Get to know: Lidia Rumley, Branding Consultant
Lidia Rumley is a branding consultant and owner of Light Switch Brand Identity. Before going it alone, she spent 20 years working in PR in the videogames industry.
A Founding member of The Inspiration Space, we sat down with Lidia to find out more about her journey from Global PR Director to brand champion for small businesses and SME’s.
Tell us a bit about yourself. What were you doing before you launched Light Switch Brand Identity?
I’m a 45 year old mum of two boys, aged 9 and 11, who are growing up rapidly! Before setting up Light Switch in 2013, I spent 20 years working in PR in the videogames industry, which was the most amazing fun. I’m based in Weybridge - my husband Ed and I moved to the area back in 2005, just after we got engaged. Today it’s very much “home”, a lovely part of Surrey, well connected to both London and the countryside.
You’d think this would give me some kudos with the aforementioned videogame-mad boys, but my youngest recently looked me squarely in the eye, with one eyebrow raised and asked “did you really used to work in games?” when I was unable to sort out some complex tech update. You just can’t be cool to your kids, can you?
My PR and storytelling experience has recently taken me into a new line of work, which is branding. Over the past year, I’ve been helping businesses to create brand stories that make their audiences sit up and take notice of them.
What inspires you to do what you do?
I started my self-employment journey looking for flexibility and the perfect work-life balance. But as my children have gotten older, what I do has become less about flexibility and more about finding my happy. I want to do work that I love and that inspires me, with clients that I respect and admire.
What’s an ‘average’ day like for you?
Because I’m self employed and work from home, there is no average! I’ve always been lucky to work in jobs, where no two days are alike and working for myself is no different. Broadly speaking, my day is usually a combination of client work, which could be done through meetings or Skype calls and working on my own business (planning, updating social media, responding to incoming enquiries). I’ll do this wherever the mood takes me - sometimes in my home office, sometimes on the move as I do also enjoy the hustle and bustle of working in coffee shops.
These are my priorities and then around that I try to do some swimming or walking a few days a week and inevitably squeeze in a few domestic chores too. The danger of freelance work is that it can be isolating, so I do also try to build in some social moments each week - these are either catch ups with freelance peers that I’ve gotten to know in my local area, or ISP meetings or sometimes just a coffee with a friend. I’ve got a great boss - she’s very tolerant of my trips “out of the office” ;-)
Like most people reading this, I don’t have much free time to myself but I absolutely love to bake when I can (I’ll have to bring cakes to a future ISP get together!) and I’ve recently been trying to reignite a very long lost passion for art. I love following the art schools and artists that are part of the ISP and dream of days that I’ll have time to go and hang out in their studios!
What’s the biggest creative risk you’ve ever taken? What did you learn?
In 2018, I completely relaunched my business. Light Switch started life five years ago as a PR consultancy but over time, I found that I wanted to use my skills and knowledge in different ways. We’re often conditioned to think we are trained in a certain job and we need to do it forever, but there’s no reason your journey and your brand can’t evolve along the way. I’ve learnt (and am still learning) TONS!
Moving into a new area - branding - and into new industries means that I’ve had to rebuild my word of mouth recommendations from scratch and this has required learning a host of new skills from building my own website to marketing my business and brushing up my social media knowledge. I’m a fully fledged Digital Mum, which has helped on that front. And of course becoming a member of The Inspiration Space has been amazing not only for meeting so many brilliantly like-minded people, but for learning new skills from each other too. But I love what I do now and I don’t regret a moment of it.
Worst advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t start your own business 😜
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Never cry over a job. My dad was a big advocate of tough love on this subject and his advice was clear and unwavering - suck it up or change it, but never sit there moping over it. The advice felt brutal when I was younger but it taught me to be resourceful and resilient, two qualities you definitely need when you run your own business so I’m now eternally grateful.
I never re-read books so I don’t have a favourite as such, but I read a lot and recently I’ve really enjoyed all of Lianne Moriarty’s books (I love a good bit of drama) or Clare Mackintosh’s books for some gripping plot twists. I don’t really do high brow reading - I read to unwind so I like something that doesn’t require too much hard work to get through it.
Favourite outdoor place to play/visit in Surrey?
I love a wander around Hampton Court Palace - one of my favourite places. My kids have pretty much outgrown a run around there, which is a shame but we do go to things like the food festival every summer, which is great.
Best meal you’ve ever eaten in Surrey?
I’m really enjoying The Ivy in Cobham at the moment - it feels like a proper grown up place to go out. I’ve been several times and have always had a great meal and a great night (and probably a bit of a bad head the next day - the Rhubarb Collins cocktail is divine!)
Independent business in Surrey you 💖💖💖?
I’ve got to give a shout out to the gorgeous Vicki Knights Photography here. Vicki did the photos for my new website and it was an absolute pleasure to work with her. I love her personal branding style and she was great fun to spend a morning with. She’s also an avid member of The Inspiration Space and runs a fabulous podcast (Shoot. Edit. Chat. Repeat) with fellow photographer and ISPer Eddie Judd.
Where can we find you?