Look! It’s another Meg!
I’ve been getting lots of utterly brilliant feedback on this series of Meet the Megs interviews. It’s nice to know that you’re enjoying them because I’ve really enjoyed putting it together.
As a quick recap…
Today we’re meeting Meg Harrop from Lemon and Birch.
I’d been following Meg on Instagram for ages before I got in touch about these interviews. In fact, she was one of the Megs who originally made me think there might be something in this weird idea of mine – that there are great Megs out there doing great things, all different but facing the same challenges of working freelance. And I love her branding (her own branding – and the branding she creates for other people).
Anyway, stop rambling, Megan, and get on with introducing…
Meg Harrop works with purpose-led businesses to fill their brand visuals with meaning and magic. She’s passionate about helping like-minded women build their dreams into a reality with intentional, thoughtfully crafted branding and design. You can find out more on her website, Lemon and Birch.
Hi Meg! I’m going to start with the most important question first. Do you have a favourite fictional Meg?
Yes! Meg from Disney Hercules.
Excellent choice. I think you might get on with Meg Hapgood from last week’s interview. Let’s try another few quick questions. Are you an early bird or a night owl?
Night owl (I wish I was an early bird!).
Oh me too. Very much a night owl. Hmm… is there an emoji do you use most often?
Probably the laughing/crying face or the 3 little magic stars.
And what did you have for breakfast this morning?
That doesn’t count as breakfast in my book! If I don’t eat, you don’t want to talk to me. Anyway, less about me. Any Meg-related nicknames?
My soon-to-be brother-in-law now enjoys calling me The Meg after we all saw the new shark film.
And I’m sure you find that hilarious, each and every time… Back to the serious stuff. What do you do for work?
I’m a logo and branding designer working with creative women and purpose-led business. I love to create branding that’s not just beautiful to look at, I love to help tease out the meaning behind what people do and why and create branding that represents all those things and is captivating to their own ideal clients and customers.
I pride myself on having a friendly and flexible approach to my work. Some clients want to give me creative freedom to work with the information they’ve given me about their business and what I’ve learnt from them through chatting which is always really lovely. Some clients want to be more involved and bounce ideas back and forth with a super collaborative approach which is also really fun.
I’m totally adaptable and enjoy tailoring my approach to each individual, and I think that is actually one of the superpowers that a lot of introverted people like myself have. My personality might not be as ‘loud’ as others, but this means I am better at listening, picking up on important things, and seeing magic where others might miss it.
I didn’t study graphic design or branding at University, I got a degree in jewellery design and silversmithing! That is still one of my passions, but I ended up working on branding in a corporate office in my day job, uncovered a talent for it, and decided to set up my own design studio in 2016 to work with more like-minded people.
The office environment didn’t suit me, and I disliked being told how to do things! There is definitely a difference between being told what to do and working with someone who respects your skills and expertise.
This might be a really silly question given what you’ve just said, but if you could work from anywhere, where would that ‘anywhere’ be?
Home, I love my office space!
I have to say, it’s absolutely beautiful. I’m quite jealous.
Have you been given any brilliant business advice over the years? What would you tell someone who’s just starting out in the freelance world?
Take things one small step at a time. It’s important to have goals and big dreams, but it’s equally important to break things down into small steps and keep moving forwards. Keep reviewing how far you’ve come to stay motivated.
I’m not sure exactly where the advice came from, possibly the book ‘She Means Business’ by Carrie Green. Whenever I get flustered or feel like things are getting on top of me I always tell myself to go back to this advice and remember to break things down into do-able tasks.
You mentioned superpowers earlier on when you were talking about your work. I’m going to grant you one superpower (disclaimer: I’m not). What power would make your work easier and why?
Bernard’s watch, the ability to pause time would be soooo helpful. I’m a perfectionist and tend to spend longer than I should on most tasks!
Oh I agree, if only there were more hours in the day. While we’re talking about time, if I could give you a time machine to help with your work (disclaimer: I can’t), where would you go, what would you do, who would you meet and why?
Hmm, that’s a tough one! There are soooo many places and times I would want to go. I studied a little bit of art history for my degree and learning about the beginnings of humans making art was so interesting to me!
Cave drawings, the first jewellery people made, the first time someone realised that firing soft clay made it hard and waterproof, the first tools. It’s all creative and requires a different way of thinking. I would learn more about things like that first hand, ancient cultures and the way we used to live fascinates me.
Absolutely. And the ways we approach creativity and work depend so much on the tools we have available to us. What’s the most important tool you use for your work, other than your computer or phone?
I recently invested in an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, it’s become so useful in my day-to-day routine. I now use it for everything from digital journaling and to-do lists, to creating illustrations for branding projects and keeping up with social media.
It’s made my illustration process much quicker; I used to draw on paper and then scan into my computer to digitise, clean up, and edit the drawings. It’s cut out that whole scanning step and I can quickly transfer the drawings over to my computer.
And if I said could keep your phone, but only if you delete all but three apps from your phone, which would you save?
Spotify, because my life is soundtracked, I can’t live without music!
Pinterest, for business and personal life inspiration.
Instagram, because it’s my connection to so many amazing and inspirational business owners.
Sorry to interrupt you, Meg, but I have news. We live in worrying times, and there’s a zombie apocalypse brewing (eek, I know – actually if you’ve been following this interview series the zombies won’t come as a shock). Which three people would you want on your team and why?
My husband, Kieron. He’s pretty handy and he would just know what to do, he’s always got a plan and doesn’t panic.
My dog, Jolene. Judging by the way she barks at the post-lady (who is nice) I think she’d be pretty nasty to a Zombie. She can also sniff out food from miles off so we’d never go hungry.
Hermione Granger – She’s really clever AND she can do magic.
Excellent choices, but I want Hermione on my team too. We might have to decide that one by thumb wars. Thanks for the lovely chat… they’re getting closer now though… RUN!
It’s good to end on a cliffhanger, right? Next up, if I make it, is our final interviewee, Meg Bell. We’ll be talking clones, Ellen Ripley, and helping out small businesses.