Skymind Studios are a local complete solution multimedia company with a difference. Driven by Jacqui’s passion and love to help her local community, Jacqui tells OM how her childhood passion eventually established a business that now knows no bounds.
It’s not often you come across individuals that inspire you to want to get up and do good in the world. Jacqui Cant, director of Skymind Studios is certainly one of those inspiring people who puts everyone else’s needs before herself to add value to lives with absolutely everything she does.
Jacqui was born in Canada, and raised in South Africa until 1996 when she moved to the UK with her family due to her father’s job as a surgeon. After travelling the UK for a few years her family-based themselves in Plymouth where she has stayed ever since.
After graduating from Plymouth College of Arts in 2008 with a degree in film arts Jacqui knew she had to do whatever it takes to pursue a career in her chosen industry – creative arts. But nothing is ever smooth sailing as she explains:
“I am a very outgoing person and it was hard for me to get a job after I finished university because often people judge a book by its cover”
After struggling to find work, Jacqui eventually found a job working for a charity with disabled individuals, focusing on implementing and helping get people out into the community.
“I thought it was great and especially being disabled myself it automatically added value to my life.”
Alongside working for this charity, Jacqui was working hard to build Skymind Studios not knowing if it was ever going to go anywhere. She decided to take the concept of adding value to other’s lives and implementing that to her business as it is today, being a very community-focused organisation.
Skymind Studios was initially established as a partnership, 10 years ago in 2009, and then in 2014 it became a CIC. The company is now run solely by Jacqui as of July 2018 without the status of a CIC.
“When my partner decided to leave, I wanted to keep it going so decided to focus on the community and push forward. However, if I was realistic, the business is now more community-focused than it ever was before, even when it was a CIC”
Skymind Studios are a fully multimedia company providing a variety of services, including live sound, photography, digital graphic design, social media marketing, film, motion graphics and events organisers and coordinators.
The company thrives off of Jacqui’s pure passion for the arts and love for helping others around her. She fell in love with film at 16 years old when she first picked up a film camera and ever since she has been obsessed with the making of arts whether that be visual or audio.
Whilst at university, her passion for the music industry was brought to life as she became involved with the recording process and live sound. Being a firm believer that hard work will get you where you want to be, Jacqui threw herself into work experience as much as she could, even getting the opportunity to help produce a huge project for Plymouth Pavilions.
“Anything I could possibly get my hands on to be creative was how I focused”
No task is too large for Jacqui and her team of regular sub-contractors who are always on hand to put their skills to the test with anything thrown their way.
“We’re a team and we do everything together.”
Jacqui has a great mentor Neil Bailey and Unity Production’s Ryan Bailey that Jacqui works in partnership with. Jacqui has one very important moto that she lives by as a business owner. “You don’t work for Skymind Studios, you are bringing something to the table that gives this event or project your own little stamp whatever that might be”
As a business owner, there will always be setbacks and for Skymind Studios proving to others they were the best was one of their biggest challenges. When the business was established the question of age set back Jacqui as she was young at the time but being the strong, independent woman, she is, she would always prove everyone wrong.
“Not only do you have to constantly prove things to yourself, but you have to prove to the people that you’re doing work for that you are the right person for the job and why. At the end of the day, age is just a number”
Since re-establishing Skymind Studios in July 2018, Jacqui has found she has learnt so much and is still learning every day by putting what she learnt at university into practice in the real world and learning from previous mistakes to make the business better.
“I call it a beautiful challenge because I thrive on the pressure of it”
The business has changed direction over the years and Jacqui is now focusing on the visual elements of the business on social media marketing for businesses. She explains: “We are gravitating towards social media as it’s such a rich platform. There are lots of things people don’t know or understand about social media that can be very beneficial to their market and business, especially with Instagram and Facebook”
Jacqui is always looking out for current trends and keeping on top of the market around her. In a day and age where the internet and technology are taking over our lives, she ensures that all content produced is very visual whether it is film, photography or graphic design.
“I read a lot as a child, but now people don’t want to read or look at things for too long”
As a society, we read less now than previously, meaning that content published online, in print and on-screen must be informative but visually pleasing, this is something Jacqui is working hard to implement across her business and with every client.
Film production and social media marketing go hand in hand with Skymind Studios, with most of their clients approaching initially about social media marketing and then moving onto the film services the team provide.
Organising events is something Jacqui personally enjoys and has a passion for. She tells us: “I am an event organiser and coordinator, because I can’t seem to stop myself from working and doing stuff.”
In 2018, Jacqui sadly lost her father to a brain tumour caused by skin cancer. (Melanoma Metastasis) Most people dwell during the process of grief, but not Jacqui. She picked herself up and used her father’s values and core beliefs to raise money for The Brain Tumour Charity at Parkfest.
This year, Park Fest was held at Devonport Park on the 8th September and was hugely attended by the local community and the people of Plymouth. Park Fest is an event created by Skymind Studios to help raise awareness as well as to give back to the local community. The whole event “celebrates park life” with the chance to have a picnic, enjoy live music and get involved in activities throughout the day.
Raising awareness is something Jacqui was taught by her father from a young age and she has used the core values he taught her in everything she does.
“I feel if you are doing something and you can bring value to it and the people around you then you are doing something great.”
Another event in the diary is Flickfest, an independent film festival organised by Skymind Studios taking place in April 2020. In honour of giving back to the community, Skymind Studios will be raising money for Improving Lives Plymouth who hold a special place in Jacqui’s heart for the help they have provided her in the past.
Skymind Studios value themselves on the community and providing the highest quality service possible with a personal touch, something that is rare to find. Each project is based on what suits the client, always ensuring they remain approachable and focused even when setbacks occur, and negative feedback comes their way.
Having focused on promoting themselves online via social media and word of mouth, Skymind Studios has taken off through their expertise and excellent level of customer service.
“I just want to be a nice little organisation that really brings value to their customers. I want to create awareness and for people to walk away saying that we are real and not all about the money, that is very important to Skymind Studios.
It is rare to find anyone that gives back to the community as much as Jacqui does with her business whilst providing the exceptional and personal service that she does.
For more information about Skymind Studios and the services they provide then head to www.skymindstudios.com or use their details below.
Call us: 07543094702