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Meet the architects of website design

Meet the architects of website design
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Meet the architects of website design
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

We all have our reasons for taking the plunge and setting up our very own business. For Joe Gilbert, it was the ongoing frustration of dealing with web design agencies that inspired the former marketing manager to create his web design agency, Red Giraffe. Just under six years later, Red Giraffe won Best Website at the 2021 SME Awards and this year, took Gold for Innovation.

Start- up motivation

It was clear from speaking to an enthusiastic Joe, that he wanted to create an agency that could see things from a customer’s point of view. As a marketing manager he was often exasperated with having to deal with inadequate website designers.

“They would lock websites down so you couldn’t make changes yourself and would charge £500-£600 for minute changes. It was like the builders were there and the visual designers were there, but they had no idea how it felt as a customer.”

Using his marketing background, Joe left his role at a nursery chain in 2015 and set up in his room, landing clients from his own business network, and his friends.

“I’d always built websites, since I was at school, so knowing the technical stuff was never a problem. I was miserable at my old job and my parents were always business owners so I knew it was the right thing for my mental health and saw first-hand that you can make a success of your own business.”

Red Giraffe’s growth into our Milton Keynes Business Centre  

Joe soon outgrew his Ikea desk in the corner of his bedroom, moving on to a few office shares- and picking up an employee in the process! Joe’s eye, however, was always on a bigger, more impressive space for meetings. It was a chance meeting with his clients that brought him to our Milton Keynes Business Centre.

“I came here to meet with a client that had an office with Capital Space and was very impressed. It was modern, sleek, and completely fit with the vibe I wanted for Red Giraffe. It was a big step up financially, but it was the right thing to do for the business.”

Red Giraffe in the future

The digital nature of Red Giraffe’s work meant the team (now a healthy six) continued to work remotely throughout the pandemic, even picking up some clients along the way. Joe explained his clients are a diverse mix of businesses that employ anywhere from five to a hundred staff.

“Although our clients are a real diverse mix, they are all growth-minded and want to stand out from the competition. Typically, clients come to us with an existing website that isn’t performing rather than fresh start ups.”

Despite the prestigious awards Red Giraffe received over the pandemic, Joe’s biggest satisfaction came from not being able to reach clients as they were too busy!

With Red Giraffe continuing to grow in both size and reputation, we asked Joe what his biggest challenge was as a business owner:

“I think it must be having to move away from getting my hands dirty and stepping back to manage a team and working on the business.”

Climate Positive

At Capital Space, we are always encouraging our customers to be as green as they can. Red Giraffe need no encouragement though, as they are a Climate Positive business, meaning that they offset more emissions that than they use. Many leading companies are pledging to become Carbon Neutral, so we are incredibly proud that one of our clients is going one step further!

One of the many initiatives Red Giraffe implements is partnering with MoreTrees to plant a tree for every invoice produced over £500.

”It’s something we’ve done from day one. We wanted our green focus to be more than just a tick-boxing exercise and become our philosophy.”

Click here to see how Capital Space are improving its Green Initiatives .

The future

Joe’s goal for the future of Red Giraffe was simple: keep growing and stay at the cutting edge.

“We want to continue doing a great job for our clients as we feel that is the best way to showcase our skills and build our reputation.”

We asked for Joe’s advice for businesses struggling with their website visibility:

“Hire an agency that knows what they are doing! It’s our job to keep on top of Google’s ever-changing algorithm just like it’s an account’s job to keep up with tax changes.” 

We’re incredibly proud of Joe and Red Giraffe’s success in the short time they have been with us at Milton Keynes Business Centre. We wish him and his team the best of luck for the future.


To find out how Capital Space could benefit your growing business,
call 0800 107 4667 or email