It has been said before that art isn’t a result, it’s a journey. For Will Hughes, a 26-year-old artist and maker, the journey through art has already taken them to incredible places; professionally, emotionally and physically.
Now, through the help of an interest-free education loan courtesy of The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, Will, from Market Overton in Rutland, is continuing his journey on all fronts. With the funding received from the charity, Will is studying for his Masters in Fine Art at Northumbria University.
“My sculptural practice talks about queer themes and the body through experiences,” explains Will, who completed his undergraduate degree at Bath Spa University before enjoying a year-long studio fellowship at Spike Island in Bristol.
“I decided that now was the right time to study for my Masters in Fine Art. I wish to expand my cultural knowledge on, and around, the subject of identity politics. In doing so, I want to continue to make physical work and explore where my practice is moving to.”
Experience of an industry can allow an individual to develop a deep understanding of their sector – with that knowledge potentially representing a vital tool when embarking into business.
Take the example of Kieran Lake, who after being involved in the security industry nationally for over 12 years, made the snap decision whilst on holiday to put his wide range of skills to better use and set up his own security company, Octagon Facilities Management.
There, he was determined to employ his depth of knowledge to forge a real name for himself and his business.
When Keilly Shirra’s daughter was born in 2003, it opened up more than a new chapter in her life as a mother. It was to unknowingly kick-start the prelude to a chapter, which would see Keilly become her own boss and establish her growing business, Mad About Nature, which makes luxurious all-natural handmade soaps.
Keilly’s daughter was born with eczema and fuelled a passion to start using natural skincare products which she knew would be free from harsh chemicals and unnecessary synthetic ingredients which dry-out and damage skin. On a trip to London’s Covent Garden, Keilly discovered a homemade soap stall which would change her life.
This week is a hugely exciting one for Sir Thomas White Loan Charity borrower and lingerie designer, Posie Upshall.
Following a two-year project, Posie is set to unveil her first three collections of luxury lingerie at an event taking place at Leicester’s Brick & Beam on Friday 11 October; the culmination of two-years’ hard work.
An added factor is Posie’s approach to design; the brand aims to be as environmentally sustainable as possible, whilst the 25-year-old designer has worked to ensure that her items have a localised element to them too.
Sam Cattell is breathing fresh life into the world of mortgage advice.
Moving away from the traditional, formal connotations that you’d normally associate with mortgages, Sam’s business ‘Mindful Mortgages’ aims to do exactly what the name suggests: provide personal, helpful mortgage advice, mindful of the fact that mortgages go far beyond simply buying a house.
Speaking to the Sir Thomas White Loan Charity borrower, you immediately understand why she does what she does. Having worked as an advisor and director for a mortgage broker in Leicester for 13 years, specialising in mortgages, Sam felt overwhelming satisfaction helping people, families even, achieve their goals. However, dismayed at the market and the way that mortgage advice was provided on the high street, Sam wanted to take that enthusiasm and passion, and provide tailored mortgage advice in a different way.
You often hear incredible stories about how one parallel pathway in life perfectly sets people up for a completely different one. Sir Thomas White Loan Charity business loan borrower Natasha Dulay is a perfect example.
Always creative, Natasha would often spend her spare time putting her creativity in motion. However, away from that, she dedicated her education to developing her studies in business, at one point potentially entering the field of accountancy. That wasn’t to be, as Natasha soon realised, through her passion for jewellery initially, that her desire was to create unique products and showcase them to a target market.
That developed further to crafting unique handbags and clutch bags – and Styles of Soki was born.
What Natasha didn’t realise at the time was that everything she was doing away from being creative was preparing her to turn her creativity into a career.
When his previous employers hit financial difficulty, Shaun Taylor took the decision to take voluntary redundancy. That action would become the catalyst for what followed, with Shaun now the owner of his own business, idee Creative.
Based in the heart of Leicester city centre, idee is a full-service design agency that has gone from offering simple graphic design to full branding design and strategy. It’s a fantastic story, and one that The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity is proud to be a part of.
Passion, hard work and determination – three attributes that are unquestionably key to succeeding in any chosen field. However, the measure of those attributes is something that can often go unseen by anybody other than the person embarking on their individual journey.
In the case of Sir Thomas White Loan Charity education loan borrower Denisa Gannon, the level of passion, hard work and unrivalled determination required to succeed arguably exceeds that of others.
Originally from the Czech Republic, Denisa has Roma origins, with Roma an ethnic minority in her home country. Despite having been able to benefit from education not usually afforded to Roma children in the Czech Republic, employment opportunities weren’t available to a Roma single parent and led to Denisa moving to the United Kingdom in 2006.
Knowledge and experience; two beneficial factors when starting your own business and assets that Shiraz Sidat possessed ahead of establishing his company, Speedel.
A Sameday business critical delivery service, Speedel provides bespoke solutions for its client base on a 24-7, 365-day-a-year basis. With the help of an interest-free loan from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, Shiraz was able to get Speedel off the ground and is now keen to share his experiences of starting a business with fellow aspiring entrepreneurs.
The 31-year-old, from North Evington, is to be one of the key speakers at The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity’s forthcoming Leicester Business Festival event, entitled Challenges and Triumphs of Business Start-Up, providing insight into his personal challenges.
With an innovative idea, a strong knowledge of the subject matter and the drive to make it happen, Simon Long had everything in place to make his start-up succeed.
With the help of an interest-free business loan from The Sir Thomas White Loan Charity, funding wasn’t a problem either.
However, when his initial business partner’s abrupt departure from the project left him needing to start from scratch, Simon’s passion and determination was put to the test; a test that with perseverance and desire, he passed with flying colours.