Jen Marsden


Jen Marsden, Journalist and Copywriter

My business is writing, editing and communication, with a passion for living a more ethical lifestyle.

"What's an ethical lifestyle?" I hear you cry!

Through the media, I try to shine a light on the compassionate companies that have a "Triple Line" at their core - people and planet as well as the usual profit. It's about supporting Fairtrade and challenging the social inequalities of our global supply chain, promoting organic and local production, going slow and celebrating good design and artisan craft. I do this through the means of fashion, beauty, food, home and family life for websites, magazines and also books.

Since I began I am lucky to have worked on some fantastic specialist publications, including Sublime magazine, an international sustainable lifestyle guide, this year's London Fairtrade Guide (published by Hand Up Media) and in my role as editor of and contract publishing editor for its parent company Delightful Media. 

Like with all things that you love, I fell into this by accident. Upon leaving school I always planned to own a children's bookshop and so enrolled in a degree in Publishing with English at University. But before I went I took a gap year to India and worked with a charitable organisation within the slums of Pune. It was incredibly eye-opening and inspiring for a curious seventeen year old and I soon found my head buzzing with questions, enraged by the systems that lead to so much injustice. As I unravelled the tangled yarns of these systems I quickly learned that there was a solution: not charity but social enterprise, and so I was determined to do something about it.


By the time I reached university, I focused my energies less on the degree (incredibly, with the support of tutors) and found a zest for student campaigning, helping achieve Fairtrade status for the University, and I implemented ethical and environmental policies. It just so happened that through my busy extra-curricular activity I met staff at New Consumer, a pioneering Fairtrade magazine and ended up being asked to work for them shortly after graduating. After a couple of years and huge, pleasurable gulps of experience gained there, I decided to go it alone and set myself up as a sole trader.


I'm not seventeen anymore and I've got a little more realistic - but I've still got fire in my belly. Every morning, I wake up knowing that and it spurs me on. That fire and belief has helped open many doors.


In the future i'd love to help grow Delightful Media as a powerful force in positive media - which includes contract publishing and consultancy. I'd like to reach out to more mainstream publications and expand my consultancy work. I would also like to mentor young people in global citizenship and help them with improving their communication skills - be it for journalism or creative writing. As business is so fluid, I always remain flexible to new ideas and opportunities and this has helped me to survive the recession. You never know, I still may have that children's bookshop and publishing company one day..!


'Striding Out has been great as it has focused me on firm goals and helped me plan strategies in order to achieve them. Their online tools are fab as they have helped me gain validity to my work, raised my confidence and supported me through what are quite common experiences in business - the challenge of cabin fever when working from home and the means to achieve a better work/life balance through managing my time and prioritising what needs to be done with the constant deadlines. I've attended workshops that have inspired me to think about things I wouldn't normally consider like my personal legal rights. It's been useful for networking too and I have met with others who can aid my business. There's certainly a power in numbers too as I've gained a lot of insight through other people sharing their experiences.'