Start Social is the brain-child of Wendy Thompson, one of New Zealand’s most respected social media mavens. Thompson founded NZ’s largest specialist social media company, Socialites, in 2010, and has built it into a formidable company, placing on the Deloitte Fast 50 and Deloitte Asia-Pacific Tech 500 in 2015 and winning creative and effectiveness industry awards. Her growing team of 16 manage the social media for many of New Zealand’s largest and most iconic companies - including Spark, Mitre 10, The Co-Operative Bank and House of Travel, to name just a few.
Passionate about New Zealand, social media and SMEs, Start Social was born after daily phone calls from small and medium businesses wanting Socialites' help with their social media. The ROI really isn't worth having an external company like Socialites run an SME's social media; it just takes too much time and manpower, and the cost is too high. That's why Thompson wanted to create a place where all Kiwi business owners can get the information and on-going support they need, at a small-business friendly price.
To help put the course content together, Thompson recruited Celine Chapman. Chapman is the designer of boutique fashion label, Celine Rita. Celine Rita was launched at NZFW in 2010 as part of the New Generation show, where she won the Emerging Designer Award. Celine Rita has gone on to have a number of successful solo shows at NZFW, as well as a very loyal following and clientele of smart women - not to mention a strong social media presence from day one.
As a small business owner herself, Chapman understands what it's like to juggle a million things at once, and to be working with a small budget. She also gets social media, and the huge impact it can have on SMEs throughout New Zealand. Hugely passionate about helping other small businesses learn the power of social media, Chapman jumped at the chance to work with Wendy on Start Social.
Together, Wendy and Celine look forward to meeting business owners and supporting them in their journey to becoming social media experts.