I love telling stories. I always have. I can vividly remember my mom (I’m originally from Birmingham and that’s how we spell ‘mum’ – so not a spelling error!) coming home from a primary school parents’ evening bemused from learning about all the wonderful things I’d written that we had ‘done’ during the school holidays – there were descriptive day trips to the beach (quite a difficult feat living in the land-locked Midlands!) and adventures to theme parks wearing sequins and Laura Ashley dresses.

I don’t think it was a surprise when at 18, I left home for uni in Southampton to study Magazine Journalism and Feature Writing – by this point, though, I’d learnt that I wanted to share other people’s true stories.

In my 20’s, I worked on a variety of magazine titles – and also launched my own Brighton-based online magazine with a fellow journo friend, to celebrate my new hometown and local women in business as I quickly realised that it was the people behind the business who created the collaborative community that made my experience living in the city so wonderfully rich and welcoming.

However, when speaking to indie business owners, I found that so many found it really hard to talk about what they did, and also downplayed their achievements – even though I (and so many others) found them so inspiring; and I wanted to help them to celebrate their small business story so far, across their marketing content, to be able to connect with potential clients and customers.

As let’s face it: without them the business wouldn’t have existed. They are the business and the reason why people choose to buy from or work with them, as opposed to a national chain or company. It’s the personal service and the unique offering which only they can give. Yes, sure, others can replicate or do something similar, but every indie business is unique – and that’s because of the people behind it.

Since 2013, I’ve worked with a varied range of small businesses – from designers and makers to shop owners and restaurateurs and artists and coaches – creating, guiding and cheerleading them to share authentic content which feels aligned with them and their brand; on social media, in their newsletters, on their website and when contacting press and influencers. I do this through direct hands-on-support, monthly content coaching and through workshops and meet-ups.

While I don’t have too much spare time to write so many features anymore, I do still enjoy writing for independent magazines – including award-winning interiors and lifestyle title 91 Magazine where I love chatting to makers and shopkeepers across the world for their Meet The Maker and Shopkeeper Spotlight blog series.

If you’re interested in having a chat about we can work together, just drop me a line: shelley (at) smallbizstoryteller (dot) com.

P.S You’ll also (maybe!) be pleased to know that 7-year-old Shelley’s school holiday story wasn’t exactly all fiction, as I now live by the sea in sunny Worthing, and don sequins and Laura Ashley whenever possible (just not on rollercoasters). 

Clients have recently been featured in:

Huffington Post | Sunday Times Style | Forbes | Psychologies | Spirit & Destiny | Kindred Spirit | Stylist