November sees web design agency Peacock Carter celebrating their 10th Anniversary, in which time they have grown from working in a back bedroom in Durham City to occupying premier office space in Gateshead’s flagship Northern Design Centre.
“We could easily have given up early on”, says Richard Carter the company’s founder and Managing Director, who was told not to bother by a Durham business adviser at the start of his career. “Apparently there were already too may web designers in the region, with no room for more!”
“Peacock Carter is a brilliant example of a successful North East creative digital business”
Undeterred, Richard and his business partner at the time found an early niche working on high-end consultancy projects, running the business alongside studying for their degrees at Durham University.
Now one of the leading specialists of ecommerce in the region, Peacock Carter work with major clients on large scale projects both in the UK and abroad. A specialist in ecommerce, and particular the Magento platform, one of the leading ecommerce platforms in the world, Richard also reviews publications on the platform for UK and American publishers. Throw in the fact that Richard has written a number of highly regarded web-design software books and runs workshops for user groups, and business has never been busier.
This tenacity and passion for digital can be seen clearly across the region, with Peacock Carter being part of the booming digital industry sector. Figures quoted at the recent “Shine a Spotlight’ event hosted by Digital Union, the North East’s largest digital business network, illustrated the expanding nature of the sector,estimating that an additional 6,915 new jobs will be created in the next 5 years.
Jim Mawdsley, CEO of Generator, which runs Digital Union said, “Peacock Carter is a brilliant example of a successful North East creative digital business working with global clients, and their upcoming 10th Anniversary proves their staying power. The company has grown and chosen to remain in the North East based on their own creativity, tenacity and the strength of support within the region for growing creative digital businesses. We’re proud to support Richard and his team as they look towards their next ten years of further growth”.
Richard and his team are also supporting the new collaborative brand #thisisMINE (this is Made in the North East). Devised by former Tech North team member Paul Lancaster and adopted by Digital Union, the campaign aims to showcase the best of the region’s digital work and highlight companies and their output.
Supporting the North East web design community
This supportive and collaborative community is one of the aspects Richard would credit for Peacock Carter’s ongoing success. Richard is part of a growing number of professionals in the region who see sharing and support as intrinsic to the success of their industry. “Networking and collaboration has always played an important role in my business,” said Richard, “Sharing knowledge, expertise and ideas helps to build strong relationships with our peers, contributes to the wider digital community and helps us to continually improve our services to clients”
“We want to capitalise on the fact that the North East is seen as a leading centre for digital expertise”
A regular speaker
Richard is a regular speaker at many web, digital and creative events around the region, including Design Network North’s monthly networking group “Rise and Design”, and the company sponsors the monthly Frontend North East events which regularly attracts 80 – 100 attendess. Frequent topics include new developments in web design and e-commerce worlds, and best practice for smaller businesses. Design Network North’s manager, Terry McStea, acknowledged the valuable contribution made by the businesses that attend the event. “We have hosted more than 1000 organisations from the region to date, and the willingness of companies like Peacock Carter to share their knowledge and experience is one of the valuable ways we can support our aim to increase the contribution design makes to our economy”.
So having reached double figures, what does the future hold for Peacock Carter? “We aim to double the turnover of our business in the next two years by talking on more staff and increasing our reach nationally and globally” says Richard, “We want to capitalise on the fact that the North East is seen as a leading centre for digital expertise and we look forward to being an active part of this by continuing to identify new technologies to improve ecommerce solutions for our clients.