Sheffield business woman advises her 14-year-old-self: Commit to realising your ideas, no matter how big or fleeting

Sheffield business woman advises her 14-year-old-self: Commit to realising your ideas, no matter how big or fleeting

08 March 2017

In celebration of International Women’s Day., we are sharing the experiences of Sheffield women in business all week. Follow @Creativesheff to learn more.

Communications Director for Sheffield based Band of Birds, Jenny Brown, explains how a love of the outdoors and a passion for communications has culminated in a creative start-up in The Outdoor City.

A communications agency based out of SUM Studios in Heeley, Band of Birds work with a wide range of clients across the Outdoor Industry to promote their work. Whether that's organising the launch of a new product, creating an animation to explain how a piece of equipment functions or enlisting the support of the media to raise awareness and build the reputation of a brand.

So Jenny – if you’re working with outdoor brands and businesses how much time do you actually get to play in the outdoors?

At the moment, my professional focus is on running our business.  Any time outside of that is spent climbing, doing yoga or running in one of Sheffield's lovely parks or the Peak District with our dog. We make sure we find the time for that!

Some people we speak to have always known what they wanted to do for work - what were your childhood ambitions?

To be a Blue Peter presenter!

You’re not from Sheffield originally, what attracted you here and why does the location work for your business?

Quite simply, Sheffield's close proximity to the great outdoors means it is a prime location for anyone who has a love of the outdoors. It was the obvious choice of location for us to set up and provide communications support to the many and growing number of outdoor business which exist in and around the city. 

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

Running your own business involves a lot of juggling and spinning of plates, that certainly keeps me on my toes! But there are many rewards in my job. The outdoor industry is a very friendly place, full of people who genuinely love what they do. It is fantastic to be part of something that has so much energy and ambition and to be able to support that through the work we do. 

Has there been a pivotal moment in your career that propelled it forward more than any other?

Probably the moment when my partner Matt and I realised that if we worked together we could do something really exciting. As a researcher-cum-animator, Matt is really good at clueing himself up and using that knowledge to create content that is visually engaging, informative and relevant to the audiences we are trying to reach. Together with my expertise in communications gained working in publicity, marketing and digital comms roles across the arts and media sector, we could foresee the benefits of combining our skills and shared passion for the outdoors.

Today is international women’s day and the world-over people are sharing the experiences and celebrating the achievements of women. If you could go back in time and give your 14-year-old-self some advice – what would it be?

Commit to realising your ideas, no matter how big or fleeting.


Thanks Jenny! For more stories of Sheffield women in business please visit