Baked by Lou
After graduating with a degree in Art Practice (a combination of fine art and art history) and completing a PGCE in Art and Design, Louisa Mallett decided to turn her creative passion into a small business, Baked by Lou.
Founded in 2017, Baked by Lou is a creative business, producing unique baked jewellery and accessories, inspired by the bright colours and prints of the 90s, as well as a desire to create functional items that everyone can enjoy. Louisa works primarily with ceramics and polymer clay.
What they did
By day, Louisa is a passionate educator, currently delivering Work Based Learning to business apprentices, where she endeavours to use her creativity as much as possible.
In 2016, she took an evening class in ceramics to refresh the skills and knowledge she’d acquired during her degree, which inspired her to start making things again.
Surrounded by friends who run their own creative businesses, Louisa was introduced to the 5-9 course, offered by Welsh ICE. It was at this extremely inspirational and informative course that she met Carla Reynolds, a Business Wales Adviser, who helped her with all pre-start support she needed to start her own jewellery business.
What would they do differently?
“I’d ask more questions and ask for help earlier on. I think if I’d known help like Business Wales and Welsh ICE was out there, I’d have started all this sooner! But I don’t regret the path I’ve taken and believe everything happens in the order it does for a reason.” – Louisa Mallett
Their proudest moment in business
“Recently, I’ve had my work featured in an amazing creative magazine that I greatly admire, called Caboodle. It showcases the work of creatives and designer-makers from around the world and I am so proud to be a part of it.
A few months ago, I also got put forward by my Etsy team for an event in London and I was lucky enough to be asked by Etsy to attend Pride in London and sell my pieces at their market in Tate Britain.”
Do they use Welsh in their business? If so, how has this helped them
“I don’t but I did recently get myself a .wales domain name, rather than going for a .com or .co.uk one, and I’m really proud of that!”
Describe the type of support (financial / non-financial) they’ve received from Business Wales / Welsh Government
Having no prior knowledge and experience in setting up and running her own business, Louisa was introduced to her Business Wales Adviser, Carla Reynolds, at a Welsh ICE event.
She attended a Starting and Running your business – Taking the Plunge workshop in Cardiff and subsequently received pre-start business support from Carla, who helped her with business and marketing planning, financials, HMRC issues, tax and bookkeeping.
Carla also supported Louisa to get her products stocked in independent craft shops and larger retailers. She also referred the business to Superfast Business Wales for assistance with digital marketing, and to the Business Wales online modules to build her confidence to grow the business further.
Louisa’s top tips for anyone else looking to start or grow their own business would be:
- there is so much help and advice out there, don’t be afraid to ask for it
- benefit from Business Wales – they offer lots of amazing tutorials and the advisers have tip-top knowledge
- for creatives and the like, there are many amazing co-operative working spaces like Rabble, Sustainable Studio and Welsh ICE, who are willing to help and support anyone and everyone.