Heaven and Hell: Young and Cooper

Danielle Young and Lara Cooper

Danielle Young and Lara Cooper - Credit: Georgina Little Photography

Danielle Young and Lara Cooper met at the school gates, both working as independent freelancing marketers. The dynamic duo have marketing and PR careers that span over 30 years, each having worked with some of the world’s top global brands.  After numerous coffee catch-ups and bouncing ideas around they founded Young & Cooper, a contemporary social media agency, creating bespoke social media packages for small businesses.  Like many working mothers they juggle homeschooling, husbands and dogs but love nothing more than hanging out under the big Norfolk and Suffolk skies. 

What’s been the impact of Covid-19 on you and how have you adapted?
L & D: When we joined forces and started Young & Cooper, we had planned to run workshops for small businesses and individuals looking to raise their Instagram game. We had the content sorted and sold-out venues. All was looking good for our launch in March. And then boom, the Covid-19 pandemic entered all of our worlds. We shelved the workshops temporarily and started working directly with clients virtually, along with giving online free advice. It’s been hard for us all, however, we have been so inspired seeing how small business have adapted to this new online world, one where social media has played such a positive role.

What is your connection to East Anglia?
L: I was born and spent the first eight years of my life in Coggleshall Hamlet in Essex.  When I moved to Surrey, my father lived in Cambridge and he used to take my sister and I to the Roller Disco in Bury St Edmunds, I thought it was the best thing ever! But it was whilst living in London that I fell in love with Suffolk. We used to holiday in a friend’s lovely cottage in Walberswick and take mini breaks at the Ickworth Hotel when my children were babies.
D: I have lived here for 10 years and my husband is from here.

What is your East Anglian Heaven?
L: It goes without saying the big Suffolk skies and sunsets but added to that the beautiful countryside, forests, and beaches. The quirky little villages and pretty cottages are like going back in time. Last summer I discovered some of the sweetest little seaside villages, I felt I was living in an Enid Blyton novel.  I also appreciate all the changing seasons and the slower pace of life here.
D: Coastal walks in Southwold and crabbing in Walberswick with my children.

What is your East Anglian Hell?
L: Having said I like the slower pace of life in Suffolk I find the train connection to London dreadful, the Cambridge North connection to King’s Cross is great though.  Oh and getting stuck behind a tractor when you are already late for school never bodes well.
D: Trying to park at Holkham Beach in high summer.

What’s your favourite East Anglian restaurant?
L: The last restaurant I visited was The Angel Hotel. Danielle and I had our Christmas party for two there when lockdown eased. Most recently we have been making the most of the amazing independent cafes like Wrights and Folk Café in Bury St Edmunds, just a short walk from my house it feels like a holiday to escape there for coffees and buns during lockdown.
D: Midsummer House, Cambridge.

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What’s your favourite way to spend an East Anglian evening?
L: Summer in my garden is pretty idyllic.  The previous owner had a full-time gardener, so we have inherited some well-stocked flower beds. I love nothing more than a rose wine on my swing seat, with a decent book.
D: Eating Eric’s Fish and Chips in Thornham under a midsummer sky.

What’s your favourite East Anglian landmark?
L: Maggi Hambling’s The Scallop at Aldeburgh. It’s so iconic and for me it signifies the end of a lovely day at the beach, leaving Aldeburgh full of fish and chips and happy memories.
D: The Backs from the river in Cambridge.

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What’s the best thing that happens in East Anglia every year?
L: The school holidays – I have four children and during a normal term time I feel I am constantly bolting from one school or activity to another. The 
holidays really are a time to wind down and explore East Anglia more. Time to appreciate what is right there on my doorstep.
D: Latitude Festival – we really missed it last year.

What is always in your fridge?
L: Two of my four are teenage boys, so the poor fridge is constantly ransacked!  I love sparkling water and I’ve recently resurrected my Sodastream so there is always a bottle. Cheese, wine and pesto for emergency meals.
D: Simon’s Marmalade – we are addicted to the stuff.

What’s your favourite film?
L: The first film I ever saw in the cinema was The Jungle Book, all my children love it too, so it always evokes happy feelings. I’m a sucker for Christmas films too, Elf and The Polar Express would have to go on the list. I need to re-watch Dr. Zhivago – my real name is Larissa after the main character.  
D: When Harry Met Sally.

What was your first job?
L: My very first job, as teenager, was working in a tiny newsagent, getting up at the crack of dawn on a Sunday to sort the newspapers for the paper boys. I would devour all the Sunday supplements and glossy magazines. It’s where my love of fashion started, I then went on to pursue a career in fashion PR after university.
D: I taught English in Japan.

What is your most treasured possession?
L: My children, but it feels a bit strange to think of them as possessions so probably a necklace my husband gave me with a diamond initial for each child.
D: We have a painting by Southwold artist Marc Brown of the East Anglian coastline which is very special.

Who do you admire most?
L: Any parent who is working and homeschooling during these crazy times. As much as I love my children, these are super testing moments for even the strongest amongst us. I feel very privileged to have access to a garden and country walks, it’s been a bit of a saviour to gain some headspace.
D: Lara – she is my partner in crime and makes running a business, looking after her family and being a friend look effortless.

What is your biggest indulgence?
L: A Netflix binge watch and good wine.
D: Billecart Salmon Rosé Champagne.

Where is your favourite holiday destination? 
L: Valledemossa in Mallorca and north Norfolk has to be a firm favourite.  It’s so quick to get to from here, the beaches are incredible, there are so many amazing cafes, pubs and restaurants, lovely independent shops and the seals!  My daughter is obsessed with them.  It never feels crowded even in the height of summer.   
D: Ibiza is always fun. We also love glamping on the north Norfolk coast.

Best day of your life?
L: Becoming a mother - a cliche but true!
D: The birth days of my three children.

What’s your favourite breakfast?
L: Earl Grey tea with Marmite on crumpets – preferably still in bed!
D: My husband’s smoked salmon and scrambled eggs (served with a glass of bubbles!)

What’s your hidden talent?
L: Tap dancing – as I child I had dreams of starring in Annie or 42nd Street, luckily for theatre-goers these remained just dreams.
D:  I speak Japanese.

When were you most embarrassed?
L: Crumbs, there are so many but accidentally tripping Kate Moss up at London Fashion Week was very embarrassing.  She was perfectly nice about it, but I can still cringe about it even though it was over 20 years ago.
D: I once vomited in front of a full school assembly at high school.  I still shudder when I think about it.

What’s your earliest memory?
L: Dangling a Clothkits ragdoll out of a car window in Brussels, I would have been about two years old and probably wearing a matching dress to the doll!
D: Breaking my arm falling out of a tree house.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
L: All I Need by Air, it was my first dance at my wedding but it feels kind of calming and magical all at the same time.
D: Simple Minds – Don’t You Forget About Me.

Tell us something people don’t know about you?
L: I used to do voiceovers for MTV in the nineties!
D: I have trekked up Mount Kilimanjaro.

Tell us why you live here and nowhere else.
L: I live in a small village just outside Bury St Edmunds, when we decided to leave London we were adamant not to go too urban but equally not too rural. We wanted somewhere peaceful and pretty but also within easy access of life – I think we chose really well!  The local schools are amazing, the town centre has everything we need and driving to the coast is easy.
D: The big, beautiful skies and sense of space.

What do you want to tell our readers about most?
D & L: We love working with entrepreneurs, SMEs and not for profits, to help their social media sparkle. We are now launching our workshops online so head over to our Instagram page (@youngandcooper) for updates and announcements, and get in touch if you need some help. Each week we offer lots of free advice, tips and are always happy to answer your questions. For more information go to: www.youngandcooper.com

If you have a story, email gina@hallfarmfornham.com or follow Twitter: @geewizzgee1 Instagram: @ginageelong

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