South East Creatives encourages businesses in the creative, cultural and digital sectors to take advantage of a new £5.1 million grants and support programme.
Jane Spencer is a freelance illustrator who runs Sight Hound and is based in Sandgate, Kent. Jane has received a grant from South East Creatives to support her business.
I have been a freelance illustrator almost my whole career, and pivoted into screen print in recent years. I established Sight Hound, the brand name I devised for my business, in 2016. Launched on notonthehighstreet.com, my first collection was 10 T-shirts, which I also listed on my own selling site www.sight-hound.co.uk I currently have around 25 designs, and have started to offer wholesale as well as e-commerce. Sight Hound has a distinct graphic aesthetic, and the themes are summarised with the rallying cry: Explore- Adventure- Create- Enjoy. Everything from good coffee to climbing sports are celebrated, as part of a drive to feature all the little things that make life bigger.
A number of designs can be customised. The shape of the UK map, rendered in drawings of bicycle or sailing gear for example, is embellished with a marker at the customer's choice of location. This element of personalisation has proved very popular for gifting, as have the screen printed gift boxes I have developed and offer along with the shirts for cool looking storage on shop shelves.
After completing my second trade show, I'm excited about the future for Sight Hound. My order books are full for the next few months, and I've many more creative projects in draft form for the year ahead.
How South East Creatives (SECCADS) has supported my business:
Since Sight Hound launched in 2016, I had my eye on the Top Drawer trade show as the optimum launch pad for the wholesale side of my business.The cost of space is eye-wateringly expensive and there are many additional costs to budget for. So it was a huge boost to have some financial help with getting Sight Hound to this important showcase event.
Another part of my application covered the growth of the business. In order to fulfill an increasing demand, I need to buy in more materials, it's also more efficient to print by the score than in smaller batches. With the South East Creatives grant I can up my ordering and relax a little about running out of T-shirts and ink.
One of the unexpected benefits of applying for this grant was the insight gained from completing the required analytical work. It was helpful and instructive to take a deep dive into the figures and make some predictions based on the data I have, and on the research I did.