After a successful career spent working with some of the world’s leading brands at London’s top communications agencies, Katerina Jarvis found a passion for working with small businesses and founder-led brands. Having launched her own consultancy in 2021 to do just that, she’s now taking on a new role at One Cobham. Here Katerina explains what the Cobham community can expect.
I moved to Cobham from London four years ago, just before starting my own family.
My husband’s parents were already here. And then my parents decided to join, too, so you could say that we’re fully committed to – and invested in the future of – the village.
I began my career in fashion PR before moving into global communications, where I worked with beauty and lifestyle brands such as Dolce&Gabbana Beauty, Pandora and Pernod Ricard. Before long, I’d started focusing on brand strategy and messaging, working with names such as allbirds, Olivia Palermo and Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop, which ultimately led me to where I am today.
Eventually, I realised that the brands that I enjoyed working with most were the founder-led brands. No matter how big they were, it was working with businesses where the founders were still at the helm that you got most passion and innovation from.
Coinciding with wanting to work more flexibly after my daughter was born, I started to think how I could use my experience and skillset to work with businesses that needed brand support, but that might not be able to afford big agency fees.
So, I set up my consultancy and began working with small businesses and founder-led brands that are either starting out, experiencing growth or going through periods of change.
Earlier this year, I was approached about working with Cobham’s Business Improvement District (BID) – an organisation that’s funded and controlled by Cobham businesses with the aim of improving their trading environment. Having got to know many of the local traders involved and seeing a synergy with what I set out to do working directly with business owners, as well as feeling inspired about what the BID could do for the community, I was keen to be involved.
As it stands, there have been over 300 successful BIDs launched in the UK that are collectively expected to generate over £100m in investment, £800,000 of which is set to be brought in by Cobham in the next five years. The fact that Cobham traders voted yes to paying an addition to their business rates to fund this initiative shows how much everyone believes in its prospect.
Cobham BID Ltd doesn’t have much of a ring to it, so my first job in the role was to decide on a name. Someone in the task group had already suggested One Cobham, which I really liked. As well as nodding to Cobham’s uniqueness, it also feels inclusive, community-led and shows how we will be working together – so we chose this and built our new identity around it.
My role continues now to deliver what was set out in the initial business plan. This includes the ongoing marketing and promotion of Cobham, an events and social media strategy to engage with local residents and visitors, better car parking solutions and providing businesses with central procurement opportunities to save on overhead costs, as well as protecting the area’s overall safe and green vibrancy.
It’s an exciting time for Cobham – and for me! I now look forward to meeting many of you over the coming weeks and months. In the meantime, if you’d like to sign up to the One Cobham newsletter to be the first to find out about what we have in store for the community, click here. You can also follow us on Instagram and facebook.
One Cobham. www.onecobham.com