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Meet Olivia Nicholson of Agency TK in Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Olivia Nicholson.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Olivia. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I’ve always loved creativity. From expressing myself through dance growing up, to experimenting and innovating my favorite recipes as well as appreciating the craft that went into a physical product and its packaging. Creativity for me is the trigger in your mind’s eye that goes ‘wow, that’s cool’.

I was born and raised in sunny (!) Leeds, and I spent the first 23 years of my life building my career in the North of England. I graduated from university with a First Class Hons. Degree in Business, with a specialism in Marketing.

I knew that expanding my knowledge on how to run a business successfully was where I wanted to start my career. I was hungry to understand everything from how to manage and lead a team, through to how to operate internationally and how to differentiate a product or service within a crowded market. No matter what direction a business takes, the key principals to running a profitable and successful business start from within.

The missing part was for me was how do I channel my creative energy in the path my career is taking?

By mixing never seen before creative with innovative business ideas, any company can shake a market up. Although I can’t personally design to save my life, I love working alongside the creative genius’ that can take a thought, new idea or a verbal conversation and turn it into concept, product or visual that captures your imagination perfectly.

In my opinion, this is where the perfect blend between business & creativity meet and where my career has led me to as a Strategic Brand and Content Director at Agency TK.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Packing three bags at the age of 23 to move across the world alone to Los Angeles was never going to be a walk in the park…but that was part of the appeal. You forget all the parts that go along with moving countries; from the bigger tasks like finding a safe environment to build a home in, all the way down to setting up a new bank account.

On a professional level, there have been some twists and turns in the road too. One of the biggest challenges to overcome (strangely) was a language barrier. This also rings true for the services our agency provides. The types of projects, clientele and industries we work with differ dramatically to our UK agency.

TKLA has been built through 5 years of Nicole Levings (Strategic Brand and Content Director) and I adapting to the market, testing our service offering and perfecting our pitch. It helps to have a partner you work with everyday that you trust whole-heartedly to iron out all the creases, which couldn’t be truer for me.

There’s nothing worse than being in a pitch room with a client staring back at you because they didn’t understand your British term/jargon/concept. Who’d of thought this would be such a challenge when you’re moving from one English speaking country to another? Everyday is a learning day!

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Agency TK – what should we know?
We’re a brand and design agency that’s powered by purpose.

By challenging the everyday we cut to the core of the business to uncover compelling truths. Because the purpose is the difference between ‘yet another’ brand and a brand consumers really believe in. Building brands from the inside out, our team uncover a solution that’s relatable, unique and truly paves the way for the future.

What we’re really proud to own is our ability to unite British design expertise and know-how with the rapid progression of technologies, trends and emerging markets in Los Angeles to create a design not seen before on the west coast.

Our creative philosophy sets us apart. Dare to do different – we believe that courage and authenticity are key to thriving in a crowded market space. Challenge everything – Because cutting-edge ideas and designs that capture imaginations never come from copy-and-paste solutions.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I wouldn’t say luck has played much of a role, other than I’m lucky to live in this amazing city! I was ‘lucky’ to grow with an agency that had the ambition to have a global presence, but hard work and graft has always been wired into my work and life ethic and I wouldn’t be where I am without that, and of course Nicole.

One thing I love about LA is the power of relationships. Everyone I’ve met is willing to help you or put you in touch with someone who could help. I guess you could view this as ‘luck’ – that you met that person at the right time & place, but the sense of community is one of the main reasons I love LA and why our business had succeeded.

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