A couple have moved into new offices in the heart of Altrincham after taking the brave decision to set up their first business together.
Wayne Berry, 33, and Julaine Speight, 31, have moved into an open-plan first-floor office on the corner of Stamford Park Road and Ashfield Road after launching digital marketing start-up JAW Digital.
It gives them a panoramic view over Altrincham, the place they also now call home after moving in together 16 months ago.
“I’ve worked in many different towns and cities and we looked at a few places in Manchester for our first office, but as soon as we saw this place we fell in love with it,” said Wayne.
“At first we thought we’d just missed out on it, but thankfully that fell through so we snapped it up. Altrincham is the place to be at the moment and it’s fantastic to have set up our first business here.”
Having started his career in sales, Wayne moved into digital marketing and rose quickly through the ranks with the likes of Yorkshire company WMG and Manchester-based Kudos Web Design.
He met Julaine, a former Loreto Grammar pupil and University of Oxford graduate, when the pair were working together at a Hale web design company. Julaine left the company last year to work for Manchester-based Tangerine, one of the biggest PR agencies outside London, but it wasn’t long before the ambitious pair hatched a plan to go it alone.
Wayne duly left his job last year, and Julaine finally handed in her notice to focus on JAW a few weeks ago.
And it’s proved an inspired decision so far, with Wayne and Julaine building up a roster of 15 clients that they service between themselves and a pool of five specialist contractors. Growth has been so impressive that Wayne is confidently predicting the company will soon be up to a full-time headcount of 10.
JAW looks to provide a one-stop digital marketing solution, encapsulating web design, search engine optimisation, social media marketing and ecommerce. SMEs are a key source of business – it already counts a number of Altrincham businesses on its books – but it has also begun work recently with a PLC and is planning to target others.
“I have a genuine passion for talking to clients about how to help them win more customers or get more sales through digital marketing,” added Wayne.
So how has it been working together so far?
“It’s challenging but we love it,” says Julaine. “It’s hard to switch off from thinking about client work or our plans for the company, but because it’s our own thing, it doesn’t really feel like work.
“Everything we’ve done in our careers so far has in a way prepared us for this, and we’re hugely excited about the future.”
JAW Digital Ltd, 2a Ashfield Road, Altrincham WA15 9QJ