A FORMER Gazette journalist is bringing the personal touch to business after putting pen to paper.
Angela Reed has launched Creative Calligraphy, offering a bespoke handwriting service for wedding stationery and other special occasions.
Mum-of-two Angela, 32, from South Shields, whose career in journalism involved spells at the Gazette and Sunderland Echo, was encouraged to pursue a business career after speaking to an adviser from the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC), in Sunderland.
Now, the orders are starting to roll in for the arty business service.
She said: “One of the last press releases I received as a journalist was about a self-employment event being held by the National Careers Service, at Sunderland College.
“I went along with the intention of finding out about freelancing as a journalist, but at the back of my mind was an idea I had some years ago about doing something with my calligraphy skills.
“A representative from the BIC told me about the New Enterprise Allowance, a Government scheme that provides money and support to help you start your own business, and I thought it was too good an opportunity to miss.”
Mrs Reed, who is married to Michael, 33, a solicitor, and mum to James, four, and two-year-old Sophie, accessed the scheme via Jobcentre Plus in Chapter Row, South Shields, later working with a mentor on her business plan, which had to be approved before she could start trading.
She added: “David Ireland and George Wafer, my mentors from the Tyne and Tweed Project, were really helpful and the Ready for Business seminars I attended at Tedco in South Shields, as part of the NEA scheme, were very informative.
“It has been a steep learning curve, but I’m thrilled with the way things have worked out and I’m delighted that I can now say I run my own business.
“I’ve done place cards for a wedding, a table plan for a charity dinner, certificates for staff at South Tyneside Council and scrolls for Year 6 leavers at Ridgeway Primary Academy in South Shields.
“I’ve even inscribed a teapot!
“I think calligraphy adds a lovely finishing touch to stationery for special occasions. We’re used to communicating via e-mail and text, but there’s nothing like receiving something that has been handwritten.”
Anyone wishing to become their own boss should call BIC on 516 6149.
For more information about Creative Calligraphy, visit www.creative-calligraphy.co.uk, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0795 614 8937.
You can also “like” the Creative Calligraphy page on Facebook and follow @CreativeCallig on Twitter.