MANAGING director of digital marketing agency Tailor Made Media, Sam Risker is no stranger to hard work.

The daughter of hoteliers, she was raised in the hospitality industry in sunny Scarborough and, by the age of 18, was studying for a degree by day and running the family restaurant by night.

Following her graduation in 2007, Miss Risker moved abroad to work for a property company in Spain, where she got her first taste of marketing. Returning to the UK in 2008, she took a role at the Yorkshire Forward-funded Woodend Creative workspace in Scarborough, before moving to Business Link, where she worked as an Enterprise Champion while completing a Post-Graduate Diploma in Marketing with Durham University. This in turn led to her becoming a Chartered Marketer.

In 2011, Miss Risker accepted a marketing manager role at Seabrook Crisps in Bradford, becoming one of the youngest national brand marketing managers in the country. It was there that she experienced working with an external agency, and got a taste for running an agency of her own.

Miss Risker launched Shaboom Marketing in 2012, before repositioning and relaunching as Tailor Made Media towards the end of 2016 and moving to offices on York Science Park in January this year, from which the eight-strong team now operates.

What job would you like to have other than your own and why?

“As a child I always wanted to be an architect, but I was deterred by a careers adviser who told me how long it would take to become fully qualified. I think this ambition still shines through in my admiration for those who work in the property sector, and the fact that we have acquired a lot of clients in that sector is no coincidence!”

Greatest achievement?

“I consider becoming the marketing manager for a national brand - Seabrook Crisps - at the age of 26 to be a great achievement, and one which gave me significant experience and confidence to start my own business.

“In recent months, my greatest achievement is undoubtedly running a business while being a mum to a three year old, maintaining a home and social life and planning my wedding to my partner of eight years, David. Life can sometimes be very tiring, but it is certainly never dull!”

What makes you most angry?

“Negative people who complain, but then do nothing to change their situation. I am a firm believer in the notion that you make your own destiny. For me, this starts with choosing the right attitude, trying to maintain a positive outlook and undertaking the actions necessary to achieve your goals, whatever they may be.”

Biggest mistake?

“I honestly don’t believe in mistakes. Mistakes are simply learning experiences that help to shape the people we are, and if you haven’t done this you haven’t done anything!”

What do you need to make life complete?

“I would love to help other people achieve their business aspirations, a passion I realised I had when working for Business Link and as a mentor for The Prince’s Trust.

“Instead of delivering workshops and advising, I hope that one day I can achieve this by investing in others financially while also sharing my knowledge and experience to help them pursue their dreams as I have done mine. I believe that everyone deserves an opportunity and if I can assist with this in any way, I will.”

Why do you make a difference?

“I like to lead my team, not manage them. This helps create a happy organisation, which I also think is noticeable to our clients and a big part of why we have such a great client retention rates.”


“He who rejects change is the architect of decay.”