Hello

Cousin is a collective of experienced & talented creative professionals

We're a brand practice with a difference – and lots of it.

Firstly, we’re all freelance and specialist in our core disciplines. We join forces with passionate entrepreneurs and ambitious SME business owners who have neither the appetite to employ a large scale agency nor the time to cut through layers of account management and process.

Meet the First Cousins

Cousin is a collective of experienced & talented creative professionals

We’re thinkers, designers, storytellers, strategists, marketeers and content experts, all with a healthy desire to create growth and impact. First Cousins are the original team who came together to make Cousin a reality.

Chrissy

Brand

Chrissy Birtwistle

Strategic Brand Director & Co-Founder

With 10 years’ experience in account management at top global marketing and brand agencies, Chrissy has built a strong reputation for bringing a smart, informed perspective to every business project. She’s quick to size up the dynamics of an organisation and has an innate ability to see the right path forward. Her clear strategic thinking and honest advice make her a valued advisor to company leaders.

When not wielding her magic at Cousin, you’ll find Chrissy killing it at the Crossfit gym.

“Nothing beats working with people who know what they’re doing and love what they do.”

Lynsay

Design

Lynsay Biss

Strategic Design Director & Co-Founder

Lynsay had a whole career in marketing before retraining as a branding designer, so she has an innate understanding of how a brand needs to live beyond the page. In her 10 years of experience designing both agency and client-side, Lynsay has developed an exceptional talent for translating any business need into a meaningful brand with genuine thought and consideration.

When not bringing brands to life, you’ll find Lynsay in the ball pit at soft play.

“There is nothing better than the look on a client’s face when we’ve taken a thought and made it into something real.”

Gill

Writing & Strategy

Gill Colhoun

Writer & Strategy Director

Gillian specialises in brand positioning, verbal identity, message strategy and editorial content. Although a writer through and through, design is just as close to her heart. Gillian’s work is about making complicated ideas more understandable and work more fun. Her goal is to bring great ideas to life, invest them with meaning and attitude and help others do the same. 

When not finding meaning at Cousin, you’ll find Gill inspiring other writers with her fellow Dark Angels.

“My sweet spot is when wordcraft and visual language work together to create something magical.”

Tom

UX, Design & Web Build

Tom Alexander

Senior Digital & UX Designer

Tom is a multi-disciplined Senior Designer with over 12 years of industry experience and a talent for both visual and user experience design. He won’t let a deadline stand in the way of him turning out the highest quality piece of work possible. 

When not performing his wizardry at Cousin, you’ll find Tom chatting to strangers at the dog park.

“Users deserve design that meets their needs, and looks beautiful”

Holly

Communications

Holly Greenland

Writer and Communications Consultant

Holly has been in communications, brand and engagement for nearly 15 years, working most recently as Deputy Director of Communications for the House of Commons. Before Parliament, Holly spent five years delivering national campaigns at the BBC, developing campaign brands, multiplatform content, and campaign strategy.

When not communicating at Cousin, you’ll find Holly writing her next novel.

“Comms and brand can genuinely change how people think about their business plans and models - and can change how people feel about themselves and their lives.”

Laura

UX & Design

Laura Williamson

Digital Design Director

Laura is a dedicated Digital Design Director with extensive experience in top agencies. From London, to Sydney, to New York, she has worked on a broad range of clients from fashion, to banking, broadcast to breweries. Her work is based on conceptual thinking, true insights and a love of great design. 

When not solving conundrums at Cousin, you’ll find Laura taking in the sights - and looking very cool while doing it.

“Finding that balance between form and function is by far the best part of my job - nobody cares what your website looks like if it doesn’t work properly.”
Chrissy Birtwistle

Chrissy

Brand

Chrissy Birtwistle

Strategic Brand Director & Co-Founder

With 10 years’ experience in account management at top global marketing and brand agencies, Chrissy has built a strong reputation for bringing a smart, informed perspective to every business project. She’s quick to size up the dynamics of an organisation and has an innate ability to see the right path forward. Her clear strategic thinking and honest advice make her a valued advisor to company leaders.

When not wielding her magic at Cousin, you’ll find Chrissy killing it at the Crossfit gym.

“Nothing beats working with people who know what they’re doing and love what they do.”
Lynsay Biss

Lynsay

Design

Lynsay Biss

Strategic Design Director & Co-Founder

Lynsay had a whole career in marketing before retraining as a branding designer, so she has an innate understanding of how a brand needs to live beyond the page. In her 10 years of experience designing both agency and client-side, Lynsay has developed an exceptional talent for translating any business need into a meaningful brand with genuine thought and consideration.

When not bringing brands to life, you’ll find Lynsay in the ball pit at soft play.

“There is nothing better than the look on a client’s face when we’ve taken a thought and made it into something real.”
Gill Colhoun

Gill

Writing & Strategy

Gill Colhoun

Writer & Strategy Director

Gillian specialises in brand positioning, verbal identity, message strategy and editorial content. Although a writer through and through, design is just as close to her heart. Gillian’s work is about making complicated ideas more understandable and work more fun. Her goal is to bring great ideas to life, invest them with meaning and attitude and help others do the same. 

When not finding meaning at Cousin, you’ll find Gill inspiring other writers with her fellow Dark Angels.

“My sweet spot is when wordcraft and visual language work together to create something magical.”
Tom Alexander

Tom

UX, Design & Web Build

Tom Alexander

Senior Digital & UX Designer

Tom is a multi-disciplined Senior Designer with over 12 years of industry experience and a talent for both visual and user experience design. He won’t let a deadline stand in the way of him turning out the highest quality piece of work possible. 

When not performing his wizardry at Cousin, you’ll find Tom chatting to strangers at the dog park.

“Users deserve design that meets their needs, and looks beautiful”
Holly Greenland

Holly

Communications

Holly Greenland

Writer and Communications Consultant

Holly has been in communications, brand and engagement for nearly 15 years, working most recently as Deputy Director of Communications for the House of Commons. Before Parliament, Holly spent five years delivering national campaigns at the BBC, developing campaign brands, multiplatform content, and campaign strategy.

When not communicating at Cousin, you’ll find Holly writing her next novel.

“Comms and brand can genuinely change how people think about their business plans and models - and can change how people feel about themselves and their lives.”
Laura Williamson

Laura

UX & Design

Laura Williamson

Digital Design Director

Laura is a dedicated Digital Design Director with extensive experience in top agencies. From London, to Sydney, to New York, she has worked on a broad range of clients from fashion, to banking, broadcast to breweries. Her work is based on conceptual thinking, true insights and a love of great design. 

When not solving conundrums at Cousin, you’ll find Laura taking in the sights - and looking very cool while doing it.

“Finding that balance between form and function is by far the best part of my job - nobody cares what your website looks like if it doesn’t work properly.”

A moment in time

Our Founding Story

Cousin Culture

Cousin is different. But it’s not just our freelance model that makes it special. Everyone shares a set of values that influences how we work with one another, and with you. These principles get us closer to the work, they ensure we keep things fast and lean (we like fast), and they allow us to assemble the absolute ‘A’ team for your project.

Work Together

Great design begins with the meeting of minds. A shared vision and an ambition to shake up the status quo and deliver the unseen, unfamiliar and unexpected. We like to get closer to you, our clients, so we can work as part of one team – your team. That way we see the detail as well as the long view.

Stay Curious

Thinking critically is the ability to analyse objectively – consider facts and perspectives to reach sound but also inspiring conclusions. We do this by always keeping a goal in mind, looking past our potential biases, asking questions to unearth useful information and generate unexpected outcomes.

Take Action

We live in a world of flux. Staying agile, lean and flexible allows us to pass on the operational benefits of our virtual model but also gifts us the freedom to apply our thinking, expertise and craft in the ways that benefit you the most. That means we can evaluate quickly and act efficiently.

Make it Count

Yes, our ultimate goal may be to help you get more attention, win more business or earn more loyalty. But making it count isn’t about working for less, it’s about saying to you, our clients, ‘We see you’. It’s about using our empathy to understand, surprise, inspire and ultimately create lasting change.

Chrissy

Brand

Lynsay

Design

Lynsay

Design

Gill

Writing & Strategy

Gill

Writing & Strategy

Chrissy Birtwistle

Brand & Co-Founder

Chrissy has built a strong reputation for bringing a smart, informed perspective to every business project. She’s quick to size up the dynamics of an organisation and can quickly see the right path forward. Her clear strategic thinking and honest advice make her a valued advisor to company leaders.

It was a joy to receive Lynsay’s work as she just ‘got it’ - she delivered each stage bang on time and with stunning, unpredictable, modern and, most importantly, practical results.

Gil Colhouln

Writing & Strategy

Chrissy has built a strong reputation for bringing a smart, informed perspective to every business project. She’s quick to size up the dynamics of an organisation and can quickly see the right path forward. Her clear strategic thinking and honest advice make her a valued advisor to company leaders.

It was a joy to receive Lynsay’s work as she just ‘got it’ - she delivered each stage bang on time and with stunning, unpredictable, modern and, most importantly, practical results.

Lynsay Biss

Design & Co-Founder

Chrissy has built a strong reputation for bringing a smart, informed perspective to every business project. She’s quick to size up the dynamics of an organisation and can quickly see the right path forward. Her clear strategic thinking and honest advice make her a valued advisor to company leaders.

It was a joy to receive Lynsay’s work as she just ‘got it’ - she delivered each stage bang on time and with stunning, unpredictable, modern and, most importantly, practical results.

Chrissy

Brand

Chrissy

Brand

Lynsay

Design

Lynsay

Design

Gill

Writing & Strategy

Gill

Writing & Strategy

So, this was the brief. Create and launch a brand to unite five established agencies, across 23 offices, in just 3 months. And make it better than any of the agencies had before. It was an ambitious ask, but Chrissy stepped up to take it on.

Chrissy’s tenacity, commitment, focus and energy made the difference. She cared as passionately about the detail and functionality as the big picture. And when it was tough, she dug in.

We couldn’t have launched Superunion without her. And together we created something better than we thought possible. I can’t think of anyone better to trust with your programme or to have in your corner.

Claire Robinson – Former Global CMO, Superunion.

When it comes to a choosing a strategic thinker to get to the heart of the matter and really understands people, Gillian is your go-to option. She’s also a genuinely lovely person who’s fun to work with and brings a fresh perspective to each and every job. Above all we trust her to be brilliant and that’s what makes the difference in this increasingly crazy world.

Claire Bonner – Director at Morrow Communications

It was a joy to receive Lynsay’s work as she just ‘got it’ - she delivered each stage bang on time and with stunning, unpredictable, modern and, most importantly, practical results. I would recommend her without hesitation.

Elise Gustilo - Milliner

I’ve worked with Gillian for over ten years and know her to be that rare person whose brain works strategically and creatively in equal measure. Always enthusiastic, she brings ideas to the table and works hard to make them happen. A pleasure to work with, she is absolutely the person you want in the room when everyone else is out of ideas.

Tom Edgar – Head of Consultancy at Queen's University Belfast.

Let's blaze a trail together

Let's do this