Meet Sheree Chambers
And to finish off Brugel Creative’s march-long celebration of women for Women’s History Month and International Women’s day, a blog post on our Company Director, Sheree Chambers #womensupportingwomen #womenshistorymonth #IWD
Sheree Chambers has been one of my favourite people for almost 15 years now and I’m not just saying that because she’s my boss. For the second time. She’s one of my favourite people because she fills my life with only the best pop culture references, loves a good pun, is a fellow writer, she let me come stay with her the same weekend she and her husband were moving house, and because she actively supports, and creates jobs for, women. Sheree has brought me back from Maternity Leave twice, creating me two separate jobs… and that’s just for me! She’s supported many other women, too. Sheree knows how to bake another pie.
But before Sheree was baking figurative pies (creating jobs) for women, she had to create one for herself. Brugel Creative started out as Sheree’s side-hustle (because, you know, people don’t pay women properly and she had bills to pay), but it was also this brave and freeing creative endeavour where she could experiment, explore, write, collaborate and her first love had always been Graphic Design so there was plenty of that too. And, of course, it turned into a successful business.
I don’t mean for it to sound like it happened overnight. It didn’t. It took a lot of work. But those two qualities of Sheree’s together, hard work (ok, ok, stubbornness) and creativity, are exactly what is needed for a Digital Design Agency to be successful. Sheree began Brugel Creative in 2008 but back then it was called Brugel Images and Design. It wasn’t until April of 2016 that she decided to turn her side-hustle into her day job. (Just as an aside, it’s Sheree and her husband Bohan’s two-year anniversary on April Fool’s day and 3 years since launching her own full-time business—we should get her something…)
In the last 3 years, Sheree has done something quite remarkable. Yes, she has landed some big-name clients, and Brugel Creative has been nominated for awards, and Sheree has been able to expand the business – both in terms of clientele and services offered – but what is most admirable, I think, is the way she has built a team of creatives who work well together and support each other.
When we first kicked off this series of celebrating women for the month of march, I mentioned that the Brugel Creative team is almost all women. When I joined the team (and in my own awkward write-up), I mentioned that Sheree has (twice now) created me a job. In my interview with Brugel Creative’s Graphic Designer, Louisa Nicole Drury, Louisa described how she was able to be free and flourish when she started working for Brugel Creative.
Sheree, with humility, will emphasize chance and luck and previous professional relationships and friendships when she talks about assembling her team. And that’s true. Pulling together a team of people – especially creatives – is always going to take a certain amount of luck. But what she won’t tell you is how she looks for people who have a certain creative spark, and people whose work is of the highest quality (regardless of their gender or non-traditional CV), and that she actively works around society’s biases to look for people who have been sidelined by more rigid employment. More often than not, these people are brilliant women who are looking to use their skills and gifts.
Sheree also won’t tell you that after she employs these intelligent, creative, dedicated women (she insists I need to count myself as one of them—thanks Sheree), she encourages them to work from home – or wherever is best for them, doesn’t micromanage them, and provides them with opportunities for further training and professional development.
And to conclude our month-long celebration of women, I want to celebrate our Director – our creative, stubborn, hilarious, hard-working, extroverted, feminist, dedicated, team-building Director. Thank you, Sheree, my favourite fool, for taking a chance on me not once but twice.