Graphic and Communication Design grads Abigail and Chloe talk about how they set up their own design business, Buttercrumble. They talk us through their entrepreneurial journey and the help and support for their business they got at Spark. If you are interested in start up don’t forget to check the blog regularly for contributions from other Spark businesses.
We are Abigail and Chloe, a design duo, who are also known as Buttercrumble. We are passionate about collaborating with other creative people who believe in the power of good design. We’re a super-synced twin team, born and bred in Yorkshire, who graduated from the University of Leeds in 2016. We’ve had a lifetime love of art and design so it was a no-brainer when we applied to study Graphic & Communication Design. The skills we’ve developed at university have been vital to the growth of our business.
We believe that without visuals, the world would be a dull place. Together we are a creative duo who produce fun and exciting designs and illustrations. We work on projects that make us smile, our clients smile, and in turn make their customer smile. By combining our experience in PR, marketing, blogging, illustration and design we are able to form a versatile collective. As a result, we have become a harmonious team that can work twice as efficiently to achieve our client’s vision.
After seeing an increased interest in our work during 2012 and 2013 we knew that one day we’d love to have our own design and illustration studio but we had no idea how! Studying Graphic & Communication Design taught us so much about the industry that we wanted to be a part of. We began with baby steps to build our exposure and experience. It was then that one of our tutors recommended talking to the careers centre about Spark.
How Spark has helped us:
By taking part in Spark at the University of Leeds, our confidence has sky-rocketed! We have been able to take more direction with the business thanks to a new found understanding of business finance, pitching and networking. These skills have allowed us to collaborate and produce work for a number of fellow start-up companies we met at the Incubator in Leeds Innovation Centre. We’ve also become the Creative Editors at Independent Leeds, a local magazine, which has introduced us to a number of businesses and projects around the city. The confidence we gained has also allowed us to take part in community events including live painting and portrait drawing in Leeds city centre.
In addition to the valuable skills we’ve learnt through the Spark scheme, the scholarship we received has been highly beneficial. It has allowed us to fund industry level software and equipment which help us reach our full potential when designing. It has also helped us market our business to prospective clients and fund an exciting project that we will be launching in 2017.
Now we’ve completed our degree we hope to move forwards and upwards with our business. We have a settled base in Leeds which we believe is the perfect city for creatives and it’s been a pleasure to meet so many fantastic people here. We’ve already seen brilliant growth and can’t wait to see where it takes us! We hope to book many new clients and retain current clients in the new year, we’d also love to participate in more community events including workshops. In addition to this, we’re planning a very special product launch early next year.
Our advice to other students hoping to run their business would be to network. You may have the best skills, product or service in the world, but if you don’t talk to people and let them know about you; you will have no one to share it with. Our business relies heavily on recommendation which is why we attend networking events and keep up to date with current and previous clients. Sometimes it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!
Find Buttercrumble here:
If you’re interested in start up or need general advice about your career path, come and talk to us at the Careers Centre, or come to our drop-in Monday-Friday from 1-4pm. Check the blog for contributions from other successful Spark businesses for more inspiration & ideas.