Latest line of InCube entrepreneurs have designs on success
Talented up and coming designers are making a name for themselves through an innovative business support and employability programme run by Renfrewshire Council.
InCube is Invest in Renfrewshire’s business programme which aims to launch and grow creative retail businesses through practical support and business skills training from industry experts.
The programme provides young businesses a stress-free environment in which they can concentrate on developing their products, services and markets.
Designers selected for the programme this year include:
- Chloe Wright of Loopy Lally, who produces colourful, vibrant prints which bring a contemporary twist to cushions, tea towels and photographs;
- Gillian Stewart of Juju books who utilises her love of texture and pattern to bring forward a collection of books featuring different hues of hand marbled and individually designed paper, using methods that keep alive the traditional craft of book binding;
- Johanna Mechelina brings eco-friendly, naturally dyed and beautifully coloured textiles into the world, designing individually hand-dyed scarves using techniques such as eco-print or shibori;
- Jennifer Tsang’s collection is a reflection on her love for structural forms and geometric patterns found in nature and architecture, which she translates into wearable pieces of jewellery;
- Josef McFadden utilises his passion for style to create a menswear brand which helps men project their personality into their appearance and create a strong, lasting impression
Each of the designers work can be seen and purchased from the InCube Shop, 9B Gilmour Street, Paisley.
Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said: “As a Council, we are committed to providing support for young businesses as we look to nurture a community of entrepreneurs and innovators whose future success will contribute to Renfrewshire’s economic growth.
“The programme provides gifted designers with the means and the confidence to showcase their products, as well as the support and guidance to advance their business to the next level.
“I would encourage everyone to take a look at the products being made, visit the InCube shop and support local designers from Renfrewshire who are producing exceptional products and outlining the talent we have within our communities.”
As many as 20 businesses are selected for the programme every year and receive a package of support worth more than £11,000 which includes:
- start-up office space with free IT and Wi-Fi;
- branding, website & social media support from specialist advisors;
- access to a range of free workshops on the “how to” aspects of making a business successful;
- access to free retail space in InCube shop to showcase/sell their own products;
- business mentoring within a creative, supportive environment;
- access to high profile networking events
The programme runs for six months per group with the next recruitment period set to begin in January.
For further information on the programme and how to get involved, visit www.incube.ren.
“InCube has given me the opportunity to meet like minded creative people that are all so enthusiastic about their business and helping each other. The mentoring and advice I have received since starting the programme has been invaluable.”
Chloe Wright, Loopy Lally
“InCube has helped me to recognise the progress that I’ve made, push me in the right direction and encourage me to work on the areas of my business that intimidate me. Although I’m confident in my design skills, I’m not a natural seller, and InCube has helped me to think like a businesswoman.”
Gillian Stewart, Juju Books
“It is great to be part of a creative community and in InCube I learn lots of new skills. The one to one support is great and there are good workshops too. It helps me focus and question the way I run my business.”
Johanna Mechelina, Mechelina
“My main challenge as a start up is to raise awareness of my brand and to establish retail outlets for my products. I’ve found the InCube workshops and one-to-one coaching extremely helpful in preparing me for entering the wholesale sector.”
“I’m a typical creative – I love designing but when it comes to financial forecasting, sales channels, buying seasons, courier contracts it’s been difficult. Having the support from InCube has been great – it’s really helped me focus & the new skills & knowledge I’m gaining will help to make my business grow & become fully sustainable.”
- Incube’s Class of 2017 designers
- Chloe Wright, Loopy Lally
- Johanna Mechelina
- Gillian Stewart, Juju Books
- Jennifer Tsang Jewellery
- Josef McFadden Menswear