the fam

the fam

Monday, 18 July 2011

Little fish in a big pond (Part I)

Back in the dim dark past (well, around the end of the 90s to be precise) after finishing an honours degree and working in Withington in Manchester, I returned to my family home after the breakdown of a relationship...turned out that the most of the frogs I kissed turned into rats.
I moved out of my house in Manchester and went back to my Lincolnshire roots.

MMU textile department
Graduation day
Starting again with no home, no job and leaving my lovely Northern friends was extremely hard. I applied for any job that had a vague connection to my art degree in textiles but the rejection letters began to pile up. Two phrases kept repeating themselves..'not enough experience' or 'you're over-qualified'. I was baffled as to how I was supposed to get any experience if I wasn't even given a chance or the fact that I was willing to start at the bottom, be badly paid and make the coffee...I just needed a job!

Designs for Sainsburys
Don't get me wrong, I would have taken any job but I had had my fill of the just-getting-by type of employment (Nanny, nursery assistant, Little Chef, bar work, ticket office, sorting onions on conveyor belt, chopping through brussels sprout stalks in a freezing field at 5am anyone?) I wanted to put my artistic skills to proper use!
I decided to contact some design companies as I had done a small amount of freelance work after leaving university. Luckily I got an interview at Hallmark cards in Bradford and two of their departments 'Unique Images' and 'Britannia' took me on. I had previously designed childrens' furnishings that sold in USA, Holland and Germany but the greeting card market interested me more.
Giftwrap for Tesco
Giftwrap for Asda

I had some success with my designs selling to the likes of Tesco, Asda, John Lewis and Sainsbury but the whole process was very hit-and-miss. Constantly sending in designs that a buyer may or may not pick, I felt was not the best way to earn a living.

Badge designs for The Blue Cross
I needed to do something else aswell..but what? I had no money and I couldn't even drive. I was good at throwing paint around in an artistic manner and 'colouring-in' but it needed to be something more commercial.
Well...turns out, after all those frogs, my Prince had returned to Lincolnshire from London at the same time and I'd actually known him since I was 14...time to tackle that big pond together!


  1. Love this, so cute, what fab timing your Prince had :)


  2. Ooh looking forward to reading part 2 now!


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