Natalie Sharp, Founder of Sharp Thinking Marketing Ltd
Providing ways to get small businesses noticed
In the last 10 years I’ve become a mum to two wonderful daughters, Lana and Laurel; left the hustle and bustle of London to seek serenity in Tunbridge Wells; and founded a marketing consultancy service that works around the needs of my family. I’m a different person now and giving back – especially to the local community – is a key part of my motto.
Before that I had a rewarding career in marketing – working in advertising agencies and taking on in-house roles within the private and not-for-profit sectors. It’s been a privilege to work alongside some of the country’s finest industry talent – including an extremely rewarding placement with British Airways, which kickstarted my career; the National Skills Academy; the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy; and Vodafone, where a campaign won an IPA Award after I’d creating a brand-new social media strategy that’s still in operation today (seven years on).
During the week that strategy launched, my waters broke on the train to London and I gave birth to Lana two months prematurely; then followed a five-year career break to take care of her and become a mum again to Laurel.
I launched Sharp Thinking Marketing in 2017 when Laurel started nursery. With Lana already in school, I gave myself the time to develop a business plan and promote my service. After five years out of the game, it felt at times like I was starting from scratch – especially when it came to refamiliarising myself with the digital world and how things had changed. Also, I made the conscious decision to work with businesses located in the local area because I didn’t want to commute to London, even though I knew The City was the more practical place to target for my particular area of expertise.
I’m happier now than I’ve ever been – thriving professionally (one of my campaigns for a consumer publishing client won an award for ‘Best Direct Marketing Campaign’ from the HP European Inkspiration Awards) and undertaking lots of voluntary work (mentoring young entrepreneurs in the Kent Foundation; raising money for the national music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins through completing a triathlon; and managing a local school’s PR and social media needs).