There’s no such thing as no. - Guest blog by Lucy Gabbie

I first met Lucy a number of years ago when she was looking for advice in how to go from accounts into creative. She faced a real struggle without a typical creative background behind her, but her determination was incredible and I’m not surprised to see her doing such amazing campaigns. I’m sure she will be Creative Director soon enough.
— Bank of Creativity

Straight out of uni with an art history degree, a creative passion and no job. It’s hard to know what industry is the right one to go into. I read a lot about advertising and liked the hybrid between art/graphics combined with business - so there I was applying to advertising agencies. I managed to win a creative pioneers intern in account management at an agency in Manchester where 20 of us were picked. That intern ended up being extended to 6 months. As soon as I started I found out about what the creative department consisted of. Ideas. Ideas. Ideas. Copywriters and Art Directors were partnered together and they came up with big conceptual ideas for campaigns.

I want that, I thought. But I knew the road ahead was going to be tricky.

After asking for a weeks work experience in the creative department, I knew I had to do this. On I went to peruse my day job in account management. My night job became building up a portfolio full of ideas and meeting as many people as I could, to get advice and feedback. I enrolled on a creative advertising short course at St Martins which helped me build up my skills and gave me the confidence that I could do this. I also managed to reach out to Nick, who worked in the creative department at my agency. Throughout the couple of years, he helped me massively. Giving me briefs on the side and guiding me in the right direction. I tried to move into the creative department but because I hadn’t gone down the traditional route of a creative advertising degree, I wasn’t taken seriously. I needed a partner. A book. Software skills.

Doors were shut. I was told no.

But one of the creative directors I reached out to for advice saw something in me and wanted to meet with me. He ended up taking me under my wing as he saw big ideas. I quit my job in accounts and went to pursue the start of my creative journey. I got trained in adobe suite, got to work on big projects and embraced my first role as a creative. I will always remember the kindness and belief that CD saw in me. I always had a dream to move to London; to go to the best and learn from those better than me. After getting a job offer at BBH, off I went to the capital as an art director. There I got partnered up with a copywriter. Together, we worked on big briefs for British Airways and Tesco. It was tough and brutal - but I’m so glad I had my time there.

Then, I decided to go freelance for a while and gained good experience at Oliver (and won a Chip Shop Award along the way), before going permanent at Wunderman with my fellow copywriter Georgie. We were bold, passionate and came up with fun and unusual ideas. We won a couple of awards along the way, and people seemed to love what we do. After a couple of years, I decided I wanted to go solo and explore working for a brand, rather than an agency. I wanted to work for a brand that I could understand like the back of my hand, a brand I believed in. I had had enough of insurance and supermarket brands that didn’t stand for anything.

Then came Heist. Heist is one of those brands that once you know, you know. It’s bold and challenging the status quo. for those that haven't heard of Heist, we’re disrupting the underwear industry, making woman’s underwear that's comfortable and actually works. After three intense interviews, I got offered the role and began my journey at London’s top start up and I love it. It's challenging, a rollercoaster at times, but super exciting. I’ve just come up with an idea for an OOH campaign we’re running at the moment called "Rip It Off." Shapewear is so uncomfortable, many women can't wait to take it off. The campaign allows people to psychically rip off an image of uncomfortable shapewear to reveal Heist's shapewear that you won't want to rip off. Hopefully this campaign will remind people to rip off their actual shapewear and replace it with Heist's shapewear that actually works.

Persistence and passion got me where i am today in my career. Don't let “no” put you off. It's not going to be an easy ride - you'll get knock backs, you'll get people telling you to pick a different career - all sorts. But if this is a career you truly want and believe in - go for it. You can do whatever you want to do. My dad once said to me, wherever there's a will there's a way, and that's what I live by. It may be an element of luck and timing so far for me, but mainly not taking no for an answer.