08/03/2022
Insight

Who the hell is Rachel Bradley? 

We’re chatting with members of the DixonBaxi studio about what makes them who they are. From the professional to the personal, nothing is off limits here. We caught up with Rachel, our managing director, on all things design – from growing up in a creative family to guiding DixonBaxi’s evolution. Here’s what she had to say:

Who are you and what do you do?
Hi, my name is Rachel Bradley (also known as Rach) and I am the managing director of DixonBaxi. I have had the pleasure and privilege of working for DB for the past 10 years in this role.

The most important part of my role is to truly understand the vision of both Simon and Aporva, and to bring this to life for DixonBaxi the entity. There are many strands to this – things we want to achieve quickly, through to longer-term plans and then the really big picture. So it is very exciting as it evolves all the time. And we are impatient for change so we need to get the balance right.

What’s your story?
I could not wait to get to work when I was 18 and I knew that, for me, I needed to be in a creative environment, surrounded by different people from all walks of life. Something in me felt that I would be good at making things happen rather than making things. And this seems to have played out maybe subconsciously.

I met Simon and Aporva 20+ years ago so we go back a long time (I am also known as Mrs Dixon). I get what Aporva and Si want to achieve and they trust me. I think we are really very appreciative of how things have worked out. 

My early days were very much print based and I was often on press at 3am checking the print runs and signing off. I loved that role and learnt so much. Then working in the states in a head of production role, and setting up an expanding agency, before coming back to London in more operational roles at MTV, Channel 5 and BDA. And then the big one, DB. Full circle back to working with Mr Dixon and Mr Baxi.

What are you working on right now?
We are always restless so after the past couple of years, we are really bursting back into the studio. So my focus is getting us match-fit and ready. It feels much more real now, and we want to make 2022 our best year ever. How we measure this is through our creativity, our amazing clients, the team we are building and the buzz we make.

“Of course [good design can change the world]! We would not be doing what we do if we felt design was not important. The feeling you get when you connect with design, from the joy of ease, or function, to the beauty and originality. It is not one thing – many different threads that make the experience better and the impact greater.”

Describe your working style in 3 words.
Open, interested, focused.

Tell us about some of your interests – what are you into?
I always thought I was a townie and could not wait to live in a big city – my move from the family home of a small village to Leeds when I was 18 was momentous (yes, I am a proud Northerner). I could not imagine that I would go on to live in New York and San Francisco. Or that I would  become a real Londoner and fly all over the world. Now I have both the city lights and my beautiful garden which is always a work in progress but I adore it and it helps keep me sane.

I love having our friends and family around us, and I am always planning the next ‘do’, who can sleep where, what will we cook, and importantly how much wine do we have (we have never run out but there’s always a first!).

Do you think design can change the world? How?
Of course! We would not be doing what we do if we felt design was not important. The feeling you get when you connect with design, from the joy of ease, or function, to the beauty and originality. It is not one thing – many different threads that make the experience better and the impact greater.

If you could change one thing about the world, what would it be?
A safe and peaceful world for everyone.. This question is so poignant right now with the world watching what happens in the Ukraine. It makes us stop and consider what things are important.

What’s the last song you listened to?
We watched C’mon C’mon at the weekend and the soundtrack hasn’t left me. Clair du Lune is stuck in my mind on replay. It is so romantic, timeless, uplifting and has a wonderful feel-good vibe.

Why do you do what you do? What motivates you?
Running the agency is always going to be exciting for me. Although we are established in many ways now, every day does offer up opportunities. New challenges, new ambitions, developing relationships so it never feels repetitive to me and I am always learning. I try to apply these things to make DB better,  how to do things differently, listening to those around me, enjoying seeing the work come to life. Seeing excited clients, and how our work impacts their lives. It is a real thrill to see the team come together and how excited they are when they are ‘all in’.

What’s your definition of good design?
If it makes me feel good – no one can tell me I’ve got it wrong.