SSL specialise in all aspects of design, print and direct mail for companies of all sizes.
The business was founded by Shelley Scarfe in 2010, when she took stock of her life and decided that she really wanted to work for herself after being employed in the direct mail industry for several years. She now offers a one-stop-shop for marketing managers and organisations, removing the hassle of managing multiple suppliers for their direct mail campaigns.
“The business started out as a simple direct mail offering, mainly charity based, but has grown over the years to include designing and printing mail packs too. I really enjoy the design side of things the most. Our job is to understand what the customer wants and put that onto paper. I’m proud to say that we’ve created some lovely logos and new brands over the years. It’s fab to drive past Barnsley Hospital and see the ‘Proud to’ logo, and think, ‘we did that.’
SSL’s customers are varied and nationwide, but they also work with some well-known local organisations such as AmcoGiffen, Cannon Hall Farm and Sheffield Theatres.
In 2020, Kirkwood Hospice invited SSL to produce all their marketing material for a completely new brand expression, which included support from Shelley to advise on paper stocks, weights and costs, produced under very tight deadlines.
In the early days of running her business, Shelley worked from home in a spare bedroom. However, once her business began making money and her youngest son started school, it was time to get an office. With The Business Village being located right on her doorstep, it was an obvious choice.
The Business Village reception service provided a professional frontage for her business and, practically, meant that print deliveries could be taken in. Additionally, when thinking about visitors, Shelley realised that the free parking and proximity to the motorway had clear benefits, along with access to The Bistro facilities when holding meetings.
Having 24/7 access has been great for Shelley, especially when needing to work weekends. Her overall thought is that The Business Village is a safe and friendly environment for her business to be located.
“The Business Village has changed over the years and there are now lots of different businesses located here. It’s a supportive environment for new business owners and, whilst I no longer need the support offered, it was invaluable in the early days, boosting my confidence.”
Shelley has now worked in the direct mail sector for over 20 years. With so much experience, she can offer customers a unique blend of consultancy and design services.
“Many of my customers come to me knowing exactly what they want. They have a marketing plan, a budget and know what they want to send out. My role is to advise them on how to use that budget and what to include in the mailing pack so that they can get the best results.”
This type of consultative approach helps her customers be more cost effective in their campaigns and keeps them coming back.
“I love my job and am very happy with the way my business is right now. I tend to hold onto my customers, but I’d also like to grow and take on new ones. I’m still enthusiastic about my business and get such a buzz out of meeting new people and being involved in their marketing plans.”