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9 Questions For...Sophie Seaton

Wednesday 24th April 2024

"9 Questions For…" is an interview series in which I ask founders, leaders, and entrepreneurs to share their experiences of doing "their thing, their way". The questions might be the same but the insights certainly aren't! If you fit the bill and would like to share your learnings please get in touch.

In this edition of 9 Questions For…, we hear from MD of Underwaterpistol and true "claret and blue" Sophie Seaton.

Sophie Seaton

Underwaterpistol MD Sophie Seaton (second from right)

Q: Are you a founder, co-founder, solo entrepreneur, consultant or something else?

I'm Managing Director at Underwaterpistol, having recently taken the reins from our founder Gary.

Q: What type of business do you run?

We're a Shopify Plus agency for high-growth and disruptive brands.

We combine creative and technical expertise with a true focus on performance, enabling our clients to deliver better online experiences, tell their unique brand story, and ultimately sell more products around the world.

We're a small agency (by choice — our size is a superpower, not a limitation), so we're intentional about the brands we work with — those that are a good cultural fit and aligned with our values and ambitions.

We're a strategic partner for our brands, not solely focused on high-quality delivery but on the results we can achieve together.

Q: Why did you join the business?

I've been at the agency for six years now. My initial reason for joining was quite simple — an instant connection and alignment with Gary. I was inspired by his vision and felt we could achieve amazing things together.

My reasons for staying have evolved over the past six years. There have been plenty of growth opportunities, both personally and professionally. The sense of community and the shared goal of pushing boundaries in our industry has made each phase exciting and fulfilling. Importantly, I've been challenged and pushed outside of my comfort zone.

Q: What's the biggest challenge you are facing in your business?

Profitable growth. For us, that doesn't necessarily mean headcount growth to churn out more projects but mutual growth that comes from working with the right, like-minded clients.

Q: What's going well in your business?

Our team — I'm genuinely proud of the team that we've built. They're an incredibly talented bunch of amazing people who value each other and respect our clients. We're all really invested in the journey and the outcomes, both for UWP and our brands

Q: What skill do you excel at, and which one do you want to get better at?

Probably an infectious enthusiasm and passion for what we're building at the agency. I'd like to think that inspires those on the team to really get behind the work that we're delivering for our brands.

I'd like to get better at 'letting go' of certain functions across the agency and empowering the team to make mistakes as part of the process.

Q: What will be different about your business this time next year?

A continued focus on collaboration and consultation with high-profile brands that are looking for agencies that can offer true partnerships. We've got some exciting case studies in the works that will enhance our reputation and profile - watch this space!

Q: What's the one thing you wish you'd known before starting your entrepreneurial adventure?

To trust our gut instinct when it comes to client fit and be bold in turning away clients who don't feel aligned. Turning away revenue can feel counter-intuitive, but taking on the wrong clients never ends well.

Q: Where do you live, and what do you love about your city?

I live in Essex. I love being able to escape the fast-paced London life, with the option to dip in and out. Most importantly, West Ham is still only 40 minutes away!

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This is the web site of Keir Whitaker — I'm a UK-based marketing consultant, coach and advisor and founder of event series Craft+Work.

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