I started my career after graduating from Central St Martins having studied jewellery and worked on a kids’ art show where I was responsible for the ‘makes’.

Overnight I became suddenly ill, and after a year of being housebound, I’d had enough and I took a daytime course in machine embroidery, and loved it. I first started making handbags, which expanded, to baby and children’s gifts when our son was born and finally to the work I do now, having set up Tobyboo.

Through my business I sell embroidered illustrated artworks adorning home ware and gifts. Each fluid thread drawing is then jigged around so I can have it printed onto anything from fine bone china to fridge magnets all fully made in Britain. Clients include St Paul’s Cathedral, Museum of London, Kew Gardens, and Sir John Soane Museum.

Finding the right channels, making the numbers work, and well anything to do with spread sheets is quite challenging. I applied to Creative Industry Finance for help! I needed advice and wasn’t sure if I needed a loan. I wasn’t sure what I’d achieve but I didn’t expect to get the support and general shoulder to lean on that I have done. As a sole trader, sometimes all you need is someone to point you in the right direction or just someone to say what you do is actually quite good. Never underestimate the power of giving you confidence!

In five years time I would hope that the licensing side of my brand flourishes, I have an agent and great deals being talked about. I would like to see my bespoke ranges take off globally and employ someone full time with work premises. 

Creative sector

  • Crafts

Are you eligible?

  • You are based in England.
  • You have been trading for at least 18 months.
  • Your business is part of a creative sector.