Charlotte Rick and partner James run a Marketing and Web Design business named Isho Creative based between Brighton and Cornwall. The company is still in its infancy, in its second year, so the couple know the challenges faced by a new business, and so feel well placed to understand challenges faced by their clients and the need for flexibility in the early stages of a new business. They offer a service tailored to the requirement of each individual client, whether it’s social media, marketing, a new website, photography or simply a one-off poster design.
Charlotte confesses to having the ‘travel bug’, which played a large role in the couple setting up their own business, eager to maintain their freedom to travel and not be ruled by a set amount of holiday.
“I was working in Bristol after graduating and began to travel more and more whenever I had the opportunity. After leaving school I didn’t take a gap year like many students and really felt I had missed out, so eventually I decided to spend more time travelling.”
During 2017 Charlotte spent a few months in Southeast Asia and she was soon hooked.
“Since then, I have found it hard to stay in one place for longer than a couple of months! I’ve travelled to 35 countries so far, with plans to visit lots more!”
Before her travels began in earnest, Charlotte had been working as a freelance Social Media Manager for a couple of years, and James had been working in design and events, so they decided to pool their skills and start a company together and haven’t looked back.
Charlotte and brother Oliver CO07 both attended Truro School. Charlotte joined halfway through the second year at the senior school. She believes her studies and the skills she learned at Truro School helped shape her career and who she is today, and acknowledges the importance of the friendships which began during that time, and continue today.
“Like many people, I don’t think I realised what a wonderful time I’d had at school until I left. Without doubt my friends made my time at Truro School incredibly special. Joining after first year could have been difficult but I was lucky enough to make friends quickly and become part of a friendship group of 10+ girls that is still as strong today as it was back then! Even though we all live in various places, our WhatsApp group chat is active most days. This year we have even managed to finally book our ‘girls’ holiday’ which we’ve been trying to do since we were in Sixth Form – it’s only taken us seven years!”
After the pandemic getting in the way, the girls now have their fingers crossed they can plan their holiday for September 2021!
After leaving school in 2013, Charlotte studied marketing at University of the West of England (UWE), Bristol.
“It was a bit of a last-minute decision as I just missed the grades I needed for my first-choice university, so had to go through ‘clearing’. As it happens it all worked out for the best. I started a business management with marketing degree but soon realised the management side wasn’t something I enjoyed and switched courses to concentrate purely on marketing.”
It was during her time at university that Charlotte met James who was a fellow UWE student.
Still uncertain what to do with her Marketing degree when she graduated, Charlotte undertook an internship with a luxury concierge company in London. She then gained valuable experience in another area of the marketing world, working for a PR company, although she confesses:
“I struggled to be creative in an office environment, but I am glad I experienced it because it helped me make decisions, channel my creativity and work out which direction I wanted to take my career, and that was the beginning of my travel journey.”
Charlotte’s love of travel developed, and she was able to put her marketing skills to good use by freelancing to pay for her travel adventures.
“And the rest, as they say, is history. At the moment Isho Creative is just James and myself, so we both do a bit of everything. I began with all the social media work for clients, as this was the area most familiar to me, but now my favourite thing is designing websites and photography. We also do graphic design, copywriting, advertising… whatever is needed really!“
Charlotte and James are living the life they love, working hard but at the same time able to indulge their passion for travel and far-off destinations.
“I quickly realised I wasn’t suited to a 9-5 office job, and was quite worried I would end up doing something that I didn’t enjoy for the rest of my life. But there are so many other options out there for people who want to work for themselves and remote working has become even easier since the pandemic! I’m proud we have found a way to combine our skills and start a business that enables us to travel around the world at the same time! As all the work we do is online, we can do it from anywhere provided that we have our laptops and WIFI. So far, we’ve run our company from Cornwall, Brighton, Bali, Morzine in France and wherever else we decided to travel to!”
Are there any words of advice you would like to share with anyone struggling to decide upon a career path?
“To anyone who is unsure of what to do, I’d say; try not to worry. Sometimes it is discovering what you don’t enjoy that pushes you in new directions and sometimes it can be a case of trial and error! So just try different things until you discover what suits you.
“To those who want to start their own business or work freelance; try to make some industry connections through an internship, work experience or your first job. It’s all about learning to network!”
All of Charlotte’s family still live in Cornwall, including her pet pygmy hedgehog Henlo, who lives with her mum when she is away. She visits Cornwall often between destinations and moved back last year, having managed to get an emergency flight back from Bali, arriving back in the UK as the country went into lockdown.
“As much as I love travel, I was very glad to be back on home soil. With so much uncertainty going on in the world, I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. We spent April-September in Cornwall, which was an amazing place to be for lockdown, then moved to Brighton in September as we wanted a change of scenery. We have lots of clients in Cornwall so visit for work reasons every couple of months.
“We can’t wait for travel to open up again. Since the pandemic and lockdown, we’ve realised how lucky we were before to just be able to jump on a last-minute flight and live life with no real plan. However, the last year has given us time to work on our business and try and build that up without the distraction of travel, so that’s a silver lining. Not being able to travel has been strange as it was such a big part of our lives, but we feel very, very lucky that this luxury is the only thing we’ve lost over the past year, and we did manage to fit in a quick trip to Venice last summer when restrictions eased for a time.”
In her free time, Charlotte writes a blog called Charlotterick.com which she started in 2017 documenting her travels with James when they went to Southeast Asia.
“I love photography and writing so the blog allows me to combine those two things. We spend most of our free time exploring new and exciting places. Last year we spent a month in Bali before coming home due to lockdown, and before that were in Morzine for two months skiing and working!”
This year, the couple have been planning their adventures closer to home, choosing to explore more places within the UK they’ve never visited although they have a ski festival booked for December with a group of friends from school – Ellie Brittain-Long, Emma Higson, Flora Cecil, Nick Byrne and Hamish Wilson (all CO13).
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