After 17 years as a graphic designer with Lyle & Scott, redundancy made Winnie Stewart take the leap into self-employment.
With help from Business Gateway’s free workshops and on-going support she is now building up two businesses from her Galashiels home.
Winnie said: “I frequently thought about using my skills for my own ends and leaving Lyle & Scott was the catalyst I needed.”
She established Winnie Stewart Graphic Design in August.
“I offer a graphic design service for businesses which involves creating a range of business products including logo design, brand identity, brochures, leaflets, business cards, promotional work and catalogues.”
The Business Gateway start-up workshops have proved very useful to Winnie, and not just in increasing her business knowledge.
“I’ve secured clients from some of those workshops and am keen to help start-up businesses build their brand,” she said.
Winnie has also combined her passion for design, Scottish textiles and stationery, to create Tartan Paint, a range of unique, contemporary greetings cards, which are available locally, and soon online.
She said: “I’ve been making cards for a number of years and was spurred into doing so because I just never saw any cards I wanted to buy.
“I started making cards to give to people and it’s grown from there. I especially find it difficult to find cards for men unless they are fans of football, golf, motorcars or pints of beer, so that was part of my motivation - designing nice cards to give to men.”
On working for herself, Winnie said: “Having your own business means learning that you have everything to do from putting the bins out to doing the books.
“The days fly by and I love being my own boss. It is quite a leap to go from the security of a monthly salary to wondering where the next job is coming from. But, I don’t have to travel to work and there’s no scraping the car on cold mornings and it’s very rewarding to work for yourself.”