Some of the successes of this year have made it clear that the idea I curated for my final major project is not a bad one but the notion of starting up on my own can be quite daunting especially when the next step is naturally getting a job.
As a recent Fashion grad there’s a lot of pressure around the next steps. Typically you look for an entry level job or a placement and gradually build your way up but the level of pay and my level of ambition don’t seem to be matching.
At this point and having a few failures for securing an internship has meant I’ve had this even bigger drive to do things my way. Yes I have had my coffee today..
However, another challenge presented itself because working from my bedroom would never be a feasible option especially in the long-term. I needed a space. Somewhere I could be creative, work freely and without having to pack everything away every time I had finished one thing before being able to move on. My room was cramped and adding 5 hours to my production time – again not a financial win.
Luckily we have an office space already built in the garden, unluckily however, it had been left to ruin since it was first built and I don’t think it had actually been cleaned since then either!
There was a lot of equipment that had been collected over the space of 20 years and therefore a lot of debris and so many spiders – but something had to be done because I needed a space.
The next challenges I had to over-come was money, as a start-up money can quickly become an issue that leads to slow failure so I had to become extremely resourceful with things we had lying around.
For many start-ups your up-front costs are the biggest and most damaging issue because you are forced to dip into a budget you ideally would like to set aside to create whatever it is you’re proposing. To create an office or studio space with high functioning equipment can easily cost anywhere between £2k – £10K depending on the size of your space, but how unrealistic is that?
To overcome huge costs I shopped second hand for everything, searching Facebook Marketplace, skips and left-overs from friends and family who were looking to get rid of things. I wasn’t picky but I was strategic. Different to hoarding, I became selective and imaginative what could I use and what could I make leaving me with minimal to actually buy.
I was able to transform the office space into a studio on a budget of roughly £100.
I was able to transform the office space into a studio on a budget of roughly £100. The biggest cost which we have also been able to minimise is the electric. I discovered this issue after replacing the missing light bulbs with new ones when they decided to trip out after 10 minutes – something we later found out was a bit of an issue. We have however, been able to minimise costs and find an alternative to a full electrical replacement; big celebratory dance.
We also took this opportunity to replace the leaking electrical outside lighting with solar lights = another money saver.
The irony of it all was my old university had a skip outside the main building with some great little treasures which I’m sure a lot of skips will have but why did they dump it in a skip to start with?
The university have an enterprise which was set up to help students who are starting out in business yet they have decided to skip these useful things? For start-ups like myself having a space where you can pick up unwanted or discarded items could be a lifeline to the start-up itself.
With fly-tiping at an all time high in Wales maybe the Government could set up a centre to encourage more start-ups and find an easy way for people to donate items without having to dirty our beautiful landscape…
Just food for thought.
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