Blog Archives

Yorkshire Mafia Conference 2012

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After weeks of prepping for the event, sorting out our stand and tweeting all about it….the biggest conference in the North was finally upon us, The Yorkshire Mafia Conference.

The conference was held at the Royal Armouires in Leeds on the 21st and 22nd of March. As soon as we arrived at the event the atmosphere had a really buzz and everyone was full of enthusiasm for what the two day conference had in store. With around 150 businesses exhibiting at the conference, over 3000 delegates expected over the two days and an exciting seminar list the event was set to be a great networking event for all involved full of opportunities and prospects.

We were exhibiting at the conference in the Armouries Hall on stand 8. We’d already set up our stand on Tuesday afternoon so only had a few last minute things to do to get our stand ready, however our trusty Touch Tower which we take along to all conferences blew the screen just before the conference started. It tripped all the electric on our side of the conference hall, leaving many of the stands without electricity. Although the Touch Tower was still a good attraction to have at our stand we couldn’t manage to fix it to load our presentation about our products and services, plus we had lists of memorable geographical numbers which where for sale and available on the day.

It was a fantastic location for our stand as we were right next to the entrance for the seminars being held in the Bury Theatre, which meant we had a good flow of traffic passing by our stand throughout the two days. If you want to know more about what was going on at our stand visit our previous blog post – ‘Why you should visit us at Stand 8 at The Yorkshire Mafia Conference.’   Read the rest of this entry

Business Profile: Howard Rushfirth (Rushfirth Creative)

Howard Rushfirth - Rushfirth Creative

Current Job Position? 
Creative Director and co-owner of Rushfirth Creative,
Creative Director and co-owner of Schools Teaching Enterprise Programme Ltd. (AKA STEPteam)
Best thing about your job?  Being paid to do the thing I love most and do best
Worst thing about your Job? Not having enough hours in the day.
Favourite Restaurant in Huddersfield?  Being relatively new to Kirklees (I live and work on the Leeds/Wakefield extremities of the district) I don’t get over to Huddersfield that often, mostly to the MY Network meetings.
Your best achievement?  Being a major player in the creation and production of the brand identity for premium ranges of TWO major supermarket retailers.
Interest and Hobbies? The precious spare time I have is spent with my wife Kathryn and my three children.
What do you value most about being a member of a networking group? It’s essential for small businesses to ‘expand their team’.

Linked In



Howard Rushfirth


Rushfirth Creative


I was born in a small house in Garforth in the Spring of 1970. And after a spending a year or two of behaving like a complete baby (literally), I made an important discovery.

I liked to draw.

Everything went in through my eyes, spun around in my head, flowed back down through my right arm and pushed its way out the end of a wax crayon creating my own unique reinterpretation of the world around me.

No one asked me to do it, or taught me to do it, or even particularly encouraged me to do it. I just did it. And did it. And did it.

40+ years later, I’m still doing the same thing. Sure, during the last 22 years, the crayon has been substituted by a ‘mouse’ with a little picture of an apple on it. But the drive and the principle remains the same. I’ve illustrated nationally distributed children’s books (at the tender age of 16) and created cartoons for comics. I’ve created corporate signage schemes for big-name high street retail, banking and pub chains. I’ve created branding for premium ranges for several major supermarket retailers. I’ve run press ad campaigns and story-boarded for film and television.

And I still like to draw.

With my wife Kathryn, I run Rushfirth Creative, a small but perfectly formed creative agency offering a wide range of expertise for those serious about moving their business forward through good design. Design that not only looks good, but gets results within the marketplace. If you want to find out a bit more, our website is a really good place to start. I also tweet all kinds of stuff (and nonsense, on occasion) on Twitter. We’d also love you to ‘like’ and interact with us on our dedicated Facebook page. Most of all it would be nice to meet up- we try to get to the MY Network meetings whenever we can- so perhaps see you around!

Business Profile: Kathryn Rushfirth (STEPteam)

Kathryn Rushfirth - STEPteam

Current Job Position? 
Managing Director of Schools Teaching Enterprise Programme Ltd. (AKA STEPteam)
Client Services Director and co-owner of Rushfirth Creative
Best thing about your job?  The variety; no two days are the same. Seeing the work we do help others achieve their goals.
Worst thing about your job? Long LONG hours. It is hard to switch off when you genuinely care about doing the best job you can.
Favourite Restaurant in Huddersfield?  We (Howard and myself) perhaps don’t get as many opportunities for eating out as we might like. We must get around to trying somewhere over in Huddersfield sometime soon.
Your best achievement?  Being co-creator of STEPteam. We believe this programme can make a real difference to thousands of young people.
Interest and Hobbies? As a busy mum as well as the director of two businesses, time is always very valuable. Spending time with husband Howard the children is very precious. I would like to keep fit – but then wouldn’t we all!
What do you value most about being a member of a networking group?
As a small business, the social aspect can be somewhat limited. I enjoy having a natter with the girls at the events that Local Ladies and Forward Ladies put on. It really helps to keep things in perspective.

Linked In



Kathryn Rushfirth




Hi, I’m Kathryn Rushfirth, the co-founder of Rushfirth Creative and STEPteam

Born to organise – that’s me!

Always busy, always doing. Even at school I managed to juggle two jobs, A level studies without impacting one bit on my social life. At eighteen years old the idea of another four years studying just held no appeal at all so, off to Wm Morrisons I went as a management trainee, my first full time position. Having been part of the new store ops team and then the personnel department at head office for a couple of years, I then transferred to store as a department manager and ultimately a personnel officer. The hours were long but the team was young – and we knew exactly how to balance all the hard work!

Although I enjoyed work I knew that I just hadn’t found my niché.  I tried a sales role – but it wasn’t right for me at that time. University beckoned, and I gained a place – taking on a temporary administration position to see me through to the start date.

I missed that date by approximately eighteen long happy years! Having mastered and tidied up the wages system, de-mystified the sales ledger, introduced a new purchase process and sampling system, I moved on to production and planning, effectively becoming the external planning department for many of our main national and international clients. Keeping production efficiencies up, stock levels down, and profit levels, customer satisfaction and staff moral high was just a natural way of being.

However there comes a time when you simply have to just do it for yourself rather than for someone else. By joining forces with my other half, who already had an emerging design business underway, we created the successful young business that Rushfirth Creative has become. We specialise in branding SMEs and on producing bespoke original graphics and illustration. This varied and interesting role has brought me into contact with a huge variety of people and business types including education. This in turn has lead to the creation and development of STEPteam.

The whole premise of STEPteam is to inspire and raise the aspirations of our youngsters who are growing up in very difficult and uncertain times. The desire to be a footballer, footballers wife or just a ‘celebrity’ for its own sake is all too common – but let’s face it, that is where they are going to perceive real financial gain, what else is there? Our programme teaches year 5 and 6 students about the business world around them, culminating in them having the option to run a real working profitable business in school.

The feedback that we have received has been fantastic. The Prince’s Trust said

“We believe every child should have the opportunity to work through this unique learning experience as it really does give a fabulous foundation in business, plus valuable life lessons not readily available in a primary school environment”

During the next few months we hope to introduce the programme to as many schools in the region as we can before we launch it nationally.