THE most common reaction to Kate Gorman’s jewellery is that it makes them feel happy. Kate has sold her bold and unique designs across the country and, with their colourful designs, it would be hard to disagree.
But Kate’s ‘wearable art’ is a long way from her previous role as a successful accountant, which entailed her working in Tokyo for a year. Although she loved the profession, it was the arrival of her twins which led to her launching her own business, Kate Gorman Design.
Kate found invaluable support from the Durham Creatives programme, run by Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham. The programme entitled Kate to free mentoring, practical workshops and even led to her winning commissions with the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art and at Durham Art Gallery, via Arts Council funding.
“The one-to-one coaching helped me think creatively about how to grow my customer base and offered me a useful sounding board,” she says. “Perhaps most importantly for me, it helped me to maintain my confidence in those difficult patches that all start-ups inevitably hit.”
She praises the programme for signposting her towards opportunities and for helping her build relations with retailers and wholesalers.
“It was quite scary launching my own business but the support from Durham Creatives has really helped me,” she says.
“I cannot recommend the services that they offer highly enough and I look forward to continuing my working relationship with them in the future.
“People who wear my jewellery tend to get into it. They say it gives them a lift, makes them feel happy, and what can be a better reason for starting your own business than that?”