Being the curious cats we are, we had a good ol’ chinwag with our top dog & Koozai owner, Sophie Roberts. Here’s what we learned…
Where did you grow up? I grew up on the sunny south coast – I had a really happy childhood, played out a lot with friends, did a lot of sport, & generally spent most summers on the beach.
What was your first job? A paper round! But it interfered with my sports clubs/evenings on the beach so I changed to doing weekends, but the supplements were so heavy I couldn’t carry them on my bike – so my dad used to drive me – haha!
What next? After uni, I dove straight into PR as a freelancer. I told myself I didn’t just want to be making tea & doing press cuttings – back in the olden days it was actually cutting out the article & measuring it, sticking it in a document. I worked on some cool brands like Wotsits, Airfix & Humbrol & Victorinox. My favourite campaign was one aimed at students & was called “How Long is Your Wotsit?” You can imagine the fun we had with that.
I then went off travelling to Asia, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific Islands & the US.
Upon return I moved into the hospitality sector & won a Catey [the industry Oscar] for best Independent Marketing Campaign for the work I did on the Service! TV programme which aired on the BBC. My campaign got so much traffic, new members & interest in front-of-house professions – it worked better than even I had believed it could.
When did Koozai come into the picture? At the same time, I was pregnant & moved out of London. As luck would have it, a local digital marketing agency – Koozai – was looking for a Client Services Manager. During my first interview, I met Ben, Koozai’s founder; we got on from the get-go & I felt like part of the family straight away. I progressed through the business until one day Ben asked if I’d like the role of MD. He reminded me that when he’d interviewed me all those years ago, I said my ambition was to “have his job”. Well. What was I supposed to say to that? There have been some challenging times but overall I loved working for Ben & Koozai.
When the pandemic hit us I decided to buy into the business and set it up under a new company entity. It’s the same brand and ethos, just under a new company. I was delighted that all our clients and the team transitioned over. It was the excellent relations with them that made me want to ensure we did the best we could for each and every client and member of the team. I believed in us & I knew we’d be able to ride out the storm & here we are! In fact, I’m very proud that over 62% of our clients have been with us for 3 years or more, and 38% of those for over 6 years.
Let’s get personal… I’m a fierce advocate of work-life balance & I hope the team would agree. It’s important that everyone has time to relax and re-energise. I adore my family & spend as much time as I can with them (although the small is now a tweenager). Outside of my family, I have a slight obsession with organisation. Like ‘The Home Edit’ all my drawers & cupboards have labelled containers & my husband has to drag me away from the Kilner jars aisle regularly.
Any favourite Koozai memories? Some of my favourites are the clients we’ve done awesome work for – winning awards for Travelbag & Papa Johns for example. But also what we do together as a team. Seeing people get married, have kids & grow as people. I love all that. I know it’s cheesy, but I do love my koozfam.