Having my own little business is something I have long fancied doing. At this point in my life, unless I were to be blessed with an extremely flexible employer, I would struggle to hold down a job while juggling three children and maintaining at least a small degree of sanity. When I first qualified in my profession, I began working as a freelancer, so I have experience of ‘working for myself’ although inevitably it was as tying, if not more so, than a permanent full-time position as I was scared of turning down work in case they didn’t call me again the next time they needed someone.
A good friend of mine, Rachael, recently become one of the kitchen table entrepreneurs we have been hearing a lot about in recent years. A Mum who set herself up in business from home, and so far, has got off to a flying start. I had a chat with her about how it all came about and what exactly it is she does:
First of all, what’s your background before starting DigiDoodleDesigns?
I was in IT and Maketing. I’ve 2 degrees in European Business, one from Manchester and the other I did in Bochum, Germany. Before moving to Gibraltar in 2004 I worked for a large oil company in the IT department as a Situation Manger, which I loved. Now, in Gibraltar I work a few hours a week for a company on Main Street, which leaves me ample time to follow my own interests, taking me initially down the photography path, but more recently down the Word Art path.
Why did you decide to go into business for yourself?
DigiDoodleDesigns was established after designing a selection of prints for myself, putting them on Facebook and friends and family asking if I could do them one too. It’s as simple as that! It also fits in with family, school and like most mums with everything else that needs to be sorted on a daily basis.
How long has DigiDoodleDesigns been running now?
I’ve always played with design applications, but I’ve been producing Word Art prints since the Spring of 2015.
What sort of things do you make?
I produce prints which include words – many words. On average, there’s 100 words per print which when they are all joined together, they can take the shape of houses, hearts, the Rock of Gibraltar etc. I have made hens for Brides-to-be, a sun, rainbows, Christmas trees, baubles, presents, a cup of tea. I’ve even made prints using company logos. The list is endless!
I also take quotations, poems, wedding vows or personal prose and turn them into works of art specific to each individual client’s requests. My favourite at the moment are the birth prints! They look beautiful framed in the nursery with either just the baby’s name, or their birthday, weight, hospital etc. They are so cute.
What are your most popular lines?
I must say hearts and houses are the most popular lines, I’ve produced a large number for both corporate and private clients. A great number are A3 framed prints, which Face Frames in Town Range make for me, but I also have an increasing number of clients requesting canvasses, especially for Christmas.
Have you launched any new lines for Christmas?
I have expanded into mugs, keyrings, mobile phone covers and bags for Christmas, but I will try and accommodate whatever a client prefers.
Have you still got room in your Christmas order book?
I do have a few slots available for Christmas, but I will also try and fit a client in even if it means me working until 2 in the morning, which I’ve done on a few occasions quite happily.
What are your plans for the business as you look ahead to the New Year?
Oh I have many plans for 2016! I am looking to sell my products on the internet for one. I have a good number of customers in the UK and Canada so I am trying to optimise printing and logistics to enable me to offer a uniform high end product where ever the client is in the world.
I am always creating new designs, many of which are waiting to be launched. Spring 2016 is Communion time and I will be making a range of Communion favours and invitations to bring them up to date and colour coordinated with invitations and table decorations etc. This along with the Word Art crosses can make a truly personalised day for any beautiful girl or smart young man.
So Rachael, how can someone contact you if they are interested in using your service?
To contact me, please ring me on +35058009402, email me on DigiDoodleDesigns@gmail.com or contact me through Facebook at DigiDoodleDesigns.
Thank you Rachael for taking the time to tell us all about your cottage industry, we wish you every success for the future!