Elle Heard is all set to sell her beautiful artwork including cards, prints and other items on Etsy, under her working name: Eleanor Louise Ashton. Elle’s talent lies in her taking inspiration from her travels and her home in Cornwall, introducing a dreamy colour palette and initially sketching her ideas on an iPad Procreate, before transferring these to print to create her collection of stationery and artworks for sale.

But Elle’s business almost didn’t happen. When she finished her degree in Textile Design at Bath Spa University, instead of feeling on a high, and ready to tackle the world, Elle suddenly felt lost, directionless, with no idea of what to do next.This affected her confidence; she had a vision, but she felt like this was unattainable without any experience and limited knowledge of how to go about it.

Luckily, Elle discovered Game Changer with Real Ideas, and her Navigator connected with Rose Barnecut, a Creative Sector partner that Real Ideas regularly works with. Rose helped Elle set up a work placement with Dena O’Brien of Kiwi Print, an experienced, commercial printmaker based in Camborne. This creative and industrial immersion process, alongside other successful entrepreneurs, and the personal mentoring from Dena, helped Elle define her own ambitions, personal style and her future direction for her own work.

Through the Game Changer process, her Real Ideas Navigator also helped Elle identify the equipment and resources that she needed, as well as working together through the Etsy process and framework so she was ready to go for it.

Elle says, “Although University gave me the opportunity to learn and develop many new skills, the support I have received after graduation from Game Changer has been invaluable. My experience of working with my mentor, Dena, and the Game Changer team has been absolutely crucial in helping me to market myself as a designer and to create a collection of prints and cards. It’s scary, but it’s so exciting, and I would never have got to this point without this brilliant support which all came at just the right time. I am now ready to develop my product range and promote it more widely.”

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