Barnsley branding consultant is ‘good to go’ for another ten years.

23/05/2023 |

A Barnsley-based branding specialist has marked her tenth year in business with a renewed commitment to collaboration and her core values.

Steph Cronin moved from London to Barnsley 15 years ago and has never looked back. She set up Black Bee Creative Ltd in 2013 and quickly established the business as an active player in the town’s creative and digital community.

Steph said: “Barnsley has been the perfect place for me to set up and run my business, my way. It has given me lots of opportunities to work with people doing positive things and making a difference, which is what I am all about.”

Steph graduated in graphic design from Croydon College of Art and Design in 1999 and started her career at London-based creative agencies such as Westhill Communications in the West End. She worked on high-profile national campaigns, which once saw a leaflet she’d designed to promote the winter flu vaccination programme flourished by Dot Cotton in Eastenders, as she set off to see Dr Legg for her jab.

Moving to South Yorkshire, she set up Black Bee Creative with the support of Smart Start and Genesis startup programmes at The Business Village. She continues to receive business support through Enterprising Barnsley and is now based in a studio at DMC 01 on Barnsley’s digital campus, The Seam.

In 2020, Steph expanded Black Bee Creative, so that the company now partners with a close circle of associates to deliver full visual branding, photography, social media, PR, website, design and marketing strategies. Steph said: “When I left college, I wanted to help change the world with good design, and work with inspiring people and ethical companies who were making a difference. That drive and passion has never gone away.

“Moving to Barnsley and becoming part of such a supportive business community has enabled me to realise my original ambitions.” Steph added that marketing in general has changed so much more to be in tune with her vision in the last ten years too.

“There are so many more digital tools to improve accessibility for everyone now. Also, thinking sustainably and protecting our health and wellbeing are primary considerations, not nice-to-have add-ons. I am looking forward to the next ten years in business.”

Over the last ten years, Black Bee Creative has worked with hundreds of businesses, charities and organisations including the Culture Health and Wellbeing Alliance, The Old George café chain, White Apple Thinking, Britannia Movers International, Barnsley Libraries and Barnsley Civic. Steph has also worked as marketing executive for Sheffield City Region’s ERDF-funded Scale Up 360 programme for entrepreneurs.

As an active member of Barnsley’s business community, she founded the Crafty Business Network in 2014 and has organised Etsy Made Local events as the town’s official Etsy Team Captain. She has been a volunteer judge at the Primary School Enterprise Challenge for six years and is a trustee for Creative Recovery, a Barnsley charity which uses creativity to support people with mental health issues.

Steph also recently attended a workshop about accessibility in digital marketing at the DMC CreatorLab as part of the Digital Innovation for Growth Programme.

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