Clair Heaviside co-founded her own agency in 2019, originally called The Light before rebranding to Serotonin in August 2020.
Serotonin turns insights into creative digital strategies for brands, and works with names like Rudy’s Pizza, Legal & General, Avail and Deansgate Square. Clair has previously worked at Cube3 as Digital Marketing Director, and is a trustee for the charity Haven.
She started her career founding Odd Arts, a charity that transforms lives in prisons across the UK and South America, before moving into the agency sphere.
We heard from Clair about the lessons she’s learnt.
Which single daily habit or practice could you not do without?
Everyone who knows me knows that I love the outdoors. I think my brain needs green spaces to function. So, for me, it’s getting outside, away from the world, the endless notifications. I live on the edge of the Peak District with my dog Ben, and the two of us have to make sure we go for a walk every day in order to find our peace. We’re both an absolute nightmare if we don’t.
What’s your best failure?
I’m struggling with this question a bit. Not because I haven’t failed, but because I have made my peace with the word ‘failure’.
Things haven’t always gone to plan, or they haven’t turned out the way I expected, but now I just accept that ups and downs are part of life. Very zen, I know. So I guess my best “not going to plan” was when I left my first business, Odd Arts.
I needed a change, and I presumed that life just gave you stepping stones to better things. Turns out, it doesn’t, and I ended up working somewhere that wasn’t right for me. I felt like I had walked away from everything. But I moved on, this time as a freelancer, and into the world of marketing. Without that “failure”, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I guess that means we never really fail, do we? We just keep moving.
What is the best investment you’ve ever made, either financial or time?
When I left my agency job in 2018, I travelled to Tanzania alone to climb Kilimanjaro. It was an extremely emotional and personally challenging time in my life, and the courage it took to invest in myself was more than the courage it took to reach the summit.
The whole experience changed my outlook, and the course of my life. I gave myself time, space, and the gift of fulfilling an ambition. I proved to myself what I could achieve on my own. I became a better person because of it, and you cannot do more for yourself than that.