Leicestershire is full of fantastic publications and independents supporting one another. Local hospitality and entertainment venues have come to rely on well-connected, and knowledgeable individuals to make noise for them in an already incredibly loud social media sphere. Gabby Miller found her way into this industry of online publicity after realising her own need for it.
Gabby grew up in Leicester. A lot of people will agree that there is a certain pull that the city exerts on its citizens. Similarly to so many others before her, Gabby moved away from the city to pursue her education, studying law at Leeds University. After graduating, she moved to London to study a Master’s degree in criminology and law, all the while making good use of being in the capital. Music plays a big part in Gabby’s life and it was something she couldn’t ignore, even during her studies.
I love watching concerts and gigs,” said Gabby. “I spent a lot of time writing reviews in the student newspaper too. I got my foot in the door at music venues down there and those experiences within the music industry are actually what led me back to Leicester.”
“I first set up Cool As Leicester after getting frustrated whilst working in PR. You’re constantly trying to gain coverage in different publications and I was really getting frustrated by the lack of media outlets in Leicester. Back then, social media was very different to now. You now have a rise of influencers on Instagram but we didn’t have stuff like that back then. There wasn’t anything online that’s bringing everything together such as food and drink, what’s on, where to go, music—so I thought, well I’ll just set it up myself. It took off really well and was popular across different venues that I was approaching about it.”
Of course, taking the plunge into self-employment is daunting at the best of times. Turning your back on a regular paycheck and looking ahead into uncertainty and possible lack of funds seems like a huge risk. When asked
if she ever regretted taking this path, Gabby said, “No, not at all. I think it was difficult at the time—those first steps when you decide to do it. But I certainly wouldn’t change anything now. I think Cool As Leicester is going to grow more and more really. I think we’ve been quite fortunate with the lockdown. I work a lot on the PR side of things as well, offering those services to local businesses. This comes under the same umbrella but is slightly different to the work I do with Cool As Leicester. A lot of that took a big hit with the lockdown so I was able to really focus down and work on Cool As Leicester and build those platforms.
Taking the risk has evidently paid off for Gabby. Cool As Leicester has become a household name in and amongst venues in the music scene. When asked what advice she’d offer to those individuals contemplating transforming their ideas into the business venture they’ve always dreamed of, Gabby said, “I would say that if it’s something you can start whilst you’re still working full-time, it can feel daunting when thinking of those extra hours you’re going to have to put in. But if you can make those first steps when you’ve still got that security of work coming in, that’s a really important thing to do, just because you can build that up and it will give you that confidence to jump straight into it. I think if you’ve got a dream and you genuinely think it’s something that could work, absolutely go for it, because you don’t want to look back and regret not doing it.”