Louise Misell Interiors
With a life-long passion for redecorating, Louise Misell from Cardiff launched her own interior design business in 2018. She turned to Business Wales for help to start up and was able to access a wealth of support to ensure the successful launch of Louise Misell Interiors.
- advisory support with business planning, marketing, tax, pricing and budgeting
- Superfast Business Wales support with website development
- committed to the Business Wales Green Growth Pledge
I was brought up on a council estate in West Yorkshire and never ever dreamed I would start my own business. I became the first person in my family to go to university. I did a Theatre, Film and Television degree, where I concentrated on theatre design. Looking back, I always should have been an interior designer (I was always moving my room around and wanting to paint it in wacky colours), but I didn’t know such a job existed.
After university I was lucky enough to work for S4C, a job which I gave up when I had children. During my seven years at home with the kids, I re-trained as an interior designer and decided I wanted to set up my own business but didn’t have the experience. I then started working at John Lewis as a Home Designer, which gave me the practical experience I needed.
Louise Misell Interiors offers a full range of interior design services from choosing paint colours to a complete redesign of private homes or commercial spaces. I also specialise in space planning to ensure the practicality of my designs.
Having studied some Welsh at university and having a fluent Welsh-speaking family, I’m comfortable around the language and use it in small ways with my Welsh-speaking clients.
Why did you want to start your own business?
I wanted to start the business so that I could provide a complete service for clients – not just the design. I wanted to be able to help them with their projects from start to finish. I also knew that the world of interior design can be quite a mystery to others and wanted my services to be clearly defined and priced so that clients could choose the level of service they wanted from me.
What challenges did you face?
I didn’t have a lot of money to start the business, so I’ve had to learn how to do a lot of things myself, like designing my website and learning all about SEO, for example. When I was working full time, I was also working as an online interior designer to help gather the finances to start the business – all whilst attending Business Wales courses, getting my business ready to launch and being a mum, too. It’s been hard work but it’s definitely worth it. Since launching the business I’ve had to learn how to work productively on my own, set boundaries and manage the expectations of my clients. Speaking to other business owners and designers has really helped with this and I also listen to a lot of business podcasts!
I would advise anyone that wants to start their own business to do as much research and be as prepared as possible – but also be prepared to be flexible. Things don’t always look the way you expect them to and it’s okay to refine your vision and tweak your business plan as you go along and face new challenges. Most of all, I would say – go for it; it’s the most rewarding thing I’ve done, and I love being my own boss.
Why did you approach the Welsh Government’s Business Wales service and what support have you received?
I got in touch with Business Wales about a year before I left full-time work and started the business properly. I didn’t know anything about running a business and the idea of being responsible for things like working out my tax bill scared me! I signed up to all the courses that Business Wales offered and fitted them in around my days off.
I took all the help I could get. I’ve had one-to-ones with my business adviser, Nia Lloyd-Jones, who helped me work out things like pricing and budgeting for my start-up costs. I also had an invaluable session with a Superfast Business Wales adviser, who looked over my website and tech processes in detail and gave me so many pointers and ideas. I also had great support from the tutors running the courses, who are always happy to help and answer my many questions. I honestly couldn’t have started my business without the help I received from Business Wales – they got me from feeling like a complete novice to the point where I was ready to take the leap.
- successfully launched Louise Misell Interiors
- numerous workshops attended including Starting and Running a Business – Taking the Plunge
- advisory support with start-up queries such as tax obligations, business plan, budgeting, website development
- committed to the Business Wales Green Growth Pledge to increase the proportion of locally based suppliers and consider the environmental impact of the products and services on offer
The wealth of experience and passion of all of the people involved with Business Wales is staggering, and if an adviser doesn’t know the answer to a specific question, they will point you in the direction of someone who does. I honestly can’t believe that all this help and advice is available to anyone in Wales who wants to start a business, and it’s all free of charge.
Future plans and ambitions
I would like the business to grow so that I can take on a design assistant to help with the day-to-day running. Creatively, I would like the challenge of taking on more commercial design work such as restaurants and bars etc. I am in the process of redesigning my website so that more of my personality and design style shine through, in the hope of winning more projects which excite and stretch me further.
If you want to read more success stories of how Business Wales has helped other people like you to start or grow their businesses, visit https://businesswales.gov.wales/case-studies or follow @_businesswales on Twitter.