Adventures in Copywriting: Unicorn leggings, He-Man and Finding Work with Zing

Recently, I got commissioned to write product descriptions for Cardiff born and bred brand The Power of Greyskull. This was a really fun job to work on that included some of my favourite aspects of copywriting - so that's creativity, listening closely to the company owner to fully understand their brand voice, and being given space to be playful in my writing. Yes, I get to call this work!

Let me tell you a bit about the company >>

The Power of Greyskull was started by Kath Grimmitt a couple of years ago. Top notch sewing skills passed down from her nanna mixed with a degree in fashion, meant Kath was well placed to start her own clothing brand when she saw a gap in the market. She played for roller derby team Tiger Bay Brawlers at the time, who wanted fun, interesting leggings but had to import them from America, with the extra charges that brings. So – Kath started designing and making them instead, sourcing all her materials and printing within the UK. Her product inspiration is varied, with legging designs ranging from avocados to unicorns and dinosaurs to sunsets!

As I learned more about the company, I noticed that each and every design, whilst often far apart in subject matter, has something big in common - community inspiration. Kath has made countless designs to fulfil customer tastes, many of whom are friends, family and team mates (she offers a custom design service if you’d like to shape your own new print). She has collaborated with a local photographer to help support his inspiring work and story. There’s a design to help raise funds for the Welsh men’s roller derby team and their trip to the World Cup in Calgary. She has worked with a Bristol illustrator to make several joint designs (I’ll just say the phrase zombie dinosaurs). Kath has created a print to honour her nanna’s inspiring influence, and another to fulfil her sister's love of butterflies. I felt a real spirit of collaboration from this company, a feeling of positivity and family as a result of their work with other creative companies, of being customer driven with a culture of sharing.

It’s easy to understand why this is company is great to be around. But the job was just work, right? What could be so enjoyable about it? Well I'll tell you.

1.     Creativity.

Kath and I met to discuss the story behind each legging design, and we talked about what tone of voice Kath wanted to achieve. I was then given free reign to create a short product description for each pair of leggings. The stories were fun and varied. You don’t have to love the products and have fun with writing when you’re a copywriter, but it adds a level of flow when you do. Flow can validate your work and feel like confirmation you're on the right path. 

2.    Discovering the Brand Voice.

When you listen closely to a company owner, you get to understand their ethos and hear their passion. It’s inspiring to work with a company that has been built from scratch by one person, that helps others, that is creative, and appeals to your own sense of style and humour. The positivity and passion rub off.

3.     Space to be playful.

Sometimes, as a copywriter, you need to write in a technical way about, say, lead piping. That’s absolutely fine and satisfying in it’s own way, forcing your mind and skills to work out of their comfort zone and loading you with new knowledge.  Other times you get free reign to write about He-Man, Tron, unicorns and rainbows.

 

Anthony Storr says, in his book Solitude:

"It seems probable that there is always an element of joy in creative living. When this playful element disappears, joy goes with it, and so does any sense of being able to innovate."

 

As a freelance copywriter in my first year of business, I’m honing a sense of which jobs bring me zing. So far, the answer is jobs that allow for creativity and also jobs for companies that make social change and/or spread positivity. Amongst my previous copy work, I’ve written for a charity that carries out health education in Africa and a pioneering posturologist - both ticked the zing box as I could see how much they are helping people through their work. I've worked with several creative designer-makers whose vision and skills gave me the zing feeling. The Power of Greyskull writing allowed me full creativity and as a company they are working with conscience and spreading positivity. I loved this job! All these conclusions make sense, as I’m a creative person and write fiction, draw and make things. I also have a background in community work in the South Wales valleys. I am interested in all sorts of copy and all sorts of jobs, as long as the company is ethical. I am grateful for organisations who allow me to write about their lead piping (etc), but I think it's good to balance out the jobs that are technical with those that are playful. A question for myself that I can take from this, is 'How do I find future work which brings zing?' 

Back to the leggings and a question you might want answered is, ‘So the leggings look good, but how well do they fit?’ Excellently, and I'm not just saying that. The waistband is placed just right, the material is really comfortable, and they do not move an inch while you're running, being a yogi, or doing whatever you do. Before starting work for The Power of Greyskull, I ordered a pair of leggings as essential product research.  I can confirm their prints will help you run faster, and if you wear them to run in a park like I do, they’ll spread smiles among passers by.