It’s All Gone KuKu
Last year saw the launch of luxury networking, KuKu Connect. A year on, we’re catching up with KuKu’s founders, Stephen Goddard and Philip Brooks-Stephenson following their glittering 1st birthday celebrations.
So Stephen and Philip you’re the team who have brought us KuKu Connect; you’ve created quite a stir here in Leicester, so what’s brought this buzz to the business community?
Stephen: Well, you say stir, that’s a great point to start off with; when you visit one of our monthly Connect Receptions the first thing you receive is a cocktail or something suitably fizzy, as well as delicious canapes. We aren’t your ordinary networking set-up. Our ethos is building authentic business relationships and the best way to achieve that is through informal and relaxed networking, or ‘connecting’ as we call it. A key factor to our success is the diversity of businesses both in size and sector, it’s important to have a good mix, as meeting five people offering the same service is not effective for either you or them!
So where do your Connect Receptions take place:
Philip: We visit a different luxurious venue each month, which helps create a fantastic buzz and is often a great conversation starter. We’ve been very fortunate to work with the likes of Chutney Ivy, Oberon Gallery, Marco Pierre White, Sherwin Hall Kitchens, Cocoa Amore, Burleigh’s Gin, The Boot Room restaurant and, most recently, the King Richard III Visitor Centre and Helen Howe Atelier. We welcome any business to attend a KuKu Connect Reception – take this as your formal invitation from us to come along and see for yourself how KuKu Connect works and meet our members.
so how did you come together as a team?
Philip: We both met being involved in a costume ball at Christies in London, which was attended by members of the Royal Family. Stephen was working on the creative and design elements whilst I was working on the marketing/PR aspects; these being our professional backgrounds. Together, we now have KuKu Creative, which develops brands for clients who want to stand out in their market place, and now KuKu Connect, creating something different for businesses wanting to develop, grow and raise their profile in a fresh and effective manner that gives great value.
Stephen: We both personally offer something different to KuKu Connect not just in our expertise, but in our personalities, too. Just like a good gin and tonic (I’m the gin and Philip is the tonic), I’m known for being quirky and you’ll always spot me in bright trousers and garish shirts, whilst Philip is more of a traditionalist in suit, tie and never without a handkerchief. We are partners in life too and we’ve found a great niche in which to focus our creative flairs in the form of an innovative and colourful networking service that works.
What was it that attracted you to Leicester?
Philip: Leicester is a buzzing hub for both culture and business and we’re passionate about our community. We said right from the very start that KuKu Connect should champion all the great business and community organisations across the county, promoting Leicestershire’s success stories.
Stephen: Basically we love Leicester, we feel really proud to be part of it and that’s why we launched KuKu Connect. We are welcoming, friendly and open, so perfect for those new to networking. Our members are always telling us KuKu Connect works as well as being fun to be a part of – it’s a community in itself.
Well, it looks like another great year ahead for you. Congratulations to KuKu Connect on its first birthday.
Martin Neeves photography – shot at Bruxelles, Leicester