At aged 50, Gail Trezise took the life-changing decision to leave her job working in a care home kitchen and focus full time on her passion for craft and ceramics.
She signed up to a college course in art and design, and went on to complete an integrated craft degree, developing her creativity and skill in producing unique ceramics.
The hobby quickly turned from selling her craft at occasional markets and fairs, to stocking her pieces in galleries across Devon and Cornwall. With the increase in production and distribution, Gail approached Outset Torbay for help to turn her passion in to a viable business.
“I heard about Outset Torbay on the radio,” says Gail. “I met a couple of the advisors at an event in Brixham and ended up joining the Business Start-up programme.”
Through the programme of group workshops and one-to-one coaching, Gail gained the skills and know-how to start and run her business, particularly building her confidence in business administration, which she had previously felt very uncomfortable with.
“I am very creative, but not at all academic and I’m hopeless with maths. The thought of paperwork really put me off and Outset Torbay helped me to get to grips with everything I needed to do. I also had so much encouragement and support from the others in the group.”
With the Outset Torbay programme under her belt, Gail went on to secure studio space for her business, Art Ceramics, at the Sea Change Craft Centre at Cockington Court; home to a variety of highly skilled local artists and craft-workers, and open to the public. The studio has given Gail the space and facilities to design, create and sell her work.
“I have two very different and distinctive styles of work. My sculptural work consists of pods inspired by sea urchins and shells that are slip cast using a unique process which I developed while studying at South Devon College. My quirky little harbours are slab built and inspired by the coastal fishing ports of Devon and Cornwall.”
Gail has been able to fulfill her ambition, turning her passion and hobby into a full-time job.
“I have been able to achieve my goal by getting out of a kitchen and employing myself. I’m now continuing to focus on building my reputation for unique contemporary ceramics. My aim is to produce innovative, creative pieces of art and to eventually run workshops to inspire and promote the art of clay.”
Gail’s work is currently on sale in a number of retail outlets across Devon and Cornwall as well as being exhibited in galleries across the country.
Outset Torbay has been funded by the ERDF Competitiveness and Employment programme and Torbay Development Agency.
For more information on how Outset Torbay could help you develop your business idea into a reality, call us on 0800 032 2905, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.outsettorbay.co.uk.