We were a ‘Start-up’ before it was fashionable. We were ‘Founders’ before the term started popping up on business cards. In 1996, two colleagues and I followed our dreams to run our own show. In honesty, we weren’t quite sure what we were founding. But our team of Charles Schaeffer, Matthew Walker and Joe Manariti took the S, W & M from our initials and SWiM was born.

Along the way, Matt’s and Charles’s paths lead them to separate careers in mainstream advertising. I thank them for their early enthusiasm and mentoring. I, very happily, have been left as Director.

SWiM’s early days saw the agency focusing on our past expertise; brochures, packaging, point-of-sale campaigns and print advertisements. Many of these early clients are still loyal customers today. Red Gem Growers and Packers, Site Management and Stick On Signs have long been pillars to our business. Thank you to them.

Along the journey, our clients started asking about digital works. They wanted PDFs designed and distributed; Flash animations; brochures on CDs to post to prospects. Slowly the business evolved. Oakford Appartments asked us to build their first website. It was our first as well.

I didn’t realize it at the time, but SWiM’s heading had been altered. Our transition from paper to pixels was well underway.

There have been some curious landmarks:

  • Manufacturing 35,000 branded potato peelers
  • Providing branded product to Antarctic Explorers
  • Photographing Linda Evangelista and Kate Moss
  • Pioneering restaurant delivery booklets
  • Building over 100 eCommerce websites
  • Building over 1,000 websites in total
  • Having a London office for 12 months
  • Being involved with industry groups like auDA, AWIA and WIPA
  • Attending ICANN conferences in Buenos Aires and Dublin


Along the way, I’ve had the pleasure of hiring some magnificent staff: Lara, Michaels B & W, Sammy, Dale, Alex, others I neglect to list, forgive me. And, of course, my current crew… you are the DNA SWiM is made of.

But, most of all, thanks to our clients past and present. You are the substance that has made dreams reality. It is my sincere hope that we may serve you for another 21 years.