It’s likely you’ve seen her walking the hallways of both Tower Point and Hove, usually accompanied by prospective PLATF9RM members. As far as roles go, Community Lead is a significantly impressive game of juggling multiple tasks at any one given moment, and there is no one that does it better and with such verve, than our very own Jessica Samson. We caught up with her to find out a little more about her and just how she does it!
Jess, we normally see you scampering between Tower Point and Hove Town Hall as Community Lead but what are you getting up to?I’m really lucky and have quite a mix in my job role. I get to spend time with our members, making sure that they’re having a wonderful PLATF9RM experience. I also look after sales, keeping our offices full and bringing more great people into the community. Plus I get to work with The Drop Digital to oversee our social media.
How long have you been at PLATF9RM, there must be a number of highlights, but what’s been the biggest?I’ve been at PLATF9RM for 2 years next month! There are more highlights than I can count but for me Hove Town Hall Ground Floor was massive! Watching how people use this entirely new space that has been created and filling it with life has been a delight. It also meant I got to wear high vis for 12 weeks of the build which is my favourite thing.
Now, is there a certain skill one must acquire to be able to remember all the 700 plus members? Or is it a superpower?I’m not going to lie - 500 names was just about manageable, but the influx we got at Hove when we opened the Ground Floor was the real struggle, I’m just about getting there. I think the trick is to talk to people regularly and make a LOT of cups of tea.
We’ve got quite the eclectic mix of members here at PLATF9RM, don’t worry we won’t ask you to name favourites but what are the top five industries in our member make up?We do have such a mix! I find it fascinating that you can have a room of people in different fields sat next to each other, bouncing ideas and being supportive. We have a lot of creatives; photographers, graphic designers, writers and another field that you’d sort of expect is tech; developers, web designers, UX designers but I really enjoy that so many different people can utilise the space - electricians, yoga instructors, doctors, clowns — you name it - we’re home to them!
Not many people know that you’re not a thorough bred Brightonian, how did you end up here?I’m a Yorkshire girl at heart - I came down here to do a degree in Graphic Design and fell in LOVE with Brighton and it’s huge array of pubs, dogs, the sea and the most wonderful people.
Did you always want to go down the route of Graphic Design?No not at all, I actually didn’t have a clue what I wanted to do. I’m a creative person and I love beautiful ‘things’ so going in the Graphic Design direction sort of made sense - didn’t stop me getting cold feet the night before I moved to Brighton and thinking ‘Oh God what am I doing, I want to be a vet’. As it turns out it all led me to the right spot and I feel so lucky to have found a job I adore doing.
You’re known for having quite a distinctive laugh, what’s brought about the biggest laugh since being at PLATF9RM?Distinctive, ha! I generally find myself the funniest human on the planet. Also, the more I laugh the bigger my laugh gets. The biggest laugh was possibly the time I had a dream about Leanne dressed up as an (angry) carrot for a Harvest Festival and when I saw her and tried to explain it I completely lost the plot.
It’s also no big secret that you’re a dog fanatic, so who’s your favourite PLATF9RM Pup?Clarence Hillier's the Original PLATF9RM Pup for me, he has stolen my heart in a way I never expected a yappy / sassy / hilarious terrier to. I have a tendency to keep hold of him for days longer than I need to. Good job David (the dog Dad) knows where I live!
Other PLATF9RM Pup Ultimate Babes include Oscar Cornelius belonging to our Sparkly Fairy Queen Amy Brown, Monty who belongs to the legend that is Emma Croman and Kipper - hero dog of Lizzie Hodgson. Also Shelby who Jason Rhahi brought in when she was just weeks old and is now a fully grown well behaved pupper. Oh, but then there’s Benji Lamb’s rescue dog, Amber, who is an extra special clever girl with just 3 legs!
You know what, they’re all just brilliant! Hove’s had some extra dogs join recently and I know our Front of House team over in Brighton have been getting jealous - we have dog treats and so much love to give them! This was NEVER going to be a short answer, was it.