Carrie Rose: founder and CEO of Rise at Seven

A movement is growing. A global agency that’s disrupting the search industry, formed out a vision and the passion and creativity of a 27-year-old. This is our conversation with the inspirational Carrie Rose, brought to you by Knightstone Capital.

“She’s too young”, “it’ll fade away”, “it won’t last”… The criticisms of this young entrepreneur have been plastered all over social media and whispered in the halls of agencies across the country. But this is not your average business leader. In June 2019, 27-year-old Carrie Rose launched Rise at Seven, with business partner and company CCO Stephen Kenwright, with a vision of using creativity and unbridled drive to disrupt the industry.

The pair caught the eye of international clothing brand Missguided within days of launch, winning the job on the spot without a pitch for presenting a search-first approach to creative. Like a moth to a flame, other disruptor brands up and down the country, including Pretty Little Thing, My Protein, and, sought out the services of Rise at Seven, wanting a creative approach to their search strategies.

Carrie has spearheaded several campaigns for clients, using her creativity as a nuclear weapon to unleash on social media. This has seen the company grow to over 60 employees and £4m turnover in the space of just 18 months. Most impressively, Carrie’s achieved these feats with a refreshing honesty. With her team, she openly admits that she is new to this journey as a leader, learning as she’s going along. On the eve of the news that the company is now registered in the US, it’s safe to say Carrie is a fast learner.

Here’s a breakdown of what we discussed in the interview:

  • What was life like for you growing up and did you have an entrepreneurial flair from an early age? (1:00)
  • You worked at a number of agencies before creating your current agency Rise at Seven, how did you find working for someone else and do you feel that this prepared you for running your own business? (2:17)
  • Do you remember feeling intimidated by working with big global brands at the age of 21/22 or did you not really think about it at that time? (3:41)
  • Can you tell us about making the decision to launch Rise at Seven and what were the first steps you took to create the business? (5:41)
  • Stephen Kenwright is CCO and your business partner at Rise at Seven. How has did the relationship with Stephen start and how did you decide that you would work well as business partners? (9:01)
  • Could you tell us more about Rise at Seven and the journey over the past 18 months to where you are today? (10:36)
  • Veteran business leaders have struggled to maintain staff morale and togetherness while working from home over the past year. The majority of your company’s growth has been under some kind of lockdown or restriction. Have you dealt with this personally and as a leader? (12:51)
  • Learning a skill at university doesn’t quite prepare you for the real world. How have you found the first 18 months or so of your company and have you come up against any challenges that have made you question yourself? (15:58)
  • You’re obviously a young female CEO of a rapidly growing business. Have you had any difficulty with older, more experienced employees, or other business leaders, not taking you seriously in business? (17:50)
  •  Your agency has spearheaded some exceptionally viral campaigns, what has been your favourite campaign you’ve worked on so far? (19:38)
  • Is giving your staff the ability to run with a creative idea important to you? (22:21)
  • Although the internet undoubtedly has its upsides, how do you feel about the negative side of social media, online bullying etc? (23:47)
  • Where do you see your company in 10 years’ time? (26:11)
  • You’re an unashamed creative. Do you see your future solely with your creative agency or do you have another dream opportunity in mind that you would love to pursue? (27:22)
  • BUSINESS LEADERS ANSWER THE INTERNET’S QUESTIONS – What is the worst possible thing to put on your CV? (27:57)

Catch up now with all of the Business Leader Conversations and Business Leader Insight interviews and be sure to check our events page for upcoming interviews and events.

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