Client Spotlight: Claire Pay, MD at SandisonPay
Cams Hall client Claire Pay is the founder of SandisonPay. Her international working background is immersed in creative leadership on larger global brands; Allianz, Hitachi, Sony, Virgin Media Business, Clipper Ventures, Actionaid and Goldman Sachs all feature in her portfolio. While Claire has final eye on creative output, she fulfils the primary account leadership function and is the strategic architect behind brands and mergers. For more info visit sandisonpay.co.uk
“We are residents at Cams Hall for the second time, as we were here in 2017 and back again in 2023. The offices are simply beautiful, a peaceful and amazing space to work from and every day driving up is a reminder of how lucky we are to be in a beautiful part of the world, nothing is too much trouble for the teams here and all of our clients are wowed by the location.” Claire Pay, MD SandisonPay
When did you start the business and what inspired you to do so? I started the business 20 years ago, at a critical juncture in my life – I had always wanted to run my own business, and after years of working in London and Singapore, found myself in Hampshire, newly married and starting a family. I was really motivated by the flexibility and control that being my own boss would afford me at that point.
How would you describe the mission and vision of your company? My business has grown on the vision of working hard alongside great people and clients. Bo Burlingham’s book, ‘Small Giants: Companies That Choose to be Great Instead of Big’ expounds this ethos: it’s not just endless growth, it’s about being the best at what we do, in a stimulating work environment, while delivering excellence for our clients. I have always wanted to follow this ethos. We work with global FTSE 50 clients, and our size isn’t relevant as the service we provide works for them. We can be quick and responsible as a small agency which works well for us.
What products or services does your business offer? We’re a design and branding agency – so in essence, we are the creative part of the process of marketing; the bit you see. As a brand-first agency, we’re not restricted to one discipline – we don’t just “do websites” or “do brochures.” We can be holistic. Our team is able to look at the bigger picture, create a brand strategy for global businesses and then develop the brand or equally work with existing guidelines and deploy all of the creative assets from digital, print, motion, film, photography, social media. Having been running for twenty years, we also know and work with numerous suppliers so if we can’t do something, we will be able to know a person who can, which allows us to have flexibility.
What lessons have you learned from your journey as an entrepreneur/business owner? The ability to switch from modes: from work mode, to mum mode, to friend mode, and to our fun mode and dog-walking country mode. In my head, they are all in different places, and having the ability to flip between them makes sure I’m 100% in each zone and not trying to be half mum half working. This is one of the reasons I have office space – to enable that switch to work and have the drive to the office.
Running a business is not easy but it’s rewarding
Don’t subscribe to mum guilt, it’s a horrid term.
Protect your family time.
What values and culture do you promote within your organisation? To be yourself, to travel and enjoy life, and to leave work at work. I’m protective of work seeping into home life and don’t encourage any late nights or anything that my industry accepts as normal. I also want the people who work with me to enjoy life and travel when they can. We also have a 9-day fortnight currently running so we can take time to do the things that are important to us and flexibility.
What’s the best piece of business advice you have received? Always be honest and always admit to any mistakes!