5 minutes with DA’s new Wellington host… Jenn Hadley

2 years ago by

As we have grown over the last ten years, our Auckland-based founder Louise Kellerman has relied on local hosts to be ambassadors and fly the Design Assembly flag in their region. The newest addition to our host team is Wellington-based Jenn Hadley, and we wanted to take 5 minutes to introduce her to you all! Look out for Jenn at our next WLG event.

Where did you grow up & where did you study?

I’m originally from the north of England, via the Kapiti Coast and then I studied Bachelor of Visual Design Hons (Photography) at Unitec up in Auckland.

Can you tell us a little about the highlights of your career history so far and what lead you to founding FolkYeah?

After uni I started out at Craig Potton Publishing in Nelson, which was an awesome way to get to know the publishing industry and learn about the importance of process when working in a team –it also gave me a real sense of responsibility and ethics in my practice. Going freelance was a (cliché) leap of faith! But determination has always been one of my strong suits. Working short contracts gave me a taste of different industries and government departments; the type of work they produce and also the processes they use to produce it.I love meeting my fellow design community and working with my clients where you get to help them achieve their goals.

You work across, Graphic Design, Video and Photography, do you have a favourite medium to work with and if so what about it do you enjoy most?

Honestly, I enjoy all of them! My experience in each discipline helps me work better in the others, and the way the disciplines complement each other helps me achieve what’s needed for the client –for example, knowing how imagery will be used in the final design. At the end of the day it’s all about storytelling, whether photographic, graphic or videography.

Do you have a project that is memorable because it challenged you but that you ended up loving and being really proud of? If so, what lessons did you learn from that project?

My first project when I went freelance was brand identity for Scout Hair. I was working for a close friend and trying to nail the brand identity for the launch of the salon. It was challenging due to the time constraints, but also as it was the first time I was truely client-facing and learning everything that goes along with that! The brand’s been alive and kicking now for 6 years and I still freakin’ love working with it; as does the client (and her clients).

What are you working on right now?

Right now I’m working on a couple of website redesigns –which helps stretch my UX/UI muscles –along with video testimonials to help grow a local analytics business. I’m also trying to find time to edit my recent travel photography for an upcoming exhibition!

What do you value most about DA?

The community. Being a designer, and a freelancer, you’re often working in a silo. Design Assembly gives a space and format to be able to catch up with other creatives, to share experiences and to learn new things to help which all help my creative practice.

What inspires you about the Wellington creative scene?

The people! Wellington is a cul-de-sac at the end of the North Island, so you know most of the people that work in your industry. It’s the relationships that you build that make the place – helping everyone succeed is a huge part of it for me.

What are the challenges (if any) about where you live and work?

I think the challenge for Wellington is also what makes it great –our size. We’re geographically small (compared to other NZ cities), so you know a lot of the people in your industry. I’ve worked the same people at many different agencies/department – which is awesome! You know how each other works and are able to dive straight into the work!

What is the must-do experience you’d recommend to a creative visiting WLG?

  • Get up Mt Vic and get some perspective on the city!
  • Take a walk up Cuba Street for some classic Wellington street style people watching.
  • Discover the street art around the Cuba Quarter.
  • Gallery time at City Gallery, The Dowse or PhotoSpace.
  • Head to the south coast for some rugged scenery (and face that southerly head on!).
  • A beer, band and boogie at Rogue & Vagabond (and in summer you cansit outside on the beanbags–when the sun is shining!).





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