I was inspired to start my business…
When an opportunity in 2005 came along to set up on my own
this gave me the chance to build on 20 years in the design business and be flexible around my own family life as a new mum. My inspiration came from the love of designing when leaving school and studying at Hull University back in the late 80s, and my old boss Richard Pryer who inspired me to move on, see the world and believe in myself.

My favourite thing about running my business…
Is seeing all the projects I work on come to life – from taking the brief, designing on the drawing board, working with clients and the production with the contractors to the finished product. I also have the flexibility of running the family home and while running the business. My life used to be flying by and I was spending very little time with my daughter – now I am very lucky to have the flexibility to work by planning and scheduling time. It’s still not easy, but you do become self-motivated.

The three words that best describe my business are…
Creative, visionary, imaginative.

Sheffield is a great place to start a business because…
I actually started the business in Brighton and was lucky enough to bring Pinkdotinc design to Sheffield and still work on international projects around the world. Moving to Sheffield gave me a great start to explore new projects such as the Poppy Memorial Trail which involved illuminating St Nicholas’ church with my art illustration of floating poppies back in 2015. We’re currently working with local schools and communities to put the final pieces together for the WW1 ‘100 Years Commemorative Remembrance’ to illuminate the church. Sheffield is so dynamic with so much going on and so much history!

Sheffield is a great place to grow a business because… Of the opportunities both local and across the city region. Sheffield has offered me new opportunities with Heritage Projects, as well as local gallery design. With Sheffield’s economy growing the creative industries have really opened doors via networking.

The best advice I ever got was…
Design should always come from the heart.

Never give up, as there is always a solution!

Make time for your family and friends, as life is too short.

Your life is a blank book and only you can write it so you are responsible for what you write every day.

The worst advice I got was… From a senior designer many years ago who said I should give up design and change my career. He spent his whole time trying to belittle me. I chose to move on away from this, ignored his advice and I am still here doing the job I love and creating what I do best!

The Sheffield organisations that have supported me and my business include…Richard Godley – East Peak Countryside Associates CiC.

Catherine Croney – Heritage Society.

WW1 Dungworth and Bradfield Heritage group Poppy Memorial Trail – a fantastic project for November 2018 with new designs for the projections.

The main challenges facing my industry/sector are…

Cutbacks to marketing department budgets and teams.

Finding a competitive price.

Working on design pitches that are sometimes unpaid, taking the risk within the industry to win the pitch. I have been very lucky, as it’s approximately a 90 per cent win.

Keeping up to date with company confidentiality acts, industry health and safety, media updates and contracts. Today’s design contracts can be very scary, covering all areas and signed in front of solicitors. Once you get past all the red tape they are a great platform and there to protect you and the client but are very time-consuming.

In 5 years’ time I expect my business to…
Have more Sheffield-based clients. I also want to extend the kind of work we have created with the Poppy Memorial Trail project into areas around Sheffield and have Pinkdotinc design more visible across the city region, enhancing the work we do in areas including Interiors, Hospitality, Tradeshows, Planning and Concept.