11 January 2014

How to be an entrepreneur

Everything you need to know about becoming an entrepreneur

How to be an entrepreneur

Ever fancied setting up your own business? Or maybe you’re interested in finding out what it takes to manage your own arts venue? We spoke to entrepreneur extraordinaire Louise about how her and her business partner Claire set up and run London arts venue The Papered Parlour…

Hello Louise! What is your job?

Co-founder & co-director of The Papered Parlour - an artist’s studio and craft centre in South London.

You set up your business from scratch. How did this come about?

My friend Claire had an idea for a new business working with interior designers making art and photography. We hired an artist’s studio space to work from and invited other young artists to join us. We realised this was a great opportunity for a business – a studio space for young artists where we could run arts and crafting workshops for the public too. In 2010 we won the Barclay's ‘Take One Small Step’ business competition and the business grew from there.

What does your day-to-day job entail?

I do everything to do with managing a company… from designing the marketing, doing the social media, drawing up contracts, working with artists, doing the monthly accounts, taking part in test workshops with our workshop leaders and maintaining our artist studio (I mended the sink recently!). I'm a photographer too so take photographs whenever I have a spare minute.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Working with lots of creative people. The studio space is shared by illustrators, animators, photographers, textile specialists… everyone is very talented.

What’s the worst thing about your job?

Doing the accounts!

What did you do at school/ university?

My A Levels are in Art, Photography, English and Biology. At university I did Photography, Film and Imaging.

Did you do any work experience?

I have had loads of different jobs! I was an intern at Battersea Arts Centre in London, I volunteered doing Marketing at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I was a theatre usher, I worked backstage at Glastonbury. I was even a Letting Agent once!

What advice would you give to anyone who was interested in doing what you do?

If you have a business idea test it out on family and friends first. Ask for honest, constructive feedback. In the early stages you need to plan how your business is going to work. Research everything you can to do with your idea. Is it something new? What competition might you have from other businesses? Do you need money to set it up? Make sure you know all the answers before you start!

What’s the biggest misconception about your job?

That I make lots of money from it!

If I wasn’t doing this I’d love to be...

A global food critic. Or something in comedy, but I’ve never quite worked out what that is… Tim Key’s PA?

If you’re reading this Tim Key, get in touch!

Thank you Louise!

If you’re a budding entrepreneur Louise recommends watching Dragon’s Den (BBC) to learn from other people's triumphs (and mistakes!)

Here at Whatever after we recommend taking part in Young Enterprise at your school. If your school doesn’t run a scheme already, use your entrepreneurial flair and speak to your teacher about setting one up!


Louise was interviewed by Isla Gray

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