Interview with Rowena Cumner | UK Marketing manager at MOO / Founder of Agent Engagement

Name: Rowena Cumner - UK Marketing Manager at MOO & Founder of Agent Engagement

What do you do? How would you describe your working life?

I feel really lucky to have built a career in Marketing and specifically the creation of Partnerships over the last 10 years in start-ups of all sizes. My friends call me Nokia because I’m always connecting people!

Currently I’m UK Marketing Manager at MOO, an online print and design company where we’re on a mission to help people build a brilliantly designed professional world they’re really proud of. We print business cards, postcards, stickers and flyers for businesses globally. My role here is to choose and look after projects that increase the awareness of MOO within the communities of entrepreneurs, students and small business owners who become our customers.

We talk a lot about 9-5’s and 6-11’s at MOO as many of our customers are setting up businesses in their spare time, and my passion project is Agent Engagement, a secret British Service where I help proposing men or engaged couples find or create the right engagement ring. It’s a lot of fun!

Did you show any early signs as a child that indicated that you would end up where you are today?

Absolutely none at all! My friends and family comment daily that it is a wonder the shy, sensitive fair-haired child who used to cry her way through ballet classes turned out this way!

Describe your typical day

We’re incredibly fortunate at MOO to have a wonderful office space with loads of like-minded colleagues. I get into the office around 9am and we’ll often have breakfast cereals / toast together in our kitchen before tapping away on our laptops in between meetings for the rest of the day. In London my French and German colleagues look after our European markets too, and 10am is about the only time we get to catch up together with our Australian colleague Emily-Jane based in Melbourne due to the time difference!

My favourite thing about my role is that everyday we get to meet loads of entrepreneurs who are really passionate about their latest projects or ideas and chat through how MOO can support them or what we can bring to events and partnerships. I especially enjoy working on female-entrepreneur led businesses and try to champion as many of these as possible.

Even though MOO was founded in London by our founder & CEO Richard 10 years ago, the US is our largest global market so our afternoons get very busy working with our american colleagues on projects that involve us all.

I leave the office at 6pm 3 times a week to go Spinning at BOOM Cycle in Holborn where founder Hilary Gilbert has created an indoor cycling revolution!  During the other evenings I’ll see friends if not attending an event for MOO. 

Where do you get your ideas/inspiration from and when do they arrive?

Usually I get very excited when talking to people about their businesses or events and my ideas and inspiration arrive when I visualise how that might look to them or me. For Agent Engagement my inspiration comes when I’m walking around London, especially St.Paul's where I meet proposing men on the steps to take briefings.

Often though inspiration is followed by guilt or frustration - when am I ACTUALLY going to get time to make that idea a reality. Constant battle for us all!

When motivation wavers, how do you get back on track?

My motivation doesn’t waver as such, but I do get very tired of the endless tasks, communications and emails so lots of rest and sleep recharges me. As a team, we try to escape and work from a gallery or co-working space elsewhere often for a change of scenery and planning session for the year ahead.

What is the best thing about your job/lifestyle?

Other than meeting so many excitable people, the best thing about my lifestyle is flexibility and variety. One week we might be taking the MOO PostBox on tour to creative events asking people to write a postcard to someone who has helped them get to where they are today, or another day working from a European city through a Photography show!

My colleagues are ace and from all over the world - never stop learning from them :)

If you could do something else for the day- what would you do?

Midwife, Counsellor or MI6.... All incredible careers I’d wish I’d spent more time researching.

How do you overcome any challenges in your working life?

By talking to my colleagues and getting their (often inspired) perspective on how to solve the issue, and if it’s a constantly unravelling situation….by sleeping on it! Never seems as bad the next day.

How do you celebrate your successes?

I’m a geriatric creature who very much believes in the Danish concept of Hygge, pronounced ‘hue-gah’  - the philosophy of enjoying life’s simple pleasures!  For me these are: breakfast out, the european cities on our doorsteps, cycling and a recently re-invigorated love of camping!

I also plan in a lot of things I want to achieve in the year ahead which serve as rewards. Had a great time at Wilderness Festival this summer - truly recommend: 

Do you have any tools/resources or rituals that you couldn’t live without?

Google Mail and Google Calendar synced up - instead of a task list I allocate time in my calendar for each and every task which forces me to prioritise what I can realistically fit into a day and also reassures me that the time for the other things will come!

As well as an Iphone I also have a basic phone with no internet or email which I use for holidays and as much of the weekend as possible. Only my family and close friends have the number and I feel smug about having a digital detox.

And when someone says….’I need to introduce you to…’ I always follow it up and take them for coffee.

Which books from your bookcase would you recommend? 

A magazine subscription instead: Collective Hub Magazine! Australian founder & Editor Lisa Messenger tells wonderful stories and interviews entrepreneurs from all around the world with keep of tips for the rest of us but unfortunately it isn’t sold in the UK yet. Instead I get it shipped from AUS or pick it up in European Airports: 

What are your daily essentials to make you feel ready?

Bobbi Brown makes me feel ready for anything. She couldn’t find what she wanted to use as a make-up artist, so she made it.

What advice would you give your teenage self?

You are the company you keep. Don’t follow the crowd! Keep trusting that gut feeling. It didn’t matter that you flucked your A-Levels - do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

With any luck, a mother! People keep reminding me that a child is a gift, not a given. I guess we need to create a future generation of peacekeeping entrepreneurs ;)

I love Moo products, you would like to order some snazzy new business cards or postcards, drop me an email (hello(@)nickyraby(dot)com and I will send you a £10 credit for your account.