Purple Creative Studio, digital agency in Yorkshire Dales, hits milestone and looks to expand

Phil Upton. co-founder of Purple Creative Studio.
Phil Upton. co-founder of Purple Creative Studio.
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A digital agency based in the Yorkshire Dales is looking to take on bigger clients as the business marks its 10th anniversary this year.

Richmond-based Purple Creative Studio was launched by Phil Upton and his friend Allan Guy in 2009.

The agency is helping several businesses in the Dales become tech savvy by running workshops as well as creating websites and delivering digital marketing for them.

Mr Upton told The Yorkshire Post that small businesses have really woken up to the opportunities presented by social media platforms.

He said: “The thing that has really taken off and grown a lot is social media and digital marketing. A lot of these smaller businesses now recognise that in order to be competitive they’ve got to actively up their own marketing methods.

“Things like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have become very central platforms to promote and market their businesses.

“Whether you like it or not people do use things like Facebook a lot to locate and form an opinion about a business or a place they may be choosing to stay at for their holiday.

“So we’ve been running social media and digital marketing courses in conjunction with Coventry University, who have engaged us throughout the year to provide workshops to various towns in Yorkshire.”

Purple Creative may be based in the Dales but the location has not hindered the business in attracting clients of different shapes and sizes from across the country.

Mr Upton said: “Originally, it started with the business community immediately around us in Richmond. Over the years word has spread and our client base has gone further afield.”

The fact that Mr Upton is originally from South London sees him make frequent visits to the South East and that also helps the business develop relationships.

Mr Upton added: “Generally, we try to get new clients to come here. I think it’s important for them to see and understand that we are a very real and credible business.

“Although we work in the digital sector and you can do things remotely, when people do come and visit us they get the chance to meet the team and see our infrastructure.

“So when they go away they know that they’ve visited a mature business. For those occasions where they can’t come to us, then we’ll always go to them. We find that given the opportunity for a face-to-face meeting increases the probability of us winning business.”

Mr Upton moved to Richmond after being made redundant from a job in Doncaster back in 2000.

He was introduced to Lord Ronaldshay and was soon looking after the sales and marketing of the Aske Estate before deciding to hire an office on the estate.

Being based at the estate provides a “great” backdrop to the working day, says Mr Upton, while looking out into the courtyard of a Victorian stable.

Through the windows to the front, Mr Upton has a view of the cascading hills dotted with sheep. “It’s really quite attractive,” he says.

The rural backdrop hasn’t stopped the business attracting talent into the business.

Mr Upton says that’s because of the family feel of the environment at Purple.

“We’re very fortunate that because we’re in a rural environment, the broadband connectivity is as good as it could be,” he added.

Studio marks ten years

Purple Creative Studio employs nine people and provides a suite of services from web design and digital marketing to branding and IT support.

The business will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with a party this week for 70 guests.

Purple Creative Studio is aiming for continued sustainability, says co-founder Phil Upton. However, the firm is targeting growth in an “appropriate way”.

Purple is hoping to attract bigger clients with bigger budgets but ultimately is about being “happy” for Mr Upton.