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Interview with EJ, Founder of Queer East

24/11/23, 12:00

Team Nonchalant


Earlier this month we caught up with EJ Nutbrown who is the Founder of That’s The Ticket and a queer busy business woman based in London.

So, tell us a bit about yourself.

“Hi Cilla, my name’s EJ, I’m 37, and I’m from Hackney Wick” [crowd cheers].

How did That’s The Ticket come about?

By chance, in the first lockdown. I had been Director of Sales & Marketing for various London attractions & museums, then when COVID hit and they all closed, I had a few calls asking if I would do their marketing, on a freelance basis… I had a mortgage to pay so it was more survival than ambition. Over time I built a brand around it, and the company grew from there. I’m grateful that chance was on my side as I’ve always had a weird obsession with marketing, and now I get to do it under my own rules.

How did you find setting up a business during lockdown?

Tough! I had no idea how to set up a business, I hate accounts, and I’m quite frivolous, so suddenly running payroll, supporting other people, and thinking logistically didn’t come naturally. I’m still winging it to be honest, but it’s working, and I’m beyond grateful of our clients for trusting in us. Everyone seems happy so far, which makes me happy. So what started as tough, actually gives me life now.

From your involvement in working with large brands, do you feel that brands are more open to working with queer businesses now? How has the landscape changed?

I don’t think it’s a case of doing business with me, I’m queer. I would like to think people do business with me because I’m good. But you are right in recognising that the landscape has changed, both for the better & worse.

We’re living in a progressive movement but some corporates just don’t get it. Isn’t it tiresome to see high street chains vomit rainbows all over their branding during Pride month, without actually doing anything for the community.

I mean last year M&S made a sandwich gay FFS. And where’s Nike or Adidas supporting trans people who aren’t allowed to compete in sports with their identified gender?

On the flip side, we have the likes of Aesop’s queer library pop up which was great, and I hear this year Pret & Deliveroo are providing more internal support for their LGBTQ+ staff. We need more of this. Applying a rainbow to your logo is not a successful marketing campaign, it’s time for real sponsorship and support!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? {click the link to read the full article}

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