Artist Audrey Vance set up Wedding Dress Ink in 2013, providing hand-illustrated drawings of wedding dresses that are bought by husbands or by bridesmaids, family and friends as wedding and anniversary gifts.
What kind of supports did you receive starting out in business and what kind of supports would help you now?
The only place I knew to go to was the Local Enterprise Office and they gave me grant support for a website. The problem was that my application had to go before a panel for approval and that took a lot of time. I wanted to get started, so I went ahead and hired someone to build the website first time round, but had to keep the cost low in case I didn’t get grant approval. Ultimately I did get the LEO approval, but I’d have built a better website if I had received the support earlier.
It didn’t occur to me to go to the Arts Council or the Crafts Council of Ireland for help, possibly because, although I’m an artist, it was a business I wanted to develop. I haven’t needed any other financial supports because it wasn’t an expensive business to get up and running. However, now that I’m getting ready to move into a growth phase, I’ll be giving that some thought.
Images from Wedding Dress Ink.