Creative Drop In Sessions

Free creative business advice sessions covering Marketing, Design and Strategy

Posted by Cat How, April 9, 2018

We run an ongoing series of free creative business advice drop-ins from the event space at our workspaces, Pollen Place. Open to anyone who is looking for help or guidance with a project or business we have split the drop-ins to cover our main areas of expertise.


Cat How runs the business advice session focused on press, PR and marketing. Cat has unique, first-hand experience of being a designer-maker, buyer and retailer; to working as a journalist, marketeer and creative director. Cat is creative director here at Polleni and also creative director and co-founder of Pollen Place. Cat studied at the University of Bristol and Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design. She has worked as a journalist and graphic designer for newspapers such as Metro and The Guardian. Most recently, she was creative director of the e-commerce design business, Howkapow, she founded and ran with her husband Rog How. Howkapow was sold in February 2017. At the time Cat and Rog were running it, Howkapow was given accolades such as the “Best Online Shop for Stylish Homewares” (The Guardian); one of the “Top Ten Online Design Shops” (The Sunday Times) and their pop-up “The Best Shop To Visit In Bristol” (The Guardian).

Potential areas of expertise Cat can help with include how to use social media effectively; how to work with press and PR and how to run your own creative business. She can also advise on how to set up an online shop, how to take the best product and press shots and how to pitch your product to commercial retailers. She has extensive knowledge of e-commerce and advice on buying, wholesale pricing, line-sheets, look-books and the 2.4 mark up. She can also help with copywriting and explore the various skills needed in creative direction.


Neil Quinn runs the business advice session focused on graphic design and branding. Neil has years of experience as a graphic designer, as well as a director of his own businesses. Neil is design director at Polleni. He studied at Kingston University and freelanced for marketing and design agencies in the Midlands, before co-founding a graphic design agency in Nottingham where he was a director. After moving to Bristol, Neil worked as a lead designer for a digital agency from the Pollen Place workspaces, run by Cat and Rog How. The team decided to collaborate, and founded Polleni in mid 2017.

Potential fields of expertise Neil can help with include the Adobe Creative Suite (in particular Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign and XD) as well as brand strategy and brand identity. He also has extensive knowledge of graphic design, website design and how to run your own creative business.


Rog How runs the business advice session focused on business and brand strategy, and e-commerce consultancy. Rog has unique, first-hand experience running an e-commerce business, to being a producer, marketeer and managing director. Rog How is managing director at Polleni and also the managing director and co-founder of Pollen Place . Rog studied at the University of Bristol and has worked in radio production for radio stations in the UK and Australia. He has also worked in marketing at the BBC in London, covering many national campaigns. Most recently, Rog was managing director of the e-commerce design business, Howkapow, he founded and ran with his wife Cat How. Howkapow was sold in February 2017.

Potential fields of expertise Rog can help with include e-commerce consultancy, business strategy and branding. He can talk you through how to build your brand, how to establish your brand identity and how to work out your brand values. He is also highly skilled at SEO, Adwords and Google Analytics.