I had the pleasure of meeting Emily Bright - Class of 1998 who had a very interesting career change, from working in television and latterly organising large conferences - to now working with her best friend from SWPS Sarah Campbell (Douglas). Here is her story.
Emily told me that while at SWPS she enjoyed English, especially literature and History, she also loved drama/acting and sport. Emily took English Literature, History and Geography ‘A’ levels and then went onto study a degree in History at Manchester University accomplishing a First.
After University Emily stayed on in Manchester for another nine months to work for the Consortium of Academic Libraries in Manchester, organising training for librarians.
Sarah took a different path, after studying English at Warwick Uni she went abroad to teach in Japan. Sarah came back to the UK to study for an MA in Shakespearean Studies and went on to work in academic publishing.
Five years ago, Emily and Sarah decided to go into business together to create a children’s book subscription – Parrot Street Book Club. I was interested in how after 24 years of leaving school these two ladies got together to create their own business, and why books.
Emily explained that although they took different career paths and went to different Universities after leaving SWPS, they remained in close contact, in fact they ended up living together in London for a time. Emily had moved from Manchester to London for work experience at the BBC in Shepherds Bush, working on a historical drama about Queen Victoria.
Emily enjoyed television production and after a period as a receptionist for a production company, joined a documentary researchers training scheme, run by FT2. First as a Researcher and then as an Assistant Producer, Emily worked on a wide range documentaries, favourites including the fly-on-the-wall series Saville Row and Brat Camp. Emily then went on to work in corporate conferences for emap and UBM, creating the conference programmes, organising speakers, and running all aspects of large conferences.
In 2012 Emily took a break in her career to start a family and had her first baby girl. She went on to have another 2 girls who are 8 and 5. Sarah also went on to have a family – she has two boys aged 12 and 10.
With Emily’s love of literature and Sarah’s love of books and knowledge of publishing in 2017 they had the idea of setting up a book subscription service for children. Their company Parrot Street Book Club was born which caters for children aged 5-8 years, 8-12 years and 12-14 years.
The books are handpicked and read by both Emily and Sarah for content and to see if they are a “good read” before they are sent out to their subscribers. The children also receive an activity pack with puzzles, art, and different activities each month. I certainly wish I had heard of this when my boys were younger as it gives children the opportunity to try different books that they may not have naturally chose themselves.
Parrot Street Book Club has recently won a Junior Design Award
Emily has kindly given SWPS Perkonians, friends and family a discount of 15%, simply enter SWPS as the discount code for your first subscription term.