Halifax businessman Alex Myers is still pinching himself that his schoolboy dream has come true.
Alex runs Manifest London, a public relations firm he co-founded in 2009 and which has offices in New York and Stockholm, with a staff of 30.
Since being founded Manifest has been named PR Week’s Small Consultancy of the Year in 2013 and PR Moment’s Integrated Agency of the Year consecutively in 2014, 2015 and 2016.In 2016.
Its clients past and present clients include Brewdog, Innis & Gunn, Gumtree, Kozel, Pilsner Urquell, MTV, Rightmove, UNILAD, The Body Coach and ASOS.
The 35-year-old, who grew up in Ripponden, said: “I had always wanted to set-up an advertising agency when I was at North Halifax Grammar.
“Me and Martin Farrar-Smith, who is head of brands and design, wanted to be the Saatchi and Saatchi of Yorkshire.
“We’re not that big we are doing really well.
“It’s bizarre to think where we are when it was just me in my living room when I started out.
“It was hard work finding clients but we got businesses from all over the country working with us.
“We made our name working with Brewdog, a craft brewery from Aberdeen.
“They’re now one of the fastest growing drink brands in the world and have been in The Times fast track 100 for the last five years, which no business has ever done before.”
Alex believes his childhood in Halifax has contributed to the success of his business.
“It’s testament to the ‘let’s give it a go’ attitude of the north,” he said.
“That attitude has helped us grow and has helped when we’ve dealt with other countries too.
“It’s not that difficult to set-up a business - if it was I wouldn’t have been able to do it.
“We have two rules in the office - work hard and be nice to people.
“That’s borne out of coming from Halifax - that’s what I was always taught and what I always saw around me.
“I don’t think that’s woven into the culture of London or New York, but it is in Yorkshire.”
Alex has plans for further expansion in the next three years.
“We produced a five year plan in 2015, which includes us being on five continents,” he added.
“We’ve recently opened an office in Stockholm, where we’re working with a lot of technology and brewing companies.
“We’re looking at opening an office in Melbourne, as well as in Hong Kong or Singapore before 2020.
“We’re also looking at opening another office in the US perhaps in San Francisco or Los Angeles.
“We’ve taken a fresh approach and used as our inspiration people who have changed their industries rather than just succeeding in them.
“We often pinch ourselves that the dream we discussed at school has come true.”