So tell me a bit about Laura Felicity Design and how it came about ?

I graduated from university in 2009 where I studied for three years a very practical BA Degree called ‘Applied Arts’.

I think when you’re doing this type of practical Degree you can either go down the interiors route, or into fashion or even illustration. I settled into interiors as I felt the most comfortable there, in terms of progress and growing my skill set.

During the third year of my Degree we had our Final Major Project, which I naturally based it on wallpaper and designed part of my own range.

After graduating I juggled a part-time admin job whilst completed several internships within the Interiors and Designer Maker industries. Plus, I exhibited at a variety of selling events. It was actually at one of those where I received my first wallpaper commission…and still the large commission to date (just!) The wallpaper commission was to screen print over 100 metres of wallpaper for a private residence’s hallway, stairs and landing space. It took me three months to complete, and I fell in love with it.

On the back of this I set up Laura Felicity Design in 2010, working on it part-time. Then decided to focus on it full-time in December 2014, where I’ve been growing it since.

What are the big goals in 2018 for Laura Felicity Design?

What I tend to do within my business is set quarterly reviews and targets, as well as my yearly goals to assess how things are going throughout the year.

With this in mind, I think for the next year a big goal is for me to really hone in on being known as a wallpaper designer. This was my initial reason to why I set up my business. Wallpaper certain does follow a trend, and since taking on a large wallpaper commission earlier this year, it has realigned my focus and love for wallpaper.

To complement the wallpaper collection I’m also in the process of designing a fabric range. I currently sell made to measure roller blinds, which have been really successful since launching them last year.

From this success, I have been asked by clients (and potential clients) if I would supply fabrics (by the meter) of my designs. This would be provided for customers to make their own upholstery, roman blinds, cushions, etc. Therefore another 2018 goal is to get the fabric collection launched, creating an interior collection where the different products (wallpaper, roller blinds and fabric) complement each other.

Laura Milligan - Alison Cork's Inspirations
Laura Milligan - Laura Felicity Design
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How did you and Alison Cork become acquainted?

Alison has set up the Make It Your Business initiative where events around the UK, are held for women in business. A mutual friend of the one in North London invited me along to come and speak about my experiences of starting up my own business, and the journey along the way.

And her scheme, Make it Your Business, how did you come to be involved with it?

I went along to the event I mentioned, and spoke about my business; how I established it, and the highs and lows that I have experienced/you can experience.

The MIYB Event itself happened to be held on of the worst days we’ve experienced weather wise this year. We had the snow blizzard, and we were all worried about whether people would turn up or not because of the weather. But it goes to show people’s determination for taking your career into your own hands, because it was a brilliant turnout and very high spirited. There are going to be more held in North London, and I’ve said that I’d love to be involved again.

As someone who founded their own business, what was a hurdle that you had to overcome?

I think the main hurdle, and it may sound a bit cliché, is actually to get the drive to just keep going and be persistent. Especially if you have set up your business by yourself, you’re the only person who you spend time with during the day, which can be lonely at times. Plus you can be your best critic, but also your worst critic.

It can be tough to bounce ideas off yourself and it can be mentally draining. You do need drive and confidence, but it doesn’t come overnight. It comes through learning; by being knocked down, and to keep getting back up again. Experience will teach you to be strong.

Looking from the other side, it’s very rewarding when you can see what you’ve achieved, and how far the business has come at every milestone.

Laura Felicity Design - Alison Cork's Inspirations
Laura Felicity Design
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Focusing on design, would you say that you or your home has a style that you could define?

That’s tricky! I design what I love, so everything I make is something that I’d have in my home. My home is currently going through a makeover, we moved in a couple of years ago and it needed a lot of work doing to it and now we’re getting to a point where we can put our own personality onto it.

I love a home that feels relaxed, that feels calming and I think that’s reflected in the patterns that I design, and the colours that I choose. I like natural styles to design, involving plants and natural lighting and I also like texture to create a cosy feel.

Finally - Are you more Victorian Elegance, Boutique Chic or Scandi Retro?

I’m really drawn to Scandi Retro. Whilst bringing in natural light the feels really relaxing; with the natural wood accessories and plants, to complement the white and grey bath suite. Plus, I love the patterned floor tiles, they create a lovely focal statement to the room.

BIO:

Laura Felicity Design, founded in 2010, specialises in creating high-end custom, unique wallpaper in bespoke patterns and colourways. The company also designs a selection of tailor-made interior accessories; window blinds, cushions and lighting, all created for an impacting statement when yourself, guests or clients walk into a room.

Make It Your Business is a nationwide initiative to encourage and support women to start their own business. It is free to join and a not-for-profit organisation.

Make It Your Business - Alison Cork's Inspirations
Make It Your Business aims to encourage and support UK women in business
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The initiative runs events all over the country, where women can meet established local female entrepreneurs and network with other local aspiring female entrepreneurs, in a relaxed and enabling environment.

Make It your Business is part of the The National Women’s Enterprise Network, a not-for-profit organisation founded by entrepreneur, writer and broadcaster Alison Cork

You can join here: http://www.makeityourbusiness.co.uk/join-us-free