Thread Publishing: Creating a business with purpose

siobhan-web.jpgWhen starting, building or expanding a business, incorporating a higher purpose is a positive trend that is making sense and dollars. Entrepreneurs and business owners across industries are increasingly aware that a business model with a greater purpose than to simply generate profits, is likely to increase productivity, create motivation and drive momentum and growth.

Purposeful businesses aren’t about simply delivering products and services, they focus on innovating products that produce goodwill and offering services that actually serve the customer, community and environment for the length of its existence, and beyond.

It’s this burning intention to do something that matters that drove Siobhan Doran, Founder and Managing Director of The Writers’ Group to create Thread Publishing - a digital content platform that tells the stories of individuals and companies who are making the world a better place.

Here Siobhan shares with Nicole Watson her journey launching a second business with purpose, her light bulb moment and the meaning behind the name Thread Publishing.

Siobhan, can you share what Thread Publishing offers?

The way we describe it is that we are one-half digital publishing platform and one-half creative agency for companies who want to publish their own storytelling content.

On our own publishing platform, we seek out people and companies who are using business as a force for good, and we interview them to share their story. These stories effectively become the shopfront of our own website, to drive momentum around their causes and purpose, and inspire our readers onwards.

Then, as a creative agency, we offer our services to companies with a strong purpose, to help them communicate more meaningfully, both internally and externally, online and offline. It’s not about ‘doing digital’ anymore, it’s all a big melting pot that has to work seamlessly together.

Incidentally, you can always spot these companies when you meet them, they are unequivocally inspiring – and they always have the best stories to tell. In this transparent digital age, these companies offer a deeper relationship with their customers. It’s what we all want; gone are the days of corporate jargon and one-sided transactions. We want to support this shift towards business for purpose, and become part of the change. 

Where did the idea come from and what was the journey to launch?

Well, once the seed was planted it was hard to let go of. I am a big talker, and I process things externally. So I talked to a lot of people to refine our ideas along the way, and then I spoke to another colleague of ours, David Gollop of branding agency, Be You Not Them, and he took us through a very soul searching branding process that pretty much fast tracked us to the heart of Thread Publishing.

On a practical note though, we could have never set up Thread Publishing like I did with The Writers’ Group from scratch, while sat in our living room with my two young boys. It’s because The Writers’ Group is well established - there is a solid network, some stability and security - that we can launch Thread Publishing from this safe platform.

It’s definitely easier to launch a second business than a first business, especially since they are so complimentary. But make no mistake, it’s important to be honest here - running a business is a steep and tough learning curve at times.

How did you come up with the name Thread Publishing?

Given we fundamentally support purpose-driven brands to become their own publishers, we knew the title ‘publishing’ had to feature.

But the actual word ‘thread’ came about by doodling the words ‘heart’ and ‘head’ - and ‘thread’ soon emerged from the squiggles. We’re all about connecting people through our stories, to put humanity into business - and so it just makes sense to us on lots of levels.

Can you remember the moment you had the idea of Thread Publishing?

We could see the need to marry our words to a broader picture beyond this for our clients around social media, branding and design, video, photography and the broader communications strategy.  We knew there was a place for storytellers, artists and documentary makers in business; increasingly so.

But it went deeper than this. Women in Focus often talk about bringing the heart and head together in business, and how the distance between the two is often the hardest any of us have to travel. This resonated with me. Then my friend and fellow Women in Focus member, Amelia Lee, asked, ‘If money was no object what would you do with your life?’

This question defined a bit of light bulb moment. I knew that I wanted to be helping people in a tangible way through our work, and that it was pointless to wait to start a goal like this, which subconsciously, is probably what I had been doing until that point. So Thread Publishing started to come into the picture from there.

How can people get involved?

If you want to get involved, whether you have the skills or the resources, then just get in touch with us. We want to create something more meaningful and bigger than ourselves, and to do this we need the support and skills of many who are prepared to come on the journey with us.

Connect with Siobhan via the Community Siobhan Doran

Read more here: Siobhan Doran's Serendipitous ConnectionsTh rit an

Connect with Thread Publishing here: Twitter:@threadquarters,,,


Thanks for this! And big kudos to Women in Focus for the whole inspiration around the distance between the head and the heart being the longest 12 inches any of us have to travel - you planted the seed for all of this!

I'm am so excited to see this long-held dream and vision of yours Siobhan Doran come to life with such vigour and purpose.  Thread Publishing is such a worthwhile and magic platform to celebrate those making a difference.  I can't wait to share the journey with you!

Congratulations Siobhan, this is so exciting and such s great use of all your skills. I can't wait to get involved! @pstudio

Thanks ladies. And Emma, we are so due a catch up!!