In conversation with

Hilary Lovell

Project Manager at Sonder & Tell



Behind every creative brief, there’s a project manager making the work happen. Hilary is Sonder & Tell’s Project Manager, who joined the team at the tail end of October. Coming from a visual background, she tells us, “I’ve always been drawn to architecture and interior design, since using estate agent floor plans to doodle room layouts as a kid.”  With a love for all things interior and design, we trust Hilary to know the ins and outs of every project that comes to us at Sonder & Tell. That means dotting the Is, crossing the Ts and making sure that the needs of our client are achievable.

We spoke to Hilary about how she’s found the transition from visual to verbal storytelling.



Question and Answer

Your previous role was at design agency Nalla. How have you found the move from visual to verbal storytelling?

I worked closely with our communications director and client communications managers during the pandemic (from my kitchen table!), so was lucky to get an insight into verbal storytelling – which attracted me to the role at Sonder & Tell. The process of creative ideation is often built upon similar principles regardless of the discipline, so it’s been great to get stuck into creative brainstorming and ideas.

Because we use words and storytelling to build strategies and position brands, it feels like a smooth transition – the fundamentals of understanding our clients, their consumers and finding their unique position in their category is a central theme across building both visual and verbal brands. I think being the geek who finds joy in spotting typos and grammatical hiccups in books (sorry, editors!) has definitely helped out too.

I studied visual communication before becoming a project manager, with a focus on advertising and graphic communication – so it’s also great to widen my experience in the creative industry. It’s been lovely to get reading inspiration from the Sonder team and our Wordsmiths, too!

In your opinion, what are the key ingredients for a successful client relationship?

Trust, respect and patience. Patience, because the best client relationships often become partnerships. That takes time – but once there, the feeling of being a trusted extension to your client’s team is like nothing else!

What about for a successful team?

A safe space for ideas and a diverse team is a must. Without a safe space and people who’ve lived different experiences, there’s no room for innovation. A teamwork mentality and mutual respect, too – we’ll all support and rally around to make sure we collectively succeed. It makes for a creatively healthy atmosphere! (And of course, a great project manager to tie all the pieces together!)

What’s your dream brand to work with?

I’d absolutely love to work with The Modern House. The way they’ve crafted their niche in an otherwise stereotyped market is genius, and their content is addictive. I’ve always been drawn to architecture and interior design, since using estate agent floor plans to doodle room layouts as a kid, through to being obsessed with photographing brutalist architecture, concrete and typography as a student, and today with post modern homes and interiors.


Tell us you’re a project manager, without telling us you’re a project manager.

I was genuinely excited (squeal and all) to learn a new keyboard shortcut last week. It’ll shave about 0.005 seconds off a somewhat repetitive task, so it’s HIGHLY exciting.

Your favourite quote of all time, and why?

I heard a quote about project management that made me smile recently: “It’s all about wearing many hats and herding many cats” – original source unknown. The key to project management in a creative studio is making sure the team around you has what they need to succeed (at easy reach), and taking away stresses to allow creativity to flourish.




Hilary's Storylist


  1. The Slow Grind by Georgina Johnson
  2. Do Purpose: Why Brands with A Purpose Do Better and Matter More by David Hieatt
  3. Little Black Book by Otegha Uwagba
  4. Radical Candor by Kim Scott


  1. New World, Same Humans
  2. Clever by Architectural Digest
  3. Ed Zitron’s Where’s Your Ed At
  4. Trendwatching Weekly
  5. Hunter Harris ‘Hung Up’


  1. Worldwide FM
  2. Netil Radio
  3. Noods Radio
  4. BBC Radio 6


  1. The Modern House
  2. Architectural Digest
  3. It’s Nice That
  5. Dezeen

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