Lucie Towndrow

splint: Lucie, thank you for being our first splint interview!! Tell us a bit about yourself…

Lucie: hey! Of course! My name is Lucie. I have lived in Norwich my whole life… and I am quite reluctant to leave actually, even though everyone I know seems to have left for London. I am a social media manager and I also do social media consultancy for lifestyle, fashion, food and wedding kind of brands. In my spare time, I do editorial styling too. So I like to keep myself super busy. Four days a week I work for a Digital Marketing Agency where I write content, and do Social Media Marketing for clients. I work on a variety of campaigns, doing paid advertising with them as well… that’s super varied but more corporate than I tend to like, so when I have my own clients, I like to write about stuff that I am genuinely passionate about, such as food, clothes, etc. Female stuff which gives female orientated brands a voice I suppose, in an otherwise male dominated industry and world.

splint: So what kind of things do you do when you aren’t working? How do you fit into the creative world / industry?

Lucie: I like to keep myself pretty busy. Recently, I have written for the Shhhh guide to norwich which was fun! I also do styling for some NUA students, and I work with photographers based in Norwich such as David Drake. I also have my own accessories and jewellery label called ‘bbychain’. All of the products are named after women that we know and love, and who would wear the products. We have a selection of really great female models that we use. We really like to tell people about them, so that they aren’t just a pretty face. Some of the models we have used, are biomedical students and classically trained pianists. They are all really varied in age, ethnicity, and have varied interests which I think is really important because Norwich can be quite a white middle-aged, wealthy city, I guess. Sometimes it’s nice to really broaden the spectrum of creatives and the images you are seeing from brands so that they’re not all white teenage girls. The girls we have found are really beautiful, and they show a side of Norwich that some people may not have seen. The response to bbychain so far has been really great, and I am so excited to see where it goes.

splint: Where do you see it going? Do you think it could branch out into other things?

Lucie: yes! We have kind of had some interest from a brand development agency in London who would like to work with us. So we are going to try and see where that goes, keeping it half Norwich, half London. I think it’s good to keep it mostly based in Norwich, because as soon as you go to London you kind of become a tiny fish in a huge pond. You become one of thousands of people trying to make it, but if you’re in Norwich, and you want to do something, you can do it the next day. That’s something I love about living here.

splint: So, you do a lot of things with your time, how do you self motivate? What drives you?

Lucie: failure and stress I suppose. It’s not the most positive way of keeping myself going, but, you know I want to make people proud of me. I didn’t go to university, so proving myself has always been really important to me. The industry i’m in changes all the time, it’s something that you really have to keep up with. I constantly keep myself plugged in, which does mean that I find it really hard to switch off, something which I want to work on. I motivate myself on constantly wanting to do better and never letting myself down –  I ask myself what else can I be doing?

In an ideal world, I’d love to have an all female, entirely creative agency, in Norwich, from branding, development and creativity, all the way through to digital marketing. Whilst also having a team of producers, models, stylists etc.

splint: yeah, so kind of like everyone working in the same area, together.

Lucie: yeah everything in house, local talent, and just really making people not have to move to London and giving them an opportunity here. It’d be great to be able to go to one place, like a hub or something, to find female creatives.

splint: this is what we are really trying to create with splint, a community of creatives…

Lucie: yes!! It’ll be so great, to go on the splint group and kind of say, I need a set designer. I don’t know anyone who does that, and sometimes I need a set designer, and like where do I find someone? It’ll be great to just go to one space, with women who are being properly promoted and there’s a great buzz around it. Hopefully that is something that you guys will be able to do. I can’t wait to just know where to go. It’ll be like a little splint linkedin. Ha.

splint: we’re just wondering, have you got a woman who has inspired you to do the things you do now?

Lucie: this always confuses people, all the women who have inspired me are people who I have never met. It’s girls on the internet, who I see doing stuff, and I kind of think I want to do something like that. Digital marketing is actually very male orientated, and I kind of just taught myself –  I was obsessed with instagram, and kind of thought to myself, how do I make this a thing? I did a tonne of online courses, free work, and now I am kind of getting there… I don’t know one woman who has inspired me, I just see women doing things which aren’t even in my industry at all, so like, Tori West, Chloe Sheppard, women who don’t do anything I do, but women who do things. I love that. I am really looking forward to having a platform like this, so I can post “you’re an artist, you sell your own prints, how do you sell your products, and can you teach me?” That kind of thing, having other women to talk too, who do make it on their own will be hugely helpful for me.

splint: even boring questions like what platform do you use for your website?!

Lucie: yeah! Like, who’s your website hosted with? I don’t want to have to ask a 40 year old man to know that, so it’s like breaking down those barriers and being able to ask a young WOMEN how to make a website. I can build an entire WordPress website, but I can’t put a website on a domain. I am sure there’s a girl somewhere who can do it. I want to be able to know how to do that myself. Asking a women for help, is much less undermining than asking a man. I am sure there are so many women in the creative world who are just trying to find a way to break through.

splint: absolutely, yes. So, we have one more thing.  We recently read an interview with Cardi B in i – D magazine and she briefly talks about being a feminist: here’s the quote. “Being a feminist is such a great thing and some people feel like someone like me can’t be as great as that, but then some people are smart but they don’t have no common sense. They think feminism is great and only a woman that can speak properly, that has a degree, who is a boss, a businessperson… they think only Michelle Obama can be a feminist. But being a feminist is real simple; it’s that a woman can do things the same as a man. I’m equal to a n—-. Anything a man can do, I can do.”

Lucie: I love that. especially coming from Cardi B, I fucking rate that. She was a stripper, and now she’s a rapper, and she’s making moves in her industry. I think, some women don’t feel like they understand enough about feminism. The most hurtful thing I heard, was a girl saying that feminism is a form of “terrorism”. It isn’t about women being better than men, it’s not about women being superior, it’s that we should be treated equally. We need a fair shot. I have heard people say that the gender pay gap is a myth. It’s not. We want to be paid the same, have the same opportunities, if a woman does something wrong, it’s about her being reprimanded in the same way as a man. It’s the same with domestic abuse, women who abuse their husbands should receive equal punishment – however, similarly, if a woman does something right, it shouldn’t be oh yeah congratulations and it be expected, but a guy in the same situation gets a pay rise. We both deserve a pay rise. Also, I want to be able to tell someone what to do without being called bossy. I saw a quote the other day which said “I’m not bossy bitch, I am a boss, bitch.”

splint: Amazing!

Lucie: I always get called bossy, and it’s because I know what I want. The other day we did a shoot for bbychain, 12 women, one guy. The vibe was about being female and being empowered surrounded by beautiful, smart, diverse women.. All of our models felt really comfortable, we made them feel comfortable. We are selling a product at the end of the day, but the shoot i’s about them, and it felt great.

splint: last but not least, what can we do for you and what do you want everyone to know about what you do!

Lucie: So I essentially have two businesses, my social media consultancy called ‘The Social Pixie’, where I do digital marketing, and get to do what I really love. I do training for people who want to learn for themselves, help build online identities and strategies, or I can just do all their social media for them if they don’t have time. Then I also run bbychain with my babe Alice Cary. Bbychain is an accessories and jewelry line, basically selling anything that shines, glitters or has chains! It’s a little bit sassy, a little bit different. Not minimal. I want to sell stuff that glitters and makes women feel good. It’s like yes i’m wearing trackies and a sweatshirt, but I’m also wearing 3 inch diamante earrings and I love it… I would never normally wear this, but it’s fantastic. Hopefully, it will really take off. We should do a big female collaborative shoot with splint!! I am really excited.

splint: thank you so much Lucie. It has been so great getting to know more about what you do, good luck with bbychain and thank you for being our first splint interview. What a start, thanks babes!!!!