Crazy Jeans Soapbox Race: Smiley, happy and chatty people
2nd May 2019
Local PR and marketing agency Chatty Hatter is organising one of the town’s biggest summer charity events: Crazy Jeans Soapbox Race. We talk to its founder Nicole Piesse Turner about it and find out if running her own business has been a bumpy ride or not…
Can you give us a potted history of Chatty Hatter?
I set it up in 2013 after working in sales and advertising for most of my adult life. I have always enjoyed advising clients on the best way to spend their budgets and getting them the best return on their investments. But after having my two children I thought why not set up on my own?
Chatty Hatter initially started out as more of an advertising consultancy service, with myself and one other – managing three main clients but we quickly expanded into double figures. There are now over 12 of us in the team and we are always looking to work with more like-minded ‘Chatty Happy’ people!
What is your USP in the world of marketing and PR?
I would say our unique selling point has to be that we are a fun, high energy team. We see no project as too big or too small and we give 110 per cent on whatever we work on.
We are a very tenacious team, a lot of us are busy, working mothers so we are used to juggling. We work closely with clients so they feel like we are an extension of their company.
Hopefully this gets them the best results and support they need. We are very fortunate to have kept over 90 per cent of our client base over the past five and a half years.
Can you tell us which clients you work with and are they all local?
We have a wide variety of clients but at the moment Crazy Jeans Soapbox is our biggest local project. We also work with others based around here such as Roundwood of Mayfield, Dagan Services, Leigh Roberts Hairdressers and HR Revolution.
Our other client base is largely business-to-business (B2B) as a few of us here, myself included, have extensive involvement in that sector over the years.
So we run as two halves really working on both local consumer and B2B businesses. We also work closely with a number of local charities.
Tell us a little bit about how Jeans Crazy Soap Race came about
We’d done some PR for Jeans Wine Bar and Kitchen on St John’s Road when it was open and then in June 2017 its owner Garry Jeffery approached me with the idea of doing a charity Soapbox Race for Tunbridge Wells.
It was something he had tried to get off the ground some years ago but had not managed. My team thought I was slightly crazy taking it on as we already had a large client base but we did and hit the ground running!
The first Tunbridge Wells Soapbox race took place in June 2018 at Dunorlan Park and was a huge success. We then raised £21,000 last year and hope to double that in 2019.
Do you find being based in Tunbridge Wells is beneficial to your business?
We LOVE being in Tunbridge Wells. I was born here and most of my direct team are also local. We have a lot of business that takes us up and down the country, so Tunbridge Wells works as a good base for us all.
Another plus is there are so many lovely places to eat out so we tend to try and get clients to visit us here so we can show them some of the culinary delights in Tunbridge Wells.
What’s happening with it this year and what are your key aims?
This year we are raising money for our two chosen charities, Hospice in the Weald and Taylor-Made Dreams, and we are honoured to be representing them.
We are also really lucky to have got the support from our main headline sponsor Childrensalon and the likes of Dagan Services who have really got involved. West Kent College are also working closely with us on the maintenance and repair of the karts. Markerstudy Group and Times Local News are our media partners and we have also had a huge amount of support from chef Rosemary Shrager, Wicked Production’s Tom Swift and BBC Radio Kent.
We are hugely passionate that the Soapbox will take place every year now and become a staple part of the Tunbridge Wells events scene.
Crazy Jeans Soapbox Race
Crazy Jeans Soapbox Race takes place on Saturday June 8. Here's what else you need to know:
So far there are 45 karts racing on the day – all sponsored and decorated by local businesses – which will race from 11am to 5pm
Only 50 karts in total are able to run so if any other businesses want to get involved they better act fast by messaging firstname.lastname@example.org
The jumps will be more whacky than ever and there will also be plenty of entertainment, luxury car displays, food and drink villages and special kids’ zones
The two charities benefiting will be Hospice in the Weald and Taylor-Made Dreams
If you want to buy tickets to the event then head over to www.crazyjeansevents.com