Insight

Five minutes with… Lucy Lomas as Luma turns five

This month, Luma Marketing is celebrating its fifth year in business!  

That’s five wonderful, challenging years of building rewarding client relationships, helping businesses to stand out from their competitors, and developing long-term strategies to maximise brand awareness and deliver measurable results. 

In celebration of what’s been a great journey so far, over the coming weeks we’re going to catch up with some of our clients – past and present – to reflect on where we started and how far we’ve come over the years.  

The team wanted to kick things off by looking back. The first five minute interview was with me. 

First of all, tell us a little bit about where Luma started.  

Luma started out of necessity more than anything else. Out of a want – and need – to find a more fulfilling, balanced, and inspiring professional life. A desire to earn a living doing what I love most and doing so on my own terms. I wanted to create good work for good clients, eat breakfast with my little girl every day, all while standing up for what I’m passionate about – be that politics, female-led businesses, or anything else that drives me forward.  

I didn’t know exactly what the business would look like, but I knew what I wanted it to represent and stand for. And, let me tell you, that first year was tough. But after bringing a few great clients on board – namely, P4 Planning, Granit Architects in London, Ruth Jackson Planning and Iceni in Manchester – things really started to take shape.  

And what’s the journey been like so far?

When Luma was born, it was just one person. I couldn’t have predicted what a turbulent, rewarding ride it would be. We have worked with people across the globe, touching 40 different companies, creating seven new brands, and delivering eight pro-bono projects. We’re exceptionally proud of everything we’ve been able to accomplish. And although it hasn’t always been straightforward or easy, it’s always been authentically us. 

What’s been the greatest challenge?

For me, I’d say the greatest challenge was a largely personal one. Those times – especially towards the beginning – where I’ve struggled to hold on to my sense of self. But it was most notably in that very first year.  

Upon leaving my previous position, I felt free and released, but needed to do a lot of soul-searching on both the personal and professional level. I was free of my daily commute, the corporate wardrobe and high heels, but was left to figure out how to get the business off the ground with a small sleepless child in tow.  

Navigating a fractured relationship with a business partner in 2019 – and the resulting uncertain period for Luma – as well as COVID-19, certainly haven’t helped.  

If you could go back and give your five-years younger self a piece of advice, what would it be?

It would be to commit to something else in my life. Something external to my work and domestic life. A hobby, sport, or interest to help me recharge and carve out more time for myself. It’s something I’ve come to recognise really, really helps (and means that work time is much more focused and productive). 

Something I’ve learned professionally is how important it is to stop, switch off, let things go, and come back fresh the next day or after the weekend. I can’t just keep going. You’ve got to treat work like work. And put it down when it’s time to “stop work”. 

Finally, creativity isn’t about genius moments of inspiration. It’s about graft. It’s about taking the tools out of the box and applying your brain. Stop faffing and get the job done.  

And any standout moments?

One has to be taking on our first international client: Atlas. We worked over Christmas to get the proposition right, moving it from enquiry to confirmed client. And in January 2019, I got on the plane for two weeks in Vietnam with less than £200 in my bank account, leaving the rest of the business in the hands of my brand new business partner. And Atlas was a brilliant client for the next 2.5 years. 

The validation of being shortlisted for Prolific North this year and being nominated for the Downtown in Business awards has also been great. I was always confident Luma was award-worthy, but it’s been amazing to see this recognised externally. 

And finally, a standout moment that could’ve been: talking on the Manchester stand with Shoosmiths at MIPIM this year. COVID-19 obviously had other plans with that one, but we’re confident more opportunities like this will come our way. 

  

And that’s our five minutes with Lucy up! Thank you to Lucy for her time and giving us just a small peek into the world of Luma. Join us next time as we get others’ views of what has made Luma what it is today. 

 

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