The story so far.

What’s the story behind Cookies founder?

This post is purely for people who are interested in the story behind the founder of Cookie – Rob Moore (That’s me!). As a disclaimer, this story contains no epic events that’ll bring a tear to your eye, nor is there any drama that makes my life similar to an episode of Game of Thrones. My story so far is simply of a guy that from a very young age has had a strong love for anything design and print.

Where did the love for design & print begin?

I was never a child that was indecisive about what I wanted to do with my life. From as young as 7 years old I had a passion for drawing, sometimes scribbling through a ream of paper within a few days. I was also a fan of using the reverse of an old roll of wallpaper to draw all over, rolling it up as I went along – I was always perfectly content sitting there drawing for hours on end. I always knew I wanted to do something creative with my life but at such a young age the thought of a career was something only adults thought about.

It was only when I started secondary school that I had to start thinking about what the ‘bigger picture’ would ultimately be. It turns out that years of teaching myself technical drawing and having a love for anything advertising related had prepared me up for the career in design. In the first year of secondary school, I was fast-tracked to do my GCSEs in Graphic Design which quickly led to having the A level as well. Doing all of this before everyone else had started GSCEs meant that there was little time to do the usual things that teenagers do. Yet I found myself once again perfectly content working and learning. However, this time I wasn’t just drawing, I was using Photoshop to create artwork and playing with printers and laser cutters to see what effects I could create. I have always been a tactile person, loving when you can hold the finished physical piece, knowing that you had made that. This for me was a clear sign that my career had to involve some form of print & design. It was at this time that on a small scale I started to learn and enjoy business. I would use all kinds of Del Boy ways of earning money on the side, whether this was from fixing computers to selling old DVDs at school – I loved it!

University

I’ll admit, I enjoy learning. Which was why I always wanted to go to university to meet more like-minded people who enjoyed design and print as much as I do. At this time social media had hit its stride and devices like the iPhone had just been released, yet I still found myself drawn to print. So much so that almost every project was based on either editorial design or exploring the technical/mechanical aspects of print. I enjoyed university but by the time I was halfway through I was itching to move onto the next step it was at this point I got an internship at a small print bureau while I finished my studies.

Time to work

The internship turned into a full-time job, which I did for 6 years. Being a small business it gave me the opportunity to see every aspect of running a company. On a daily basis, I would create artwork, producing the print, do the account management as well as always maintaining great customer service. I worked long hours and always tried my best – I loved my job. Importantly though, it prepared me for the life of running a startup business. The problem was I had got my eyes targetted on design rather than print.

Starting the first business

I decided to leave my full-time employment to start The Design Co. in early 2017. With a hand full of clients, I upped roots and instantly got an office in Nottingham city centre. Naively with the attitude that new clients would just appear out of thin air simply because I had an office. The idea being they would want to come in, have a cuppa and talk through everything. It just didn’t happen like that. I had fallen into being a jack of all trades, mainly doing logo & web design. I would take anything on just to get the money in. I’ll admit it’s is a horrible place to be and once you have that reputation you only draw in similar work. I knew this wasn’t good business but I was stuck in a rut.

A year in I decided that everything had to change. Almost every client was either based in London or overseas so every conversation was over Skype. I just didn’t need the overheads of a big workspace. Looking back, I was paying a lot of money to keep my ego happy. I managed to get rid of the office and downscaled to the spare bedroom at my house. It was time to start afresh doing something I genuinely loved. Something that was scalable and wasn’t based on hourly rates with endless revisions! It was time to go back to print and start a profitable business from scratch.

The return to print – Cookie.

I had dealt with a wide range of printers in the past, from the cheap nasty kind to super expensive ones that can put every single finish known to man on a piece of card. I knew I wanted to sit comfortably in between the two offering the perfect middle ground. Still leave customers going ‘Ooo, these are nice!’ but not needing a loan to pay for them. But before I could jump into anything I had to name the business. I didn’t want anything too cliche. By this I mean, there couldn’t be a ‘X’, ‘Z’ or a ‘2’ in the name, you can imagine the sort of print names I’m thinking about. I also didn’t want it to be trying too hard, during the research phase the name Paper was genuinely at the top of the pile. So pretentious and hipster that you can almost smell the Grande, Iced, Sugar-Free, Vanilla Latte With Soy Milk (I’ll admit I had to Google that). It just sounded so serious, which was something I wanted to move away from. So quickly that was scrapped and one evening Cookie popped up and ticked all the right boxes. It was memorable, nobody else had a name like it and most of all it was fun. It paired with my vision perfectly. All of the necessary parts such as domains and handles were available and after the trademark was approved I could start working on the new business.

Making print personal.

I always knew that I would have to make Cookie stand out in a way that only a few print businesses have done well. Firstly, I knew that the product presentation was key. Over 6 few months of testing and tweaking, I created a unique set of presentation boxes for business cards that would all be made in-house. Alongside these, I created custom packaging that just gets you excited when you receive it. Secondly, I knew that good content would be key to drawing people back onto the website regardless of whether they need print or not. Everyone loves to see a behind the scenes, as well as listening to advice from people who had ‘been there and done it’. I knew that I had to let go of my pride, not care what people think and just be myself.

So that’s my story so far. At the time of writing this Cookie isn’t live yet but very close to being ready. Thank you for reading this (you’re amazing if you made it to the end!) and hopefully, you’ll stick around to see how all of this pans out. I’m sure there will be plenty more mistakes and many mountains to climb but that’s what this is all about – the journey.

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