……owner and designer at Polka Dot Creations design studio.
Let me tell you a little bit about myself and how I got to set up my own business and work in an industry that I absolutely love! After all, if I am going to work with you on one of the most important days of your life – your wedding day or indeed on something that will affect your business reputation (if you enlist my help with business stationery), then the least I can do is to tell you a little bit about me first!
Here’s the very short bullet-pointed version in case you’re pressed for time (or not interested!)
– Qualified graphic designer, linguist and proofreader.
– Live in rural Lincolnshire with my husband and 2 daughters and work from my dedicated home studio.
– Stickler for spelling and grammar accuracies!
– Passion for all things printed.
And now the long version…….make sure you’ve got a cuppa!
My art interest began with memories of my grandad who was a great artist. I remember sitting next to him on the sofa when I was probably about 7 or 8 while he drew me a portrait of Annie from the front cover of my Annie annual (little orphan Annie – showing my age now!). From then onwards I just loved drawing, particularly pencil drawings. I even submitted pictures to Tony Hart’s “Take Hart” gallery! Remember that music?! (You must Google it if you’re too young to remember!)
I studied Art and Design A-Level alongside French, German and Spanish in North East Lincolnshire, where I grew up – languages are another passion of mine. After I had completed my A-levels I then had to make the hard decision of whether I went to university to study languages or go off to art college. The languages won! I moved down to London to study Applied Language Studies and spent one year abroad as part of my degree – 5 months in Germany followed by 5 months in Spain. Fantastic experience!
My first 2 or 3 jobs out of university were spent using my language skills and in particular proofreading and translation management. I met my husband in London at my first job and we then moved out to Berkshire where I continued to work in the translation industry. We were married in 2002 and I made the table stationery for our wedding. A good friend (one of my bridesmaids in fact!) was a wedding stationery designer at the time and she made our invitations. In particular, the skeleton leaf place cards that I created were a real talking point and I still make these now for clients – all these years later.
We had our first daughter in 2006 followed by our second in 2008 and it was when my youngest was around a year or so old that I was asked by a friend of my sister-in-law if I would make some of the skeleton leaf place cards for her wedding, as she had seen them at my sister-in-law’s house. Of course I jumped at the chance – she then asked if I made invitations as they couldn’t find what they were looking for, and the rest, as they say, is history!
So in 2010 Polka Dot Creations was born. Working just part-time around my daughter’s nursery/school hours. In 2014 I was asked to return to my former employer in the translation industry and I chose to return, wanting the security of the regular income and also being among other adults – the social side of an office job was appealing at that time, rather than working self employed, alone at home. I did really enjoy this work and I do still love foreign languages now (I endeavour to speak French every year if I can when we go to my husband’s family holiday home in France). We moved back to Lincolnshire to be closer to family in 2015, where I still worked remotely for my employer.
In 2017, I realised that I really missed using my creative skills – and in particular the satisfaction that I got from seeing my client’s faces when they saw their wedding stationery for the first time. To know that I have helped them fulfil a significant part of their wedding planning journey, really did mean the world to me – after all, the invitation is the first glimpse that their guests will see of the style that has been lovingly chosen for their big day, so it is a hugely important part of their day.
I decided to undertake a diploma and subsequent advanced diploma in graphic design in order to be able to produce graphic/printed style designs rather than just the hand embellished designs that had been a core part of my work up until now, so that I can now offer both styles. This then also enabled me to use my skills for a different market – the business sector, designing logos and business stationery as well as the wedding stationery, which is where we are today.
With the increasing use of the internet, social media and networking groups, this has enabled me to form a great network of “colleagues” and indeed a lot of whom I now class as friends. So even though I work alone, I no longer feel alone as I did back in 2014 when I opted to return to the stable office job. This also means I have a great network of fellow wedding professionals who I can recommend to my clients.
I think this helps explain why the proofreading skills that I learned during my time working in the translation industry are such a key part of my work now – for both wedding and business stationery. A keen eye for detail is definitely a necessity. Oh – and of course I won’t shy away from any bilingual stationery requests!
So, now that you know me, let’s find out about you! Why not contact me via email, via the Contact page or by phone to talk about how I can help you today – whether it is for wedding or business stationery needs…..I’ll be here waiting!