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Chloë Downes talks brand alignment and how kindess is key to success!

Chloë Downes is the Founder & CEO of Boutique Talent Management Agency of the Year SHFT. Winning this Award follows a very busy and fulfilling year for SHFT with their talent producing top rated podcasts and securing TV appearances.

In past roles Chloë says she was overlooked and knew she deserved more, which is why as a CEO she treats her staff with kindness and ensures they only work with creators who are nice people too!

When you are looking for creators to represent, what qualities do you look for?

We don’t have exact parameters at SHFT when signing creators. A lot of creators expect that we’d only consider them once they hit a certain following, but that’s not the case. We don’t tick boxes, we look for incredible talent who are providing value to their audience and who we feel are a good influence.

We also only work with nice people, being a talent manager is a hard enough job, I want my team to be happy to come to work each day.

SHFT team on the purple carpet at the bCreator Health & Wellbeing Show
Chloë and some of the SHFT team attended the bCreator Health & Wellbeing Show

In your acceptance speech you touched upon why you felt the need to create SHFT, can you expand on why you felt it was important to you
and the industry?

In my acceptance speech, I mentioned that agencies need to nurture their working class and minority talent because I was often overlooked in past roles and that led me to start SHFT because I knew I deserved more.
This isn’t just important for me or this industry, it’s important for everyone. Treating your employees kindly should be top priority for companies, forget about profits and targets, if you treat your employees kindly and encourage and reward them, everything else will come.

Are there any success stories you’re particularly proud of this year?

We’ve had a great year both in campaign partnerships and ‘offline’ partnerships. Some of the standouts this year is David Larbi launching his incredibly successful, 5 star rated, podcast ‘Mindful Moments with David Larbi‘ which was launched in June and charted on Spotify for 11 weeks.

Kia Commodore (Pennies to Pounds) has had an amazing year with some highlights being her regular appearances on daytime TV show, Steph’s Packed Lunch as well as co-hosting Legal & General’s podcast ‘A Little Bit Richer‘ which hit number top 20 in Apple’s overall Podcast charts.

Finally, Chrystal King (Chrystal’s Palace) was featured on the cover of HomeStyle Magazine… and we’ve signed off our first 2 book deals for talent which are coming out in 2024!

What do you look for in brand partnerships for your talent?

Alignment is the most important thing when it comes to brand deals for us. We work with our talent on their strategy and long term goals and encourage them to turn down deals that don’t align with their values and visions.
It’s great to see briefs come through that allow for flexibility so our talent can put their own style and creative flair into the content – after all, they know their audience best!

Finally, it’s incredibly important for us, here at SHFT, that talent are fairly compensated for their work so fair pay and fair contracts are key!