Birchwood Knight 15th anniversary

15 years ago I set-up Birchwood Knight.

I’d known for some time that I wanted to run my own business one day but despite the over-confidence only a twenty-something can have, I also had just enough self-awareness to know I didn’t have enough experience in my toolkit to go it alone, until then.

Amidst the longest recession in sixty years and with a six-month-old daughter at home and a not insubstantial mortgage, the beginning of 2009 felt like the perfect time to give it a shot.

I’d spent the previous seven years recruiting for commercial and editorial roles in the advertising and media industries, and had learnt a huge amount in the process. I was ready for a new challenge and with a keen interest in current affairs, quickly decided on setting up a recruitment business focused on corporate communications, despite having no track record in it.

A friend suggested finding a name that sounded established but didn’t use my own. My mother is Dutch and, translated, her maiden name is Birchwood. My mother-in-law’s maiden name is Knight. And so Birchwood Knight was born, and I scored some valuable brownie points in the process.

From my kitchen table in Islington to cheap desks in Old Bond Street and onto the City, the business first survived and then thrived. We became clear on what we did and how we did it, making more than one or two mistakes along the way and learning what we didn’t want to do through the process. We made sure we had some fun while working hard and met lots of wonderful people – colleagues, candidates, clients and more. It’s a journey I’m incredibly proud of and one I’m still very much enjoying.

I’m very fortunate that we have a team and a culture that is always looking to learn and improve, and while the business has never been in better shape than it is today, I know the best is still to come.

So many people have contributed to our journey, from my mother and mother-in-law for letting me put their name above the door, to the unwavering support of Emma and our children, Lauren and the rest of the team, past and present, the hundreds of people who have put their trust in us to help them hire, those we have helped to change jobs, our advisors, our suppliers, friends and family… Thank you one and all.

Wayne Reynolds, Founder and Managing Director

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26th January 2024

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