Features - A Day In The Life
Abbé Farrell (nee Ferrier)
Posted 01 April 2016
New York Program
March 2011 Intake
A graduate of Glasgow University, Abbe currently works as a freelance copywriter and marketing consultant. She also does some creative writing (www.abbeiwrite.com). Previously she has worked for Institutional Investor; Breast Cancer Care; and, after being in London for a few years, returned home to Scotland to work for one of Scotland's largest charities, Erskine. A desire for a change of pace and lifestyle then led Abbe to go freelance. Clients range from a Museum, to a Hospice; a Community Trust; and, some small Scottish businesses, including a cutting edge new design firm and a local artist who creates bespoke pieces of pebble art. She says, "It's fantastic working with such a variety of clients – every day is something different... when I have the time in between work, travels and planning my wedding I get back into my creative writing – I am working on my first novel just now, a thriller crime fiction novel set in the Highlands... "
How did you get into this line of business?
I studied History of Art at the University of Glasgow, and after graduating although I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do – I knew I wanted to work in a creative role, preferably in the Not for Profit sector. I applied to Mountbatten to get some work experience under my belt and because I loved the idea of living in NYC for a year, which was incredible. I worked in marketing for Institutional Investor's Conferences Division, and gained a great foundation in marcomms and events working directly with their Marketing Director, Bryan Fox. I continued working for II back in London, however kept an eye out for a role in the charity sector. I was delighted to end up working for the Community Fundraising Team at the amazing charity Breast Cancer Care, managing their 'Pink Fridays' and 'Bucket Brigade' marketing campaigns. I worked with a fantastic team and loved just about every minute! After being in London for a few years I decided to return to Bonnie Scotland as I wanted to be closer to my family and home for the Scottish Independence Referendum in 2014. I worked up here at home with an international development charity and was then asked to work with the team at one of Scotland's largest charities – Erskine – where I eventually ended up becoming Deputy Head of their Fundraising department. All fantastic experience, however last year I decided a change of pace was in order, and I am now working for myself as a freelance copy writer and marketing consultant. I have worked with several clients with a range of needs – from a Museum who needed a whole marketing strategy devised for funding a major redevelopment project, to a Hospice who were launching their first Individual Giving appeal, and I am now working with a Community Trust who are looking to market their facilities further afield and engage more customers and visitors. I am particularly focused on working with charities and charitable projects, however I am also working with some small Scottish businesses, helping them with website and brand development, and their marketing ideas, including a cutting edge new design firm and a local artist who creates bespoke pieces of pebble art. It's fantastic working with such a variety of clients – every day is something different. When I have the time in between work, travels and planning my wedding I get back into my creative writing – I am working on my first novel just now, a thriller crime fiction novel set in the Highlands, and also have plans to develop a Graphic Novel set in a dystopian future when I find the right Illustrator. When I find the time I also try to write for a few different websites too, usually about travelling in Scotland or wildlife and the environment.
Let's talk about a typical day. What time do you get up? Where do you have your lunch? What time do you normally leave your workplace at the end of the working day?
I've always found that I'm most productive at night, so my mornings are probably a little bit of a later start than most – unless I have a meeting with a client arranged of course! As a freelancer I mainly work from home. I live in the heart of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park so the view from my "office" is pretty great. My fiancée works offshore so when he's home we usually pop out for lunch to a local café which sits on the side of the very picturesque Loch Katrine. As I don't have any set hours I can work to my own schedule – usually into the later hours of the evening!
How often do you travel for work?
I'm working with charities and small businesses in the creative industry, so there isn't much of a budget for travel unfortunately! However, I make up for this as much as possible by getting away when I can - we spend a lot of time exploring Scotland, and I can work from anywhere that has an internet connection - so I can always keep in contact with my clients. We have plans to travel after our wedding, so I am hoping by then that I can work completely remotely as I won't be in a fixed location... though I'm not sure what the internet connection will be like on a yacht in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!!
For friends who have never been to the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park in Scotland, what would you suggest they see and do?
The National Park is just incredible, I am so lucky to live and work in a place of such natural beauty. If you are visiting (probably wiser in the Summer months!) there is so much to see and do. In fact, I wrote an article for Buzzfeed last year with my top recommendations! (http://www.buzzfeed.com/abbelouisemcintoshf/visit-loch-lomond#.lfYykBa515). A cycle around Loch Katrine in the sun is amazing, or going canoeing or kayaking on Loch Ard is lots of fun. There are loads of great pubs of course, like the Drovers Inn by Loch Lomond which is this incredible old and spooky building... that's apparently very haunted! Summer here means sailing on Loch Lomond, wake-boarding, BBQ’s on the beach and making the most of the sun... which can be a rarity in Scotland. It's a great place to come and enjoy the great outdoors (and if the great outdoors is not your thing, the National Park isn't far from the Greatest City in the World – Glasgow!).