Sugar Rush Creative's 2019: A Series of Fortunate Events


As a brand spanking new year (and decade… when did that happen?!) draws upon us, we’ve found ourselves reflecting on the array of awesome things our team achieved in 2019. 

Before we go any further, we know what you’re all thinking. “You guys are fond of a self-praising party”. But in our defence how can we not shout about our successes? I mean we’ve really outdone ourselves this year (and have you ever known us to be modest about our achievements? We think not). 

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So, naturally we wanted to share our pinnacle moments of the year with you lot… and we’re certain there’s nothing you’d rather be doing than basking in our somewhat self-indulgent narrative of the year. Let’s take a trip down memory lane…

Ok. We’ll be the first to admit it. January 1st 2019 was less than desirable for us Sugar Rushers. New Year’s celebrations (you guessed it, one too many rounds of prosecco pong and a few jaeger bombs more than we care to admit) left us feeling… sheepish, if you will. But our spirits would not be dampened by our dodgy renditions of Auld Lang Syne. And we knew, in that (tremendously hungover) moment, it was all uphill from here.

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It was January 2nd. The dreaded month of all things doom and gloom: we’re talking Christmas tree exile, vacant bank balances, swapping yule logs for yoga *shivers*. But nope, not for SRC. Our team entered Sugar Rush headquarters (James Bond style), firmly in ‘all guns blazing, full steam ahead’ mode.

Feeling rejuvenated after the festive break (that’s code for, ‘exasperated with family events and ready to return to the 9-5 grind’, but don’t tell our parents) we were ready to take on the world. And have our best year ever. The January blues were practically diminished by the range of exciting client projects in the studio… (ok, we’ll admit, we also threw a couple of Friday night soirees into the mix to lighten the blow… we’re only human after all). 

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And as the Spring/ Summer season approached, we were filled with unmitigated glee at the prospect of the awards (and therefore PARTY) season of the NI Tech Scene (we don’t get out much). 

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As predicted, April was fabulous to say the least. Not only did it bring with it multiple sugar-induced comas (it’s Easter egg season, duh) but also the Digital DNA Awards. For us, to be just nominated for ‘App of the Year 2019’ was enough to send our tails wagging, but to actually WIN in the company of some game-changing digital heroes, was a total honour. Is it obvious we’re still not over it?

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Let’s move on briefly from 2019’s accolades (we can hear your rage at this prospect but fret not, we’ll return to that later). Frankly, we can’t not mention one of the most notable events of 2019. Our CEO and Founder Ali tied the knot with his partner Nicola. The pair were joined by their closest friends, family and two kids on one of the most joyful (and sunny, thank-you weather gods) days of the year. And we’re sure this was the most pinnacle moment of the year for Ali (we’re betting the UK App Awards comes pretty close though, but let’s not tell Nicola).

Mid-June rolled around pretty quickly (it does that when you're firmly engrossed in designing, developing, UX & UI, testing, animating... we need a holiday just thinking of it). The sun was shining, birds chirping, beers chilling, barbeques incoming. But the stand-out event for us was ‘Digital DNA 2019’... Before you ask, we haven’t received commission from Digital DNA, we’re just big fans of those guys (and think we could take a good stab at their PR, at this point).

If you’re a novice to the N.I. tech scene, we'll give you the 411 lowdown. It’s essentially the networking event of all networking events (we personally like to think of it as N.I.’s version of the World Summit, that makes us feel ultra-important). So naturally, our team flocked to St George’s Market, pool table and branded attire in tow, to showcase some of the awesome things our team had been up to... and host some pretty intense games of "Sugar Balls" (we're creative geniuses). And let’s be honest, we really wanted to show off our shiny award (not sorry for the shameless self-promotion). We met some awesome people there and came away seriously inspired; also a little smug that we had the funnest stall of the lot (Sorry, Kainos). 

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Sugar Rush Creative’s growing success came with a rapidly expanding clientele and in-house team, not to mention an even more hectic studio schedule (we secretly loved it, despite a couple of minor breakdowns along the way… we’re looking at you, Project Manager). But we couldn’t put it off any longer: we had outgrown our studio space and it was time for a change. Such a drastic change, in fact, that we moved four doors up the street (we like to live life on the edge like that).

Our first (and most important) port of call was painting our shiny new wall luminescent yellow, in line with Sugar Rush’s new branding (we did say 2019 was a busy year for us). Since then we have truly made the space our own. Not to mention clients love having meetings with us… *queue some highly competitive (at times semi-violent) foosball tournaments*.

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Since then we’ve been working on some very cool projects for a whole range of sectors. Healthcare, public sector, engineering, education, recruitment, compliance, manufacturing, IT and communications… to name but a few. We’re like excited kids at Christmas trying to keep it all under wraps but all we’re saying is stay tuned for 2020. You’re going to be seriously impressed (a little bit jealous too, we hope).

Now for the big finale… the crème de la crème… the icing on the cake… the cherry on top. Ok we’ll stop now. November ensued and with that came, yes you guessed it, the UK App Awards 2019. We’ll spare you the gory details (we’re still exhausted from pouring our hearts out in our last blog post, check it out for the insider deets) but WINNING ‘UK App Agency of the Year’ and HIGHLY COMMENDED UK App of the Year was genuinely a euphoric moment for our team. If you’re unfamiliar with the tech industry, we’re basically app Royalty now (that’s what we’re telling our grannies anyway and they believe us so it must be true). This totally blew 2019 out of the park for us and secured it as our best year yet.

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We’re exiting this year (and decade (!!!), we’re still not over that revelation) a little more frazzled and possessing a few more forehead wrinkles than when it started. But, in the words of Smithwicks, “we’re in it for the love of it”. It’s true, our jobs are pretty epic and we’re about to enter a new year more motivated and *dare we say it* ready to take on the new challenges it will (inevitably) throw at us. Roll on 2020; but be warned, you have a lot to live up to.