Alex Holliman

Jan 17, 2021

3 min read

Climbing Trees is 10 this year. 🎉

2010 was a mixed year, the Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in Iceland grounding flights, the UK economy came out of recession, Grant Holt was scoring goals for fun and I started Climbing Trees.

That’s me jumping up and celebrating in the black coat after Grant Holts first vs Ipswich in 2010. As you can see I’ve never been one for getting too carried away.

As 2020 draws to a welcome close, it does feel like an opportune moment to reflect on that last 10 years.

I’ve always adopted an approach of working hard (hopefully with some intelligence too). Not in a hustle porn kind of way, but in a keenness to progress and deliver for our clients while making the most of your capabilities and the opportunities in front of you.

We have been helped by innumerable people, I’m immensely grateful that the overwhelming majority of people I meet are good humans.

From Nichola Cain of Voice Communications, ‘ Olympic yachtsman’ Andrew Hood of Amara to Lucy Wrangles at Morellis. For the support, encouragement, fun and the opportunities you have shared with us. Thank you.

Climbing Trees started in a small home office with a blank sheet of paper and no clients. Full of hope, I’d left my job working for a smashing media agency and the first two clients we pitched to, Mark Dunning and John Phillips, backed me and they are still our clients today. Their businesses have grown exponentially due to their own innovation and we’ve thrived on the challenge of keeping apace with their growth. Thank you.

Sometimes in business you meet people that you get on with and Wag and Kelly at Rubber Cheese are my soul brother and sister, your endless support, inclusion in projects, talking about all manner of inappropriate things makes my road easier. Thank you.

We’ve been backed by some fantastic brands and great teams, whether it be Olympus, Volvo Construction, Mercedes or Staysure and the pride I take in leading a team of experts make a difference to our clients is what it all about to me. Really giving a damn about, and making a difference to our clients is front and centre for us.

I’ve not historically been blessed with as much skill in people management as I needed. One of my first hires involved having a chat about football and cricket and the job was sealed. Remember that Alex Gill?

On a bad day, the vagaries of running a small business can sometimes get in the way of me being polished, in fact there is a side of me that is akin to that of Windsor Davies in It Ain’t Alf Hot Mum. Age, mistakes and experience are ironing out some lumps and bumps there. We’re all human though right?

In the last 10 years the team at Climbing Trees have supported me fantastically well and made this business flourish. To all staff past and present, thank you. I feel proud of the team we have today, delivering triple digit growth to accounts we’ve landed from large European agencies is testament to what we are capable of.

To our past alumni, I see the awesome careers you are developing and I feel proud of how magnificent you are. Well done.

It’s fair to say that 2020 has been a challenging year, we see in our client base those that are struggling and those who’s areas of the economy are flourishing and everything in between. We’ve done our utmost to stand up and be counted and things feel like they are moving to a more positive place.

We’ve navigated our way through and are thankful of the support we’ve been given by Gail & Steve at GAS Brand Studios, Ryan & Steve at Jago and Pete & Spencer at Agencynomics. Thank you. Based on your excellent guidance we feel well positioned to step into 2021 and evolve.

This is not a definitive list but I hope you get the gist, we would not be here without the support of good people, thanks.

PS: I recognise this sounds like an Oscar acceptance speech, seemed timely to express some gratitude.

Originally published at