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Our Story

In 2010, two friends living in Exeter realised that web design agencies were too jargonised and complicated, with many recommending outdated solutions that left clients ill-prepared for the ecommerce revolution (that was, at that point, yet to come). The market was missing an agency that could support ecommerce managers with tools perfectly suited for the digital era. They wanted to help fellow entrepreneurs by taking over the time-consuming work of ecommerce design and strategy, so they started Swanky!

The online world is cut-throat; fast decision making, adaptability and a strategic as well as commercial mindset are key components for online survival. Choosing the wrong tools can be detrimental. As one of the first agencies in Europe to partner with Shopify Plus to build sustainable, flexible and powerful enterprise-size websites, Swanky became the perfect agency for the competitive era of ecommerce.

Over the past 8 years, we have not only helped local businesses but also global brands such as Itsu, Saltrock and Knomo Bags to unlock their full digital potential – with some Swanky-built online stores turning over £50m annually. How did we do it? By coming up with innovative solutions to solve our clients’ problems, carefully guiding them through all elements of their unique web design and growth strategy.

 

Director

Dan McIvor

After creating his first website at around 15 years old, Dan was subsequently contracted as a technical writer, graphic designer and game designer before co-founding Swanky in 2010.

Dan loves to work with ambitious entrepreneurial brands. His favourite part of being Swanky’s director is the different conversations he gets to have with his team about design, marketing and technical solutions, which allow him to become a bridge between team members in different roles in order to facilitate creative and effective solutions to clients’ problems.

Creative Director

Matt Giles

Starting out as a musician, Matt developed a real talent for design when working for several years as a print designer and web freelancer before joining Swanky in 2010.

Matt is passionate about crafting beautiful and effective websites and is especially interested in working with entrepreneurs who have something really fresh and innovative to offer. He is also motivated by seeing clients realise their goals, as he himself has experienced Swanky’s transition from a small entrepreneurial startup to an organisation at the forefront of ecommerce design and development.

Our Mission

We aspire to unlock clients’ full ecommerce potential by consulting on the best tools and strategies; transforming them into industry leaders with beautiful and commercially optimised websites.

Our Vision

We hope that pursuing our mission will result in our customers becoming industry leaders in their field! By following our consultation, customers will constantly grow, innovate and use the best possible mix of tools to establish market share.

Our Values

Our core values stem from 4 traits that we encourage; creativity, strategy, trustworthiness and ambition. Our aim is to ignite industry trends and inspire change with data-backed, creative leadership approach to our work. We let long-term thinking guide our decisions, whilst always keeping a commercially strategic mindset. We always ensure to build and maintain customer trust – which we believe to be the most essential component in the digital era. Through telling aspirational stories, we encourage an ambition to grow and unlocking one’s full potential.

Our Origins

2010

Dan McIvor and Andrew McSweeney, a then PhD student, created SwankyApple with the aim of building a jargon-free, client-focussed web design agency which delivered ecommerce websites that not only looked stunning but also drove conversions.

2011

We built our first Shopify store for national toy distributor, Golden Bear Toys, ready for them to sell their exclusive London 2012 Olympic games mascots direct to consumers. It was a big project including a full migration from Magento with a B2B trade site, too. We loved building on Shopify and recognised it was going to be a popular platform. Little did we know…

2012

We completed several more projects on Shopify and were soon recognised by Shopify themselves as ‘Shopify Experts’. We were soon delivering tens, than hundreds of projects a year for our clients around the world.

2016

SwankyApple was 1 of the first 3 agencies in Europe awarded the Shopify Plus Experts accreditation, recognised as equipped to serve enterprise-scale businesses. Our clients included several of the fastest growing Shopify stores in Europe.

2018

SwankyApple decided to go completely Swanky! After listening to our customers’ feedback, we launched a full rebrand in April 2018, complete with a (slight) name change and a vibrant new website. Swanky’s passion for creating beautiful, compelling ecommerce websites and our full commitment to our clients is now stronger than ever.

Head of Development

Dave Shaw

From digital agencies to tech startups and the media, Dave brings 15 years of experience from the tech industry. For many of these years, Dave has been working directly with Shopify and has enjoyed witnessing the platform thrive and expand while growing his own knowledge and experience alongside it. His favourite task is creating shipping code, as he finds that whether he’s launching a new feature or introducing an app improvement, nothing beats getting the code out of the door. 

Head of Marketing

Jen Caust

From a young age, Jen loved digital content. She wrote her first line of code at 8 and began designing websites at 12! Since her move to the UK in 2012, she has graduated from the University of Exeter, started her own graphic design business and worked at Microsoft, where her creative and strategic talent helped her to take charge of several marketing campaigns. In 2017, Jen’s strong creative drive and deep interest in web design guided her to back to Devon to become Swanky’s Head of Marketing.

Head of Operations

Ben Homer

For as long as he can remember, Ben has been passionate about processes and systems and how they can make businesses more efficient and scalable. Before joining the Swanky team, he worked as a qualified Mechanical Engineer both in the UK and Germany and then spent 4 years working as Head of Operations for a local charity in Exeter. Ben’s favourite part of his role at Swanky is getting the best out of his colleagues to deliver outstanding results for every client.

SEO & Content Manager

Anna Giles

As a natural linguist, Anna is passionate about using language to communicate ideas perfectly and loves being able to use her writing to help serve business owners who are passionate about what they do. After earning her Master’s degree in Translation, Anna kickstarted her journey in creative marketing by working as a Copywriter and then went on to specialise in the intricacies of search engine optimisation.

Content Manager

Esther Lowde

Esther is a final year English and Spanish student at the University of Exeter. Before starting her placement at Swanky, Esther completed Marketing and Journalism internships both in Spain and in the UK. In her role as Content Manager and Blogger for Swanky, she loves writing engaging articles, sharing interesting updates on Swanky’s social media and being part of a friendly and positive work environment.

Project Manager

Jordan Savage

While working as a Technical Specialist for Apple and then as a Web Designer for The Web Design Company, Jordan developed a real talent for helping customers to solve their technical problems. Managing Swanky projects has allowed Jordan to realise this passion to its full extent by enabling him to use his creativity and technical expertise to deliver beautiful and effective website designs that bring about real results.

Business Development

Robyn Andrews

After graduating from the University of Exeter, Robyn began her career as a Business Development Executive for an events company in London, where she developed her talent for using effectual business strategy to help companies expand, scale and thrive. With her warm, vibrant personality, Robyn is a natural saleswoman who is constantly excited by her interactions with a range of different clients.

Office Administrator

Cherry Shepherd

With her strong organisation skills, sociable personality and the knowledge gained from completing several computer, accounting and bookkeeping courses, becoming Swanky’s Office Administrator in mid-2018 was a natural move for Cherry. Cherry is excited to be learning more every day about Shopify and the world of online retail. She also feels motivated by the encouraging and enthusiastic atmosphere in the Swanky office.

Web Designer

Sam Wilkinson

As one of Swanky’s resident Designers, Sam brings years of creative experience to the table. After graduating with a degree in Graphic Design from the Cambridge School of Art, Sam went on to work for an established web design company before starting up his own company just over two years ago. He then chose to join Swanky as, rather than getting caught up in the details of managing his own business, Sam wanted to get back into the roots of design itself.

Project Manager

Stephen Brook

Before joining the Swanky team, Stephen spent years cultivating a love for beautiful and user-friendly web design alongside his work as a primary school teacher; building multiple successful Shopify and WordPress websites in his spare time and learning as he went. Stephen’s long-standing passion for web design eventually guided him to pursue Project Management at Swanky, where he now enjoys being part of a creative, friendly and target-driven team and helping a wide range of different clients to achieve all of their ecommerce goals.

SEO & Content Manager

Sarah Hanney

After earning her Master’s degree in English Literature, Sarah began using her passion for writing by becoming a copywriter for a range of different businesses. In her role as Swanky’s SEO & Content Strategist, Sarah enjoys working with a wide variety of clients; becoming an expert in their particular niche and thinking creatively about how to reach their unique audiences in fresh, exciting ways. She also loves seeing the positive results of good content and finds watching her clients’ search rankings and website traffic rise extremely rewarding.

Careers and Job Openings

Thanks for your interest! You can read about the positions we are currently recruiting for here:

QA Web Tester

We are looking for a QA Tester to assess software quality through manual and automated testing. You will be responsible for finding and reporting bugs and glitches.

In this role, you should have a keen eye for detail and excellent communication skills. If you are also competent in executing test cases and are passionate about quality, we’d like to meet you.

Ultimately, you will ensure that our websites, applications and systems work correctly.

Responsibility / Skills

  • Review and analyse requirements and specifications
  • Execute test cases (manual or automated) and analyze results
  • Create logs to document testing phases and defects
  • Report bugs and errors to development teams
  • Help troubleshoot issues
  • Conduct post-release/ post-implementation testing
  • Work with cross-functional teams to ensure quality throughout the software development lifecycle

Requirements

  • Proven experience as a QA Web Tester or similar role
  • Familiarity with Agile frameworks and regression testing
  • Ability to document and troubleshoot errors
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Attention to detail
  • Analytical mind and problem-solving aptitude
  • Strong organizational skills

It'd be great if you have experience with:

  • Experience in project management and QA methodology
  • Familiarity with web technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript
  • Knowledge of Adobe software e.g. Photoshop, XD
  • Experience with testing ecommerce platforms in particular Shopify
  • Automated web testing using frameworks such as Selenium
JOB APPLICATION

Junior Web Developer

This is a great opportunity to advance your career in a supportive and productive culture. 

Candidates will be confident in delivering small front-end tweaks and bug fixes in HTML, CSS and Javascript.

You will be joining a cutting-edge ecommerce agency offering consultation, design, development and marketing campaign management to a broad range of exciting, growing and ambitious clients. The agency's current client list includes multiple national and international brands, local businesses and charities, and a host of smaller startups.

Previous commercial experience is preferable but not essential if you can provide examples of personal projects.

The successful applicant can look forward to working in a vibrant environment, with a skilled team of ecommerce experts. Pay is competitive and negotiable based on skill level.

Responsibility / Skills:

  • Delivery of functional, responsive websites
  • Demonstrable knowledge of front-end web development using HTML, CSS and JavaScript (jQuery)
  • Minimum 1 years experience in a commercial environment OR personal portfolio
  • A willingness to improve your skills, and keep up to date with technological / Shopify specific news

It'd be great if you have experience with:

  • Scrum/Agile management frameworks Working with API's and Shopify
  • Command Line Interface tools - Building and scaling user-focused web applications
  • Experienced use of frameworks, front and backend
  • Experience with application databases
  • Source control (GIT)
JOB APPLICATION

Digital Strategy Lead

You

Leading a multi-national team across time zones, roles and projects our Head of Digital Optimisation will be a leader and an exceptionally astute, commercially minded strategist. The successful applicant will be able to rapidly examine and corroborate data streams - quickly developing an understanding of a business’ situation and goals - before assembling the right strategy, technology and staffing toolbox to address commercial opportunities for both our clients and the company. The Head of Digital Optimisation will then use their highly developed communication skills (verbal, written and presentation) to explain complex strategies and implementations to everyone from the boardroom to the backroom.

As a member of the senior leadership team, you will also be coaching their expanding team of analysts, consultants, front-end developers and UX designers, and lastly, your personal tribe of strategists!

On occasion, you will be required to contribute to content creation and presentation of the company - presenting at events, and being published on and offline.

To help manage this large time contribution we provide TOIL (time off in lieu) and are happy for you to work remotely and in office, though to be truly effective coaching our junior teams, you will be required in the office at least 3 days a week during typical working conditions.

Experience

  • Managing rapid growth through structure stakeholder change
  • Training programme management - KPIs, review models and skills plans
  • >5 years marketing - at least 2 working in enterprise eCommerce.
  • Testing & Personalisation - management experience (2 years min)
  • Digital Architecture - building needs based ecosystems - at least 3 full structures for enterprise-scale businesses.
  • Shopify Plus - 2 years working with/in businesses - preferably £10-50 million revenue.

Knowledge Requirements

  • Digital Marketing - knowledge across SEO, PPC, paid and organic social and email marketing
  • Testing and personalisation - Optimizely, DynamicYield, Convert com
  • Tag Manager and DMPs - GTM, Tealium IQ, AudienceStream, EventStream
  • Analytics - Google Analytics, GA360, Adobe, IBM Coremetrics
  • Open to relocation/travel to work from the Exeter office
  • Sales experience a strong advantage
JOB APPLICATION

Digital Insights Analyst

Key Requirements

  • Experience with data management best practices including maintaining RAW data for sanity checks & balances, explaining working in all reporting, date/source marking.
  • Knowledge of Google analytics software: Google Analytics, Google Analytics 360, Tag Manager
  • Additional analytics knowledge would be valued: Adobe, HEAP, Tealium, Signal etc
  • Presentation skills
  • Attention to detail in this role is paramount - presenting results in a clear and concise manner, with clearly explained process, sample and source information.
  • Ability to work to hard deadlines.

Additional skills

Ideally, this role will develop into a leadership position with oversight of a growing data department - if you have experience leading a team, building and improving processes, setting internal goals, and training staff, do express your interest in this aspect.

Benefits

  • Remote and office-based hours in their beautiful Exeter office
  • Opportunity to grow and shape the position
  • Personal development within a fast-growing company
  • Collaborative, creative working environment
  • Generous commission structure for bringing new work to the business
JOB APPLICATION
Swanky

We are humans

If you have a project in mind, feel free to contact us for a friendly chat.