It was a hot and sultry Monday evening at the Raw Kitchen Bar, located on the premises of the old fire station along Upper Bukit Timah Road. More than forty people were crammed into the confines of the refurbished building, but no one seemed to mind. At least ten of them were peering at tiny pieces of blue paper stuck on the white-washed walls.
Upon finer inspection, those Post-It notes contained tips of sorts – ranging from advice on writing techniques to quirky anecdotes. Those present were told that they could take away any of those Post-It notes they liked, but only if they replaced each with one containing a tip of their own.
This Is Pretty Smart
This creative exercise was the brainchild of Natasha Golding, the host for the evening, and the people gathered here were her friends, business partners and acquaintances to help celebrate the launch of her new consultancy, prettysmart*.
Natasha, a seasoned freelance writer, previously provided copywriting services and communications consultancy under her first business, The Right Words. As she worked with her clients during this period, Natasha realized some of the problems they faced with communications – not knowing what their business was about, the words to describe themselves, not having the time or information to plan and create websites to truly reflect their business – and believed she could help them.
And so prettysmart* was conceived. She explains to her audience that, in her new business, “we don’t believe in telling people what to do”. “We give advice, we share our knowledge, but we also help people explore their own ideas and discover their own solutions”, she says.
“It’s about using more of a coaching approach. We provide the steady, practical and kind support that helps people find the solutions that work for them.” But don’t take her word for it – check what her clients have said instead.
During her presentation, Natasha surprised her audience by raving about rising Singapore startup Gothere.sg. She recounted how she first learnt of them at Unconference 2008, where she “was blown away by the energy, the creativity and the comfortable informality” of the event.
“It’s smart,” she says of the location-based service. “It gives very useful, precise and detailed information. Little things like the prices of the bus or cab ride make a difference. The developers have thought about me, and what I need.”
“It’s pretty. It’s not from the old school of technology, built by geeks with no style. It’s simple, comfortable and shows some personality in the conversational copy.” Gothere.sg’s site design, she said, is everything she wants her consultancy to be for her clients – simple, clean, communicative and, most importantly, gives them exactly the results they need.
A Call For Partners and Collaborators
She also tells her audience that prettysmart* is looking at partnering to offer more to businesses. “We need writers who passionately desire to increase the amount of well-planned, meaningful and accessible web text on the Internet. prettysmart* helps businesses do the planning and thinking that forms the basis of great communication. But we also actually write and edit copy.” Many of the people she invited to the Raw Kitchen Bar were freelancers, and to these people she made her call for collaboration.
“We plan to work with more designers and developers. We need people who share our philosophy about websites being a piece of communication. People who believe that authenticity is a key principle in business and communication.”
“If you are one of the people we need to talk to email me, natasha [at] thisisprettysmart [dot] com.”
She ends her presentation by thanking the people who have helped her put her launch party together. Judging by the number and quality of people she thanked, especially the effusive praise she heaped on her web designer Dennis Lim of Mavericks Interactive, it seems that prettysmart* already has a slew of good people the consultancy can work with.