While looking for gender neutral fabrics and soft furnishings for her young family, Helen Baker couldn’t find anything suitable. Instead of settling for something not quite her style, Helen realised that she’d discovered a niche in the market and that other parents would probably be in the same situation as she was. Taking it upon herself to fill the gap in the market, Helen taught herself pattern design and in May 2017 decided to start her own business – Helen Baker Fabric Design.
Helen wasn’t completely new to the world of fabric, after leaving her teaching job of 10 years she ran a small sewing and screen printing business, so she had a foundation of experience to fall back on. Focusing on stylish, contemporary and eco-friendly fabrics to suit modern family living, Helen’s designs and colours are gender neutral and printed in the UK on 100% natural cotton.
While attending a networking event Helen met Yesim, business adviser for the Swindon and Wiltshire SME Growth Programme, and she signed up on the spot. Yesim helped Helen to take her business to the next level, providing mentor style one-to-one meetings and helping Helen find solutions to challenges she was experiencing in her business. Helen also attended the programme’s series of marketing workshops held at Park House in Swindon, which covered marketing, social media and digital marketing.
“Everyone I have met through Business West has been so helpful, friendly and informative. The one-to-one meetings focused on the specifics of my business whereas the group workshops looked at broader topics containing lots of advice and information. I therefore received a great balance of information, direction and support for me and my business going forward.” – Helen Baker, Helen Baker Fabric Design
As Helen works on her own she found it highly beneficial to receive such tailored support from the SME Growth Programme. A side benefit of attending the workshops was that Helen also got to meet people in similar positions to herself. It also helped her to get used to talking about her business in a concise and interesting way; a vital skill when promoting her business.
Since launching her business Helen has successfully been able to grow and has had some fantastic press features, including; Country Homes and Interiors, Simply Sewing, Bath Life, West Magazine, Country Homes (German publication), Style at Home and the Wiltshire Times.
Are you looking to grow your business in Swindon or Wiltshire? The SME Growth Programme will provide you with up to 12 hours of support to ensure that you have the skills and knowledge to successfully grow and develop your business. From providing you with the skills to market your business and create robust financial plans, applying for a start-up loan, or accessing tailored business advice, working closely with our growth advisers will give you the head start that you need.
Find out more about Helen Baker Fabric Design.