them the returns they want with a more conservative approach. And I’m a firm believer that you learn from every experience.
Some of my
- Working on the iconic Jacaranda Atlas. I grew up with the printed Atlas at school, so it was such a thrill to work with the team at Jacaranda to produce the innovative and award-winning digital version.
- Turning 10 and having a big shindig to mark the occasion (it can be so easy to let those moments slip by, but gosh it’s important to pat yourself and your team on the back sometimes!) complete with turning the Mettro building pink. Looking down the barrel of our 20th birthday is pretty exciting too!
- Winning an AIMIA award in 2011 for our work with Greenpeace on the Action Pact campaign. We worked with our friends at Circul8 to produce a website that would allow users from all over the world to be heard at the United Nations Climate Summit in Copenhagen.
- Working with Primary Connections to create interactive teaching resources that are user-friendly and customisable, so Primary Connections can make their own changes to keep up with the ever-changing curriculum, and teachers can adjust lessons to suit their own class. This was a great opportunity for me personally to further my specialisation in the education field.
These days, Mettro is not just a digital agency any more. We work with our clients on a range of ‘experience’ projects – everything from how to get customers through the door to how a customer interacts with them in their face-to-face environment.
Every day there is a new challenge, and even after 20 years, there is always something to learn and discover. I still love every minute of it!