My name is Chloe Hall, I am freelance Illustrator working in my bedroom on board my boat (for now) in Leicester. Inspired by everyday situations, overheard conversations and mundane routines, I love to create quirky illustrations and patterns then I apply these to a range of handmade goods.
Starting my own business seemed like the next natural step after graduating from university in July, and when I heard about Enterprise Inc it seemed like there was no other option! Although I love a variety of aspects within the illustration and design industry, I wanted to begin my own business so, as an individual, I got the recognition for my work and do what I love for a living.
The most challenging parts of starting a business was understanding the general running of a business and the financial side of things. Being creative means sometimes the admin work behind a business seems quite daunting at times, but with all the workshops and seminars my confidence has grown. My mentors, from Seed Creativity, have helped me massively with regards to marketing, finance and giving me general advice on where to go next when I have felt a bit stuck.
Being self employed has many rewarding aspects, from being your own boss to being able to sit back when things have gone right and reflecting on all your hard work being worth it. It’s nice to know when things go right that it’s all down to you working hard at something you really love to do. Taking part on the Enterprise Inc scheme through De Montfort University helped me develop my idea’s by supporting me in every step of the way and showing me realistic goals. One of the many things I will take away from the scheme will be to always have goals, break them down and make them realistic. Always have that long term business plan in the back of your mind so you know where you are heading, but take the small steps along the way to get there. Whilst taking part on Enterprise Inc, I became part of a creative collective, made up of three of my friends, Will Wright, Sarah Glover and Damon Smith, and myself. The collective is called ‘Codswallop’ and we will be taking part in Pick Me Up 2014 in Somerset House this April, it will be great chance to meet people in the same industry, show off our work to other creatives, and of course the visitors. Codswallop has a few more things lined up for the summer which will be really fun.
Individually, my aim is to get my work in galleries as well as to develop my next range of products, the next step is to get my products stocked in local boutiques and independent shops, I hope to have achieved this by this winter. For those thinking about starting a business I would definitely say go for it, it is difficult and I would suggest you look what financial and business support is out there for you. There will be times when you worry about whether you are doing the right thing but when good things happen you realise it is worth it! If you would like to view some of Chloe’s work, please visit her website.