Manage episode 306695822 series 2903730
#038 - Textile designer Fiona Douglas shares her small business journey, from studying at Glasgow Art School to setting up her business Bluebellgray in 2009. She now offers a full range of homeware including fabric, bedding, wallpaper, rugs and tableware, all in her signature colourful, handpainted, watercolour style.
From an early age, Fiona was creative and obsessed by flowers. At secondary school, her art teacher saw something in her and encouraged her creativity. Aged 17, she decided to go to Florence for a month to take life drawing lessons. And on returning to Scotland, she realised that she definitely wanted to pursue art as a career.
She applied to Glasgow Art School and was accepted into the Fine Art Department. However, she later discovered her love for print and changed to studying textiles. She went on to work for a textile company. Then in 2009, encouraged by her husband, she decided to set up Bluebellgray.
She began with six floral cushions and started to attend shows. In addition to the floral designs, she also experimented with abstract designs. And she started creating fabric, bedding, rugs, wall art, ceramics, wallpaper and bags. Collaborations with Ercol, Dualit and MT Masking Tape have also taken place.
Fiona talks through the process of creating her designs from painting the flowers using liquid watercolours to the design appearing on her textiles. Opening her shop in Glasgow in 2018 was a dream come true.
She discusses the impact of the pandemic on her business and on-going issues. Plans for the coming months include a rebrand, releasing her Christmas design Fa La La, and a children's collection.
Listening to this episode, you'll hear how passionate Fiona is about flowers and uplifting, modern prints adding joyful colour to your home. At the end of the podcast, you'll discover her practical tips, which I'm sure you'll find very inspiring.
Show notes are available on the My Small Business & Me website: https://mysmallbusinessandme.com/episode38