Best of What’s Next

December 20, 2023 by Bearded Matthew

Reflecting on 2023: Insights from the MD

2023 was my second year as the Managing Director at Bearded Fellows. It’s been a trip so far! I love the role, but it’s tough, because it’s still new to me. I have to learn from my mistakes and rectify things quickly. It’s been humbling for sure! I took most of 2022 to just work out what the role even meant to me and in 2023 I have been able to step into it more. Personally, I have been able to get closer to the idea that a business with a purpose is a business worth having and growing! We’ll get to the purpose later…

The Bearded Fellows swanky new studio in Ancoats, Manchester

Moving into our new studio in February was the start of us realising an ambition we’ve had since day one. Before we started BF we were all craving a place where we could share, connect, and commune with our other creatives. We’ve had some great spaces over the years, but the size, layout, and location of our studio today gives us so much more opportunity to open our doors to our broader creative community of makers, creatives and freelancers to just come and work from our space. Let’s see what comes from it!

Two years ago we were just the four co-owners and since then we have doubled, and are now eight with Lill (Producer), Jack (Editor/Film Maker) Hollie (Animator/Illustrator) and Dan (Studio/Operations Manager) all in the mix. Having others in the business has been great, but in truth, it’s been vulnerable as well. So much of what we had as just four was powerful, but unsaid, undocumented, and not clearly defined. New people means that needs unpicking and rebuilding, it’s been hard at times, but in truth, it has been wholly positive and enjoyable to open our business up and see it through a newer (younger) perspective. 

An insight into our brand strategy

As part of that process, we now have a new brand strategy, which you can look at in more detail on this blog. Shout out to the great Notepad who helped us with it. 2024 will be about enacting that strategy and committing more to who we say we are. You are going to hear more from us on our social channels, see expert content on how to work better with agencies like us and you will see our visual brand and website evolve and reflect us better.  

What does 2024 have in store for Bearded Fellows?

So, 2024 looks exciting and challenging! We have allowed ourselves to be much more ambitious, which is a bit scary because it means we also face the possibility of failure. We have grown the team in a very organic way, but it’s time for change, it’s time for us to enact our intent. We’re going to grow our revenue and the team and produce better and more ambitious work all whilst investing even more effort into building a great place to work for our team that our clients can reap the creative benefits of. The hard part will be doing all of the above without undermining the strengths that have gotten us to where we are today. 

So, what is Bearded Fellows’ purpose? Why do we get up every day and do this thing we call work? In my own words and my perspective, it is that this is a human thing we do, where we make connections with each other and we get to do this in a physical space that is both enjoyable and energising, all so we can express our individual creativity and support others to unleash theirs. 

I just read this out loud to my 10-week-old son Gabriel and he happily smiled the whole time. May such good vibes continue and be blessed upon you! Here is the proof:

So here’s to 2024, more power and more creativity to you and yours! Wishing you the best festive bearded break possible,

Matthew Stanners aka BeardedMatthew

Managing Director
Bearded Fellows 

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