Hailing from Harrogate, my own story weaves through a degree at Oxford University and a diverse career with stints at Macmillan Cancer Support, The University of York, Pavers Shoes and York Cocoa Works in addition to running my own small business.
I studied Biological Sciences at The University of Oxford, specialising in Environmental Biology and Animal Behaviour. This was an incredible opportunity and experience, if not a little surreal at times!
At the end of my course I returned up North and began my career supporting students with special educational needs in a local secondary school, working in an independent cupcake shop on the weekends. In my mid-twenties I wanted to do something really different and I was lucky enough to volunteer for 3 months in Nicaragua with Raleigh International as part of the International Citizen Service scheme. I was involved in range of community-led projects including supporting two local entrepreneurs to set up a sustainable eco-latrine business for their community.
In 2016 I moved from Harrogate to the wonderful city of York! I worked in an administrative/PA role within Macmillan Cancer Support before an opportunity came up at the newly formed International Pathway College at the University of York. In addition to pastoral and administrative support I produced newsletters, managed social media and organised student wellbeing and social events.
My next role as Communications Officer at Pavers Shoes was a fantastic opportunity to hone my copywriting skills. I produced a monthly internal newsletter publication and supported the Pavers Foundation team with marketing their charitable work on the website and on social media.
The covid-19 pandemic scuppered plans for lots of people and I, like many, got made redundant. This felt like the perfect time to pull all my experience together and head in a new direction – starting my own business! As a chocolate lover with a newly discovered passion for craft chocolate I saw an exciting niche within the industry: by-products of the chocolate industry! Cocoa Rebellion was born. Cocoa Shell Tea was our hero product and we also sold Cocoa Fruit Juice, exfoliating soap, cocoa butter bath melts and bean to bar chocolate. We sold from our website, Etsy and our tea stocked within a local weigh store. I collaborated with other local brands and traded at the Indie Makers fair at the Corn Exchange. This experience was a steep learning curve but invaluable in terms of appreciating everything involved within running a small business, from marketing, new product development, accounting and legal requirements and regulations.
This path led to a fantastic opportunity when I was recruited by Holly as Marketing and Business Development Lead at York Cocoa Works! For a chocoholic with a passion for local business and changing the cocoa industry for the better, this was a dream role for me! Together we implemented a new marketing strategy to capture key sales periods and launched a variety of yummy chocolate goodness and eco-friendly packaging solutions into the world!
In 2023 I went on maternity leave to have my little boy, Joel. Sadly he passed away at 3 days old at Martin House Children’s Hospice. Once again my path crossed with the wonderful Holly who invited me on board ina freelance capacity during my maternity leave. 6 months later, we decided to make it official and I became Yorkshire Brand Stories’ first employee!
As Junior Brand Manager, I am soaking up all of Holly’s experience and expertise! Copywriting, client care, challenging existing processes, a strong attention to detail and thinking outside the box are all strengths I bring to the table as well as my local knowledge and unique insights as a small business owner. Outside of work I am completing my CIM Certificate in Marketing to complement my experience so far.
I am passionate about new and innovative products and services and I am especially drawn to brands that embrace environmental responsibility and ethics. I have a soft spot for local independents and a few of my personal favourites include The Bothy, Laura Fawcett Styling, Dogobees, Yoga for Modern Life, Brew & Brownie andPartisan. On a national scale, I am excitedly following the journey of brands such as Lucy & Yak and Upcircle.
“I am excited to bring my experience working with local brands and running my own small business toYorkshire Brand Stories!”.
‘Beth is a key member of the team and really helps keep my sanity in check when things get a bit busy. She has a keen eye for detail and isn’t afraid to challenge when she thinks something isn’t right – an important quality when your business is looking after someone else’s brand! She has a wonderful way with words and effortlessly translates my garbled brand thoughts into beautifully crafted copy. Beth is responsible for all the wonderful words on our social media platforms are really helps me distil what it is we are trying to achieve with the business.’
Holly Ashby, Yorkshire Brand Stories
Let’s help you create a visual and verbal identity for your brand! Your Brand Story!
Once your brand story is in place, let us help you market your business to your desired customer base.
Do you have a product in mind that you’d like to bring to market? We can help you asses the market opportunity, help you find quality suppliers and ensure your product stands out and is fit for purpose.
We’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing Yorkshire brands since the business launched in 2020 across a range of sectors. Find out a bit more about the people and brands we’ve collaborated with over the years…
Chocolate products and gifts in a York Based chocolate factory. Working with the in house manufacturing team, we defined, developed and launched a range of gifts for seasonal opportunities bringing in new customers and revenue streams to the business.
Indian spice blends and gift sets for a restaurant in Manchester. We reviewed the market opportunity, sourced local manufacturing partners and launched a range of quirky, house spice blends and gifts to give customers the chance to experience Zouk at home.
Lash extension products for UK leading beauty professional supplier, Sweet Squared. A challenging product range to work with, but gave us the chance to let the brand and packaging do the talking!