A Tees creative agency has been shortlisted for a national award, recognising the outstanding service it provides to both clients and communities.
With a firm belief that “now is the time of the SME,” Max Freer launched OOK – also known as One of A Kind – as a “more transparent and agile” alternative to the “archetypal model” of branding and marketing agency with a fixed in-house team.
Less than two years later, Stockton-based OOK has been shortlisted in the At Your Service category at this year’s Small Awards – a nationwide search by Small Business Britain for the smallest and greatest firms in the UK, now in its fifth year.
But Max says the award nomination is in recognition of all the independents or “indies,” freelancers and small businesses she collaborates with as and when they are required for a project.
OOK have helped to deliver projects ranging from a successful campaign to prevent an out-of-town large retail park threatening high street businesses in Sutton Ashfield & Manfeild to delivering the “People’s Medal” to NHS staff across Teesside and North Yorkshire, in collaboration with Boro-born artist Mackenzie Thorpe.
“This award is about our service and innovation, making it a fitting tribute to the calibre of indie talent that I work with,” said Max.
“I’m beyond thrilled to be recognised for the award, because without them, OOK doesn’t have the specialist toolkit or the indie talent the company is founded on.”
Through OOK, Max champions independent talent and supports freelance creatives, at the same time as providing an “ever evolving” specialist toolkit for clients over the UK with a range of needs and goals.
She added: “With this model, a client comes to OOK with a project and we can create teams of specialist people to tailor a solution – we can project manage every aspect of a large-scale project or fill the gaps with a skill or talent.
“OOK’s ethos Little Mission, Big Ideas focuses champions taking on projects that are good for people, good for the planet and good for prosperity.
“We are small and mighty – and our strong conscience is the mighty side of it.”
Judged by a panel of leading enterprise experts, the winners of all categories, along with the overall winner of Small Business of the Year, will be announced on May 13.
Michelle Ovens CBE, founder of Small Business Britain, said: “The Small Awards exist to celebrate and champion the amazing contribution of fantastic small firms like OOK.
“We received a record number of applications this year, with an incredibly high standard of entry, so all of the small businesses shortlisted should be rightly proud of this achievement.”