Special Guest Interview: Meg Ellis
Meg Ellis lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom where she runs her new business, Jetpack. She spent years working in busy London before deciding to start her own career. Today she tells us about her current and upcoming projects, along with her ups and downs to starting her own business.
Before starting Jetpack, what were you doing for a career?
I was a talent agent to television and radio presenters. I lived in London and managed the commercial, television and radio interests of celebrities.
Why did you decide to leave your job and London behind?
I lived in London for about 7 years, and by the end of my time I was stressed through being overworked. I hated getting public transport, and I hated never having any money. I worked solidly and had nothing to show for it by the time my rent left my account. I had worked consistently for years with little holidays or personal time, so I decided to be kind to myself and take a leap of faith.
During this time I had developed a lot of anxiety and fears—silly things such as claustrophobia, cycling, the ocean. I decided I wanted to overcome them. I was heartbroken from the break up I was going through and a shell of my former self.
I moved out of the home I shared with my partner, I sold my things and I just decided to learn to be me again. So, I went to South East Asia. I travelled for the first three months of 2018 and returned to my family home in Newcastle, shiny and new this past March.
What inspired you to start this business?
If I’m totally honest, nothing excited me enough to entice me back to London. I fell in love with the countryside, the people and my mums Sunday roasts. It was going to have to be a hell of a job offer to make me go back.
I have always said I would own my own business since I can remember, I actually designed the branding for Jetpack at university in Leeds years ago. I didn’t know then what the company would be. It was a now or never moment, and I took it.
Can you explain Jetpack to our readers?
Jetpack is a pay as you go creative personal assistant service. We help busy individuals manage their home and working lives by offering personal, business and social media assistance. We do anything from managing diaries and event management to creating social media and marketing strategy. The beauty of it is that its pay by the hour, which is really beneficial to SME’s.
You've been active with the i_weigh campaign to promote body positivity. What has this experience been like for you?
I am really passionate about creating a world that young men and women can grow up in where they can be themselves. They don’t have to conform to look or be a certain way because of social pressures, such as the pressures we encounter daily on social media.
I teamed up with Jameela Jamil a few months ago to run www.instagram.com/i_weigh, and within this time we have grown our community to 143,000 followers. We are now building this into a social enterprise. The experience has been quite overwhelming, I am inundated with frightened parents of young people every day who don’t know what they can say or do to help navigate their children through their social media landscape and through school. There are so many pressures that the media, such as magazines and the fashion industry, place on us as individuals to fit the ‘norm’ and perfect ‘beauty’ standard. There is so much we have to do to change this, and i_weigh is helping so many people already. I am hugely privileged to be part of it and passionate about making positive social change.
What has been working for you and your business lately?
Social media is a huge part of making my business successful, as there is so much demand for it. However I consistently have people coming to me for my ideas on how they can be creative with their business, so I do a lot of creative strategy which I love doing.
What have you struggled with the most?
Time! I wish I could clone myself. Running three businesses is so incredibly difficult, there is so much to be done when you set up a business, and you play every role within a company. I don’t have any time for myself and I find it difficult to shut off. I am sure this will improve as I build a team.
What is your business mantra?
// Be personal and be nice. \\
I don’t want to get to a stage where I don’t have control over my customer relationships. I really pride myself on being someone people like to work with, I am very honest!
What are some major goals for Jetpack?
We have some really big goals, but one to start with is to become an established name within luxury in Newcastle Upon -Tyne and Manchester where we have offices currently. We are also currently growing our social media division.
Tell us how you came up with your business name!
I actually came up with the name in University when I was studying Events Management in Leeds. The name came from an obsession with flying, I have always wanted to fly and (I know this is so strange) but I fly in my dreams all of the time! I hope one day we will all use Jetpacks rather than cars!
What's next for Jetpack in 2018?
I am building clients at a rate I am really happy with, so a key thing for me to do next is to expand the team. I am currently in the process of launching i_weigh as an online platform. I’m also launching a new event and wedding planning inspiration platform called OOWAMBE , so I imagine there won’t be much sleep for me before Christmas! Just as well, I love it!
Check out Jetpack’s website!