“Everybody will get a say once we make hires. Our rule is we don’t do divas.”
With a live performance pianist mom and entrepreneur father maybe it was future that Christine MacKay would find yourself working a inventive enterprise.
The combination is properly suited to working the Salamandra.uk animation studio in Dundee.
Based in Eton in 2014, the corporate opened its second office in Seabraes Lane a yr in the past.
Regardless of Covid-19, the corporate had a profitable 2020, with the pandemic bringing new kinds of work in addition to challenges.
Be taught what makes staff tick
However Christine mentioned the corporate’s ethos and spirit meant it has thrived.
“Everybody will get a say once we make hires and our rule is we don’t do divas,” she mentioned.
“I actually do pleasure myself on studying what makes my gifted staff tick… and it appears to work.
“We’ve bought a various workforce who’re open minded and supportive of one another.
“The extra open minded, the extra imaginative you may be. We’re all sharing issues we like – artworks, new software program suggestions or animation methods or approaches. It helps hold the spark going.”
Nurture and worth workers
The bond between the employees has meant they’ve taken half in charity ballet courses, nerf gun taking pictures contests, charity fundraising and, in fact, dressing up at Halloween.
Whereas distant working, they’ve taken half in common digital yoga courses collectively.
“The underside line is that you simply don’t have an organization or product with out workers,” the chief govt added.
“Nurture them. Worth them. Rejoice them. Success, popularity and satisfaction will undoubtedly comply with.”
Challenges and alternatives
The corporate has carried out work for manufacturers resembling Sky, Deliveroo and GSK.
It has even labored on blockbuster film franchise initiatives.
Salamandra has done everything from belongings for social media, to company movies, adverts and even designed and animated kids’s books.
The staff of 12 was already used to collaborating digitally between the 2 places of work when lockdown hit.
Final yr introduced its challenges but in addition alternatives.
“It’s been an actual combination – we’ve had prospects shut down, whereas different shoppers have grasped the alternatives,” Christine mentioned.
“Firstly of the pandemic we had a few quiet months – July was a shocker.
“However since then it’s actually ramped up and we’ve simply had our greatest month ever in December.
“We carried out some actually fascinating initiatives final yr – much more digital and augmented actuality work.
“We created 3D auditoriums for shows so it feels such as you’re attending a giant worldwide convention.
“For an additional shopper we created animations of merchandise once you scanned a QR code in a listing.
“We’ve finished much more work making on-line shows extra participating to make up for the shortage of face-to-face lately.”
The enterprise plans to broaden in 2021 and can tackle 5 younger staff underneath the Authorities’s Kickstart scheme who shall be break up between the 2 places of work.
Christine, who speaks 5 languages and has beforehand labored in South Africa and New Zealand, has additionally not dominated out worldwide enlargement.
“Whereas I used to be in New Zealand for 3 years I came upon extra about animation – it’s a tremendous medium which isn’t used a lot by enterprise,” she recalled.
“We take in a lot extra data by visuals. I began Salamandra to capitalise on that and assist companies drawback clear up visually.
“I do need to open up one or two different hubs and never essentially simply within the UK. We need to develop our groups to double our dimension within the UK after which have a go abroad.”
20 awards in 2020
Final yr Salamandra received 20 accolades for its work, together with enterprise, advertising and marketing and movie awards.
However extra necessary is figuring out the influence it has made on the businesses it has labored with.
Christine added: “It’s superb when a shopper says ‘that’s precisely what I had in my head’.
“That’s partly resulting from our briefings that are very sturdy, the place we ask plenty of questions and do analysis on the corporate, their trade and opponents.
“Finances is, in fact, a giant query – we’re creatives so we at all times need to do one thing superb and can shoot for the celebs.”