It’s been a year since the death of Danielle Fleming, director of Birmingham branding agency Positive K and a sunny, smiley face on the Midlands business scene. I just wanted to write something here, for everyone who remembers her, to say that I’m remembering her this week - and thinking of her loved ones.
I met Danielle in my very first week of trading with Good As Gold, at a seminar organised by the Black Country Chamber of Commerce. Danielle could see I was nervous and unsure of myself as I twiddled my thumbs by the coat rack, and she immediately took me under her wing. She told me my business cards were rubbish (yes, I started out with those flimsy free ones offered by an online printing company) and proceeded to rattle off a dozen useful design and networking tips before we were called to our seats.
We met for coffee the following week - and I joined Danielle at a 4Networking breakfast meeting on another occasion. I also attended a branding seminar at Positive K’s premises at The Bond in Digbeth, and she commissioned me to write a feature about Positive K for a local magazine. We only met five or six times in total, but I’d like to think we were becoming friends. Danielle was certainly an inspiration for me: she was less than two years older but had achieved so much, had boundless energy and a clear, authoritative (but friendly) voice that made me in turn feel more confident.
Danielle was killed in a helicopter crash on Saturday 1 November 2008, aged just 27. She’d won a big contract and been invited out for a flight with her new client, but something went tragically wrong and the helicopter came down over a field in Gloucestershire. When I heard the news I couldn’t speak for an hour, and I was just someone on the very periphery of her life. It must’ve been - and surely still is - a dreadful time for her family and friends.
So this little blog post is for Danielle, to say thank you for all the inspiration and encouragement she gave me. I think she’d be proud of how I’m doing now, and I’d love to tell her that I’m thinking of getting my business cards updated for a second time. Danielle will never be forgotten.