Glitter, flowers and fierce leadership

Naked Creative, a leading creative agency, continues to make waves in the business world under the visionary leadership of its CEO, Erin McCall.

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16 Jan 2024

As a young woman, business leader and mother, McCall is just as comfortable in the board room as she is working with heavy industry. And it’s just as well, with Naked Creative having a significant client base in some of New Zealand’s core industries, the primary sector, logistics, engineering and manufacturing.

It might be surprising to note McCall is of a very petite stature. Often donned in pink, wearing floral designs and the occasional pop of glitter, she is adamant that her small stature and penchant for pink should not preclude her from a top seat. In fact, she makes a point of ‘not masculinising herself’ to be a leader.

“We have a diverse workplace, and it is important our team can be their true authentic self. Inclusivity and diversity bring broader thought to the table, and I want to encourage that.”

She hopes she might inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs with her journey and achievements.

McCall’s rise to the helm of Naked Creative at such a young age is a testament to her unwavering determination and innovative mindset. She’s not one to be underestimated. McCall’s ability to navigate challenges and carve out a niche for Naked Creative has earned her recognition as a trailblazer in her industry.

“One of the things that I think has really aided Naked Creative’s growth is our commitment to deep discovery. Yes, I am happy in the office in my high heels, but I’m equally comfortable donning safety gear and getting out on a client’s factory floor – because getting that ‘on the ground’ understanding of how their business works is what enables us to tell their story authentically,” she said.

While McCall’s achievements as a CEO are commendable, she acknowledges her success is also deeply rooted in the supportive environment cultivated by Director Carla Forbes.

Forbes believes in hiring great people, fanning the flames of their talents, and mostly getting out of their way. This philosophy has led to an environment that promotes creativity, innovation, and a strong sense of ownership among the team members.

Director Carla Forbes comments “I can set the tone, I can fan the flames, but the real magic happens when the team care, and they do – that is testament to Erin’s leadership.”

McCall’s ethos is based on her commitment to fostering a collaborative and inclusive work environment. This culture of genuine collaboration sets Naked Creative apart, enabling the agency to develop cutting-edge campaigns that captivate audiences and drive business growth.

“We do a lot to encourage our team to connect, we work hard on our culture, the team are authentically plugged in and I’d like to think they feel really good about coming to work,” said McCall.

McCall’s entrepreneurial spirit and forward-thinking mindset, combined with the supportive and flexible workplace have propelled Naked Creative forward. They’ve moved from being a large Southland-based agency to a boutique national agency, with a very heavy client base.

Naked Creative is becoming a surprising industry disruptor. With a no BS approach and very real (glitter and all), they are revolutionising the way creative agencies operate.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, McCall is an inspirational figure who actively advocates for gender equality and work-life balance. She serves as a mentor and role model for aspiring entrepreneurs, encouraging them to pursue their dreams fearlessly.

McCall remains committed to pushing the boundaries of creativity, championing diversity, and nurturing a culture of excellence – but she’s committed to doing it in pink. Her unwavering determination and innovative vision position Naked Creative for a very positive future.

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