Introducing C81 – Meet Miz
Our third blog in the Meet the Team series focusses on Miz
Q: Describe yourself in a couple of sentences.
Old, sarcastic, yoga-teaching technophobe who doesn’t even have a cat to live with any more because it died.
Q: Miz. It’s long and varied. But nevertheless…give us your professional journey so far
I went to Uni as a mature student and worked at a multi-service design agency on projects with major brands like Reebok, Virgin Cosmetics, Orange and Unipart. I did all sorts with them, from rebrand work launching with Nigel Mansell driving an F3000 car around Brands Hatch, to building fish tanks into a trade show space in Barcelona that the King and Queen of Spain wowed at.
For some reason I decided that taking my experience of award-winning marketing and event builds and making my own thing would be good, so I left full-time work to pursue what had been ‘extra curricular’ activities in the music industry. I set up my own multi-arts festival in Manchester and got us in The Guardian, did some writing for the BBC and Clash magazine amongst others, worked on national music festivals, cried at Robert Plant, drank whiskey with Robert from BRMC and had Duff McKagan coo over the fact that I worked at Band On The Wall where Joy Division had once played. I also had a little venture where I decided to talk to as many people as possible about vegan food – I covered almond milk with Billy Duffy, falafel with Feargal Sharkey, bean salads with Kevin Parker of Tame Impala and seitan with Swedish metal monsters Meshuggah.
I did work with a ton of awesome women too, and developed a Gender & Equality seminar which debuted at Leeds College of Music then grew to move to Sound City in Liverpool. Anyway – this part of my career very quickly went from working in my flat to living in tents practically all of one summer, and showering in Portacabins every day. I returned to office work and arts marketing for some great Arts Council funded organisations (still doing the vegan food research on the side of course), and am a director at local Leeds vinyl-only record label Come Play With Me. Along the way I got into yoga, which has now seemingly taken over my life, and last year I qualified as a teacher. So now I balance (no pun intended) my teaching with client work for Chapter 81. Somehow it keeps me sane, being able to still have my brain function in various ways other than around movement and anatomy. And I did teach a vinyasa class to Dylan Moran the other week, just to keep that thread alive.
Q: What other work do you do?
Just the yoga teaching… I bloody love yoga.
Q: Why work for Chapter 81?
For some reason I trust Simon, as crazy as he is! Good clients, flexible working hours, and good fun. On a logistical level, it’s nice to have something I can fit around my teaching hours, and on a wholesome level I enjoy the projects and clients. I really can’t work on things that I don’t enjoy and fully appreciate!
Q: How did working with Chapter 81 come about?
Simon and I have known one another a few years now, and haven’t been able to take the opportunity to work together yet. So here it is!
Q: What do you do at Chapter 81?
Annoy Simon. Play music loudly in the office. I also help look after Prashad, Welcome To Leeds / Leeds BID, and Werks, as well as the main business social media.
Q: Where do you hope to see Chapter 81 in the future?
Well we’ve hit the ground running of course, so I only see things getting bigger and better.
Q: Why do you live in Leeds? Do you bloody love it?
Leeds is creative, eclectic, growing, and friendly. I’m from Manchester, which was getting too busy, over-crowded and over-run with building sites. I’m sure Leeds will develop to some extent, but it’s nice to be in a city that’s still got its personality!
Q: What does the future hold for Leeds’ food, drink & lifestyle sectors?
I feel like Leeds is at a point where it’s learnt from other major cities, from the sidelines. There are so many great indies, and with our Leeds Indie Food putting them on the map as well as things on the periphery of the city like Chow Down, I hope they’ve got more chance of surviving this recent slump in high street footfall and spend.
Q: Tell us a weird fact about you
I love Emmerdale. Genuinely.