"There is nothing wrong with dreaming for a few years even, with ideas bubbling away whilst working for large companies and learning. Be a sponge; ask lots of questions and learn from those around you with more experience."
- Jemma Caldwell, Managing Director of Tanami
Can you give us a brief overview of what you do at Tanami?
We offer video production, public relations and social media services to a wide range of companies – from entrepreneurial start-ups to global brands.
Tell me more about your career before starting your business.
Having completed a degree at Stirling University in Film & Media and Sociology I went straight into a job at Ragdoll Productions (Telletubbies, Rosie and Jim, Brum etc) to work on their latest series: In the Night Garden. I loved the buzz of being on set – that was me hooked. My job title was ‘runner’ but I was actually Iggle Piggle’s personal assistant. Guess there aren’t many people with that on their CV!
I went on to work for the BBC on shows such as Doctors, Countryfile and Coast and spent time with various independent production companies including North One Television and Maverick TV. Two years prior to setting up Tanami, I took a job at McCann, moving from television production to advertising and PR. It was at McCann that I started to pick up business skills and understand client relationships.
What inspired you to start Tanami?
I always thought I would start my own business, but could never see the right time for this to become a reality. I relocated from the Midlands to Edinburgh in Summer 2013 and not being one to do things by halves, I threw caution to the wind and Tanami was born! It was a difficult juggling act for the first few months but I am very lucky in that I have an amazing support network of family and friends which definitely helped!
How did you manage building it alongside your full time career?
Tanami was established with a bang on 1st August. I went full time into the business from being in full time employment. There was no easing in period I’m afraid! I actually had a two week break between leaving my job and moving to Edinburgh and in that time I wrote and shot a short film! Looking back, I admit that was a bit mad – but a great experience all the same!
What’s been the biggest highlight?
That’s got to be interviewing Wayne Rooney overlooking the Old Trafford pitch at the end of the 2013-14 football season for Chevrolet FC’s online content requirements.
What’s been the biggest challenge?
One of my biggest challenges was a product of uprooting from Birmingham to Edinburgh pretty much overnight. Having been based in the Midlands for nearly eight years I had grown familiar with the freelance community and knew who to turn to for VFX skills or camera hire for example. When I set up my business in Edinburgh I had to start over again with local contacts which have understandably taken time to build up.
You have a really wide and varied client base – what’s been your secret to getting yourself out there?
Network, network, network! Any opportunity you get to meet new people, take it. Luckily for me, talking comes naturally! Organised networking events have been fantastic too – you meet all sorts of people from all walks of life. I have never regretted attending a networking event and always come away feeling inspired or enthusiastic about something.
The beauty of Tanami is that it isn’t industry specific – so many businesses could benefit from the services we offer. Name a business that wouldn’t gain from a nice video on its homepage, a slick PR campaign or a well-managed Twitter account?
What advice would you give to other women who dream of starting their own business?
Dreaming of starting a business is the first step. There is nothing wrong with dreaming for a few years even, with ideas bubbling away whilst working for large companies and learning. Be a sponge; ask lots of questions and learn from those around you with more experience. When the time is right, in your career and in your personal life, go for it 100% and make it work.
What’s next for you?
Continued growth. I am keen for Tanami to take on more television advertising projects over the next year so this will be a huge focus for us.
What’s your favourite quote?
“The only time a woman is helpless is when her nail polish is drying. Other than that, watch out.”
Tanami is headed up by Jemma Caldwell, who established the business following ten years’ experience in broadcast television, film, PR, advertising and social media.
Jemma’s television experience embraces high-profile productions including Countryfile, Fifth Gear, The Gadget Show, Coast and X Factor; furthermore, she has executed PR and film projects for brands such as Siemens, Chevrolet, npower and David Wilson Homes.