A photographer boosted her business selling Highland Cow keepsakes thanks to the North of Tyne Combined Authority. By Heather Newton
Sarah Smith followed her passion of photography with an already established and successful business, however with the arrival of lockdown, she decided that her career needed to take a new direction the focus… highland cows.
The entrepreneur has built two businesses as the result of short falls. Sarah’s first photography business, Mirror Image was established in 2013 after she was made redundant from a law firm. Boasting a large portfolio the successful business covered photography for schools, pet and family portraits. Unfortunately after the announcement of a national lockdown and socially distant measures in place for the safety of the public, the keen photographer had to explore new avenues to make her dream job work.
“All throughout the lockdown I was coming up with ideas on how to keep on going… I never had so much time on my hands, I had time to reflect think about the bigger picture… I had always wanted to do wildlife photography, but I thought that would be when I retired!”
It was out of lockdown, Chewing the Cud, Sarah’s second photography business was born. Based in Bardon Mill, Sarah already had a back log of stunning highland cow images and wanted to get the images on products for customers to enjoy, from giant canvases for your front room to water bottles, but juggling a new business and a young family Sarah needed business support.
“Owning a business is managing everything, admin, sales, process, marketing… I definitely found marketing the hardest part”.
After hearing about Business Northumberland, and how it could help her, at a networking event Sarah got in touch and was given 1-2-1 support with a Business Growth Advisor as well as access to a programme of online workshops to support the digital marketing for her business. Business Northumberland provides support to small and medium enterprises across the North East who are looking to sustain and grow their business online, with funding from the North of Tyne Combined Authority.
They helped get the new business off the ground by providing her with a fully functioning ecommerce website at no cost to her business. Now Sarah not only has a fully functioning website taking orders but she also has the skills to update the website with lots of exciting products to sell.
She said: “The support has been has been amazing and the training is perfect, the online classes mean I don’t need to think about travel and I can fit them into my day.”