MEET THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE BUSINESS …
Hilary Robertson: freelance writer
How long have you been in business? In one way or another since 1984
What do you love most about your job? Meeting many different people in all walks of life. I love hearing their stories and often retelling them to suit a specific audience.
Your claim to fame? Playing sax with The Style Council in 1983/4 on stage, TV, radio and recording.
Your first childhood memory? Going into hospital to have my tonsils out – I had a brand new cream suitcase to pack my belongings in. I was three.
Most frightening film and why? I’m not frightened by many films. I don’t choose to watch them very often, but I can never detach myself from the cinematography, so I tend not to believe it’s real (which it isn't).
What sort of training did you have before going into this business? I studied English and Music at university and then just started writing wherever I worked. I was a temporary secretary in London for a few years after university, balancing that with being a session sax player and writing whenever I could.
What would I find in your refrigerator right now? Loads of vegetarian goodies, cheese, veg and grapefruit juice.
What advice would you give someone who wants to set up their own business? Do it. Do whatever it is you have a passion for but make sure you take all the business advice you can. Use people who are better (and quicker) at things you hate, like accounts or admin tasks.
The one local business you couldn’t possibly live without in Hitchin? Brookers. I never cease to be amazed by the helpful people and the endless supply of useful stuff that I suddenly need and didn’t know where to find.
Who is the most interesting person you have met? Group Captain Leonard Cheshire. I worked with him on ‘The Wall’ in Berlin, 1990. He was such a gentleman and it was a real honour to know him. A rare hero.
What’s your favourite spot in Hitchin and why? Up on top of the hill at Oughtonhead, looking out towards Luton and Bedford. You could be anywhere.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life, who would you like to see play the lead role as you? Jodie Foster
What is the last book you read? ‘Blink’ by Malcolm Gladwell
What is the best thing that someone has said about you and your business? I made a difference to how they saw their business. They needed to understand the story behind their business before they could attract customers.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing – what one thing would you do differently? Buy a ticket for the last London concert by Frank Sinatra in May 1992.
If you could be a super hero, what would you want your superpowers to be? To know when to stop talking.
How would you describe your business in three words? Creative. Efficient. Pragmatic.
What were you hoping we’d ask you, but didn’t? Who would you have at your fantasy dinner party? (John Coltrane, Nelson Mandela, Hillary Clinton and Billy Holiday)
How have things changed for your business over the past few years? I used to market my business as Crispin Communications and I love the fact that I'm now being successful under my own name.
What is the greatest challenge in running a business? Keeping on top of deadlines with a variety of local, national and international clients.
What are your plans for the future? More of the same but always aiming to improving the quality of my output.
What’s the best thing about being a member of theBestof Hitchin so far? Meeting so many great businesses. This is an extraordinary town and I love being part of such a diverse community.