Gramersi Turns One! A Message From Our CEO, George Taylor
Dear Gramersi Community,
Today, we are proud to have reached a pivotal milestone in our history: it’s our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY since launching! And wow. What a year it has been…
Every day, we share entrepreneurial stories about start-up Founders from a diverse range of backgrounds, often of which includes very difficult (and sometimes painful) stories.
And now, for the first time, I’m going to tell you my OWN story:
My journey with Gramersi started out back in late 2019, – after I was forced to dissolve my high-end furniture business (which I co-owned with one of my best friends).
Prior to this, for five years, I ran Creative Industry Hub, – a media and event company in the music and fashion industries, that at its peak, – was working with organisations including House of Fraser, ASOS, and Sony Music. We received well over a million unique visitors a year, and we sold literally thousands upon thousands of event tickets.
Unfortunately, that company went bust in late 2017, and after dabbling in high-end furniture for a while (with a lifelong best friend of mine), I felt like I was going round in circles, and having somewhat of an early mid-life crisis. So I decided to go back to what I knew and did best: digital media. Then, I hired my best friend of almost 30 years: our CTO, Ashley.
Initially, Gramersi was meant to be a social media platform for brands. Our CTO, Ashley went as far as building a tech prototype (which we used to pitch to brands and investors), but then… Shopify and Facebook announced a new partnership and roll-out, which forced us to pack it in. Ugh. Not again. Didn’t I just do this with the furniture business a few months ago? Once again, I felt like I was going round in circles…
Regardless, we knew we didn’t stand a chance. And it stung. This was back in March 2020, and just when I thought that things couldn’t have gotten much worse, a PANDEMIC HIT. BUT, we didn’t give up. We knew we had to pivot. This took a lot longer than we initially anticipated, but after a few months, we felt as though we were onto something, and on July 21st 2020, we launched our ‘Phase 1’ platform.
The first brand we EVER wrote about was Tooth. You can read that article here: https://gramersi.com/2020/07/21/how-eco-tooth-are-saving-the-planet
And, you can check out Kiana from Tooth.’s special birthday message to us below:
Without going into too much detail (for a good reason), 2-3 weeks after launching (in early August 2020), my life flipped upside down. Unfortunately, I went through one of the most traumatic experiences I’ve ever experienced, and suddenly, – I was faced with the potent combination of severe emotional trauma, PTSD, grief, anger, depression, AND a brand new business to get off the ground.
And when you throw a pandemic into that mix, things weren’t looking too good for me. I struggled to cope. Although I kept publicly quiet about it at the time, the first few months of my post-launch Gramersi journey were extremely difficult for me, and I really struggled to keep going. But, as always, I refused to let this situation beat me, and instead, I used it as a motivator. It drove me, and it spurred me on. And here we are today, one year later.
Shortly after launching, our fantastic and incredible journalist (and the big ball of energy and positivity that she is), Laurene joined the team, and this was when things really started to change for us, and to go our way. Fast forward one year later, I am extremely proud to shout about everything we as a business (and as a team) have achieved this past year. Here are some of our key highlights to date:
- We receive a good few thousand unique visitors a month (organically), and our readership continues to grow every single month,
- We worked with True., Vistaprint and Sheridan&Co on event partnerships,
- We’ve written about (and worked with) HUNDREDS of amazing brands and entrepreneurs, including: Pamela Laird, Tim Campbell MBE, Jemma Solomon, Sian Gabbidon, War Paint For Men, TALA, Carina Cunha, Yanika Cordina, and even royalty (Lady Amelia Windsor)! The list just keeps on growing…
- We launched GramersiTV,
- We made HUGE strides forward in our mission to create a platform that is now ‘the voice’ for the under-dog: we ‘represent the under-represented.’
Besides that, the whole experience has been one of the most uplifting, fulfilling, and rewarding experiences of my life. It has literally kept me sane. I’m not exaggerating when I say that not only did Gramersi keep me going during lock-down, but it also kept me going during the traumatic experience I went through this time last year.
And now, I am privileged to wake up every single day with joy. I’m not joking. Every single day, I jump out of bed with excitement at what the next day will bring. And I’m so grateful for that. I don’t take it for granted.
Ashley and Laurene (Gramersi’s Co-Founders) have provided a special birthday message for you all below:
Ashley: “Gramersi is a force for good, – at a time when small businesses really need a friend to support them. Being part of the Founding team, and seeing all the good we have done has been a positive experience…”
Laurene: “Gramersi has been such an amazing opportunity for me to harvest my potential, – both as a journalist, and as an entrepreneur. Working with so many amazing brands is a daily fulfilling feeling. And spreading the word out and awareness about so many Founders and creators is a mission that Gramersi will always have as it’s cornerstone…”
So. What now? Where do we go from here? And what does the future look like for us?
Well, if the last year is anything to go by, it’s looking pretty positive for us: in January/February next year (2022), we’ll be launching our ‘Phase 2’ platform, which will move us far beyond just news. But, I’ll leave it at that for now.
To wrap up, I’d just like to give a HUGE thank you to my/our Co-Founders, Ashley and Laurene for the friendship they have given me, and for the unbelievable hard work they have brought to Gramersi. There’s absolutely no way we would be where we are today without them, and it certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed.
Also, I’d like to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who has worked with us, and who has supported us to date. THANK YOU for the sheer love, positivity, and support you have given us. It really does mean the world to me (and us), so thank you very much, and long may it continue.
Bless you all with love, and bucket loads of gratitude.
CEO at Gramersi