Meet the couple who are swapping West End living for California’s Hollywood Hills

By Ian Marland at

Not all Glaswegians are battening down the hatches this winter.

One young couple from the West End are currently scouting out a new life in California.

Craig and Laura Davidson are behind a successful Scottish digital advertising firm Tag Digital.

The couple, who have a year-old daughter Darcy, are working in LA, where they have a number of clients.

La La Land and Tag

Hollywood: the view from the Davidson’s terrace in LA says it all

The entrepreneurs have been living and working in the Hollywood Hills since October.

They plan to return to Scotland before Christmas.

But if all goes to plan, the couple hope to be spending more time in LA to grow their business.

Craig, 31, who co-founded Tag six years ago, said: “We are here with our one-year-daughter, so as much as this is about work, we are also trying to enjoy a nice time with her.

“We’re trying to work Monday to Thursday in the office – and then take Fridays off.

“We hope to have a weekend away in San Diego and then in Santa Barbara.”

Craig adds: “We have been a few times before, this year and last year…

“The weather’s nice obviously and the people are friendly, and easy to get along with, and easy to work with.

“It’s nice obviously to get some sunshine.”

La La Land and Tag

Warmth: the temperatures are a welcome respite from the Scottish winter

In recent days, the news coming out of California has been about wildlife fires.

But Craig says that is several miles away from where the family is staying.

Craig says: “We have a little terrace off our kitchen at the back – and in one direction we have a direct view to the Griffith Observatory.

“And if we look left we have a straight-on view of the Hollywood Hills sign.

“So you wake up every morning to this iconic Hollywood view.

“It’s sunny, everyone’s healthy looking, tanned – and very friendly.”

The husband and wife team are both former pupils of Douglas Academy in Milngavie.

Craig is a business graduate of Caledonian University and Laura studied English and Law at Strathclyde University.

Laura, also 31, joined Tag six months after it was set up. The couple married in April 2015.

The couple have a nanny to help out with Darcy, who is loving her time in LA – what she will remember of it.

La La Land and Tag

Downtown: living and working in LA is a world away for the couple behind Tag Digital

“Darcy took her first steps in Hollywood Park – which was wonderful”, says Laura.

“The weather is such a big thing … it’s consistently 20 degrees and sunny, which means you can get out and do things.

“You know, go for hikes – and it’s not too hot for Darcy, which is lovely.

“Obviously, this is not the kind of weather you get in Glasgow in winter!”

Laura adds: “Everything is just so convenient here, and this is a really nice part of LA, not so busy.

“We have been doing lots of celeb spotting. Moby was chatting to my one-year old in the supermarket the other day.”

But it is business foremost that has brought the family out West.

The company has an office at The Whisky Bond back home in Glasgow and a small office in London.

So successful has the young company been, it is closing in on turnover of £2million this year and has plans to expand.

Tag Digital and Hollywood

Iconic: the Griffith Observatory is close to where Laura and Craig are staying

Laura says: “The working day in the UK is over by 9am our time in LA.

“We have to get up early here to catch our colleagues back in Scotland.”

She adds: “There’s a real positive attitude here – which I know can sound like a bit of a cliche talking about America.

“It’s that ‘can-do, reaching-out-to-people and making-it-happen-kind-of-thing’ – which is what we’re trying to do as well.”

Laura says: “It made sense to check out working in LA because we have some existing clients here.

“We have an office in Glasgow and a small office in London – and we have been using these offices to manage our clients on the West Coast.

“But there’s a really big opportunity for us in events, which is what we specialise in – and there’s just much bigger events in the U.S.

“So we wanted to come here and work more with our existing clients, to make them feel loved, and find some new clients as well.

“We have an office at the moment in Hollywood – but we will maybe look for something more permanent.”

Tag’s clients include New Scientist, Dubai World Trade Centre, GES, UBM Plc. and Shortlist Media, in various locations across North America, Europe and the Middle East.

La La Land and Tag

Founders: Laura and Craig Davidson of Tag Digital. Photo credit: Martin Shields

With exporting a key part of their growth strategy, several large-scale projects have been secured for next year in New York, Texas, Philadelphia and Dubai.

The scouting mission to California is a key part of plans to expand their existing client base in the US west coast.

Recently the firm was named as one of 20 businesses accepted on to the inaugural Scale Up Scotland programme.

Run by The Hunter Foundation & Entrepreneurial Scotland, it is designed to scale companies up to £50m turnover.

Laura says: “We’re really happy to be part of the inaugural Scale Up Scotland programme – it sounds really good.

“They think we can go from turnover of £2m, which is where we’re at now, to £50m – I don’t know if they’re right, but we’ll see.”

She adds: “It’s really exciting times for us at the moment – good things only happen when you take risks.”