What was your background before starting up The HudsonBec Group?
I grew up with an interest in art and design and was encouraged both at school and at home to pursue it. I studied graphic design at the University of Brighton and graduated in 2007. It’s Nice That was the result of a third year brief and, following a nine month job in a design studio after graduating, I started working with Alex Bec and it went from there.
When you started the company with Alex, did you know that it would become such an important group within the industry?
I think we always knew there was the possibility. We were lucky that other people liked the things we were interested in and writing about on It’s Nice That. We started at a time when a lot of people, including established publishers, were working out online content and the potential of it. We always worked hard and thought about what we were doing.
What lessons have you learnt along the way, since founding the company?
Have a plan and surround yourself with talented, enthusiastic people that want to make it happen. There is no substitute for hard work.
"Have a plan and surround yourself with talented, enthusiastic people that want to make it happen."
What are the key attributes of an artist or creative who gets featured on It’s Nice That?
It’s Nice That has always been a reaction to seeing something interesting. Whether it be an idea or an execution, from one of the world's leading ad agencies or a second year illustration student (and everyone in between). There’s no formula to what gets published; the editorial team meet twice a week to discuss things they’ve discovered, researched or been sent. We don’t profess to be experts — we’re honest, curious and interested.
"I still get a huge amount of satisfaction when someone we feature on It’s Nice That gets commissioned as a direct result of being seen there."
What was the strategy for It’s Nice That, and what do you think has allowed it to become the first port of call for those seeking creative inspiration and news?
The strategy is relatively straight forward; to celebrate and showcase creative work to as many people as possible in a tone of voice that makes it accessible and inspiring. The team share an inherent interest and curiosity in the work being produced. The challenges are in doing it in a way that doesn’t dumb it down, and look for cheap wins and page views for the sake of it. We’re in it for the long term and building a loyal audience is far more important than quick reader numbers that never come back to the site. It’s taken 11 years to build a monthly audience of over half a million readers and a social reach in excess of 1 million.
"It’s taken 11 years to build a monthly audience of over half a million readers and a social reach in excess of 1 million."
What have been the most rewarding aspects of setting up the group so far, and what have you got planned for the future?
When we revisited the purpose of the group a couple of years ago, the vision was very clear — to enable creativity to thrive. I still get a huge amount of satisfaction when someone we feature on It’s Nice That gets commissioned as a direct result of being seen there. The meaningful and adventurous work we’re doing for brands that wouldn’t exist without a creative idea and the team at Anyways. We’re also actively helping the next generation understand the industry they are entering through Lecture in Progress, and we have thousands of people looking for work through If You Could Jobs every week.
It’s very easy to work out the future of the group as it’s all focussed on that core purpose of enabling creativity to thrive.