After graduating from Liverpool John Moores University with an Interior Design degree, Cynthia Brown found it very difficult to find paid employment. She began to feel like the interior design world has a very limited opportunities for an aspiring designers looking to work, especially for an architectural practice.
|Photo Credit: Barbara Idasiak Photography|
"I thought the best way to overcome this barrier would be to create a job for myself by setting up my own upcycling furniture business" Cynthia told us, "now I can enjoy giving design advice as well as furniture restoration, not to mention, meeting brilliant clients."
Housed in her very own premises on Smithdown Road, Crafted Interiors sells and upcycles furniture and offers a quality interior design service.
"I found the idea of starting up really daunting, I had the skills but had never run my own business before, so after hearing about The Women’s Organisation at a job fair, I booked a meeting to get some support."
Cynthia was paired up with her own qualified business adviser and offered a place on a range of relevant business workshops that she greatfully took up.
Liverpool resident Cynthia said "My adviser was very helpful. I had one to one support and went on all the great free workshops, including Understanding Tax and National Insurance, Selling Online and Basic Bookkeeping. I came to feel that I wasn’t alone; I wanted to hear other women’s stories and those courses allowed me to do that. It gave me a lot of confidence."
She continued "I found the business planning workshop [Planning For Success] particularly useful as having the business plan really helped me to identify how much funding I would actually need and how much income to expect over the coming months. I had some funds to put into the business but you never know quite how much you need, the business plan was perfect for that."
Despite Cynthia not being able to promote her business as well as she would've liked in the early stages, it took off within the first month. At the rate her products were selling and commission works, it allowed her to turn her focus to marketing and actually pay for adverts on Facebook, website and other marketing materials.
Cynthia is very passionate about her work, which adds to the uniqueness of Crafted Interiors. Furniture is never resold in the condition it is bought, she is dedicated to spend as much time on each piece as it needs to make it perfect, from mixing colours to experimenting finishes.
The interior designer is now to develop her business by looking for commercial premises and a potential investment to allow her to expand and upmarket her products.
"I believe success is doing ordinary things, extraordinarily well" she told us.
To find out more about Crafted Interiors you can visit their facebook page.
If like Cynthia you are looking to create your own job by utlising your skills to start a business, get in touch with The Women's Organisation today via 0151 706 8111 or firstname.lastname@example.org