Friday, October 18, 2013

The Little Square Gallery | Women in business

We love women in business don't we!?
A few months ago, we shot some beautiful collage art pieces in my home for The Little Square Company, which is a company that creates beautiful, bespoke art pieces using children artworks or family photos. 
So rather than having wonderful, happy pictures tucked away in cupboard or left on the computer until it dies and you lose all your cherished memories because you didn't back up anything (talking from experience here), you can select the best ones and turn them into bespoke art pieces.
I've asked Natalie Hammett how she came up with this brilliant business idea... 

Nathalie, what was your inspiration behind The Little Square Gallery?
When my youngest child started full-time school I had, for the first time in ages, spare time to do some jobs I’d wanted to do for a while - boring things like tidying cupboards, clearing out old toys, but one fun job…to sort out what to do with all the wonderful pictures (photo’s and children’s artwork) I had collected over the years and simply stored in drawers. I wanted to enjoy these special pictures on display without cluttering all my walls, so I decided I would design and create two framed art pieces using my favourite pictures from both collections. I wanted each picture to be displayed beautifully as part of a contemporary and stylish compilation, and be created from materials that would last so I could in time pass to my children. I’ve had creative projects on the go since a little girl and this was my favourite. Once up on my walls, I started receiving compliments on the pieces, and one very busy year later The Little Square Gallery is off to a flying start!

What did you do before setting up your own company?
Full-time Mum! I gave up my career in HR when I had my first child, the long hours plus commute weren’t going to work for our family. I have always felt very fortunate that I was able to enjoy being there for my children during their pre-school years, it was a very special (despite being utterly exhausting!) time. My main focus will always be my family, but to also be doing a job that I love, and that I have the power to drive, is hugely fulfilling.
How much do you think you've learnt and grown as a person since you launch your company?
Since setting up The Little Square Gallery I have worked with, and been inspired by, so many amazing Women and Mums who have set up businesses of their own. I previously had very little idea about how much back-of-house work is involved in growing and running a successful business, each day I’m exposed to a new opportunity and challenge and I love that. I have a true passion for art, design and photography, and slightly regret not pursuing a career in any one of these fields from school…to have the opportunity to be working across each of these fields now is a very exciting new chapter for me!

Do you remember when you thought your idea would really work?
As soon as I started getting positive feedback from delighted customers (thankfully from order number one)  - a number of which are currently planning order number two! I find it quite an honour for people to hand over their treasured pictures in the trust that each will be handled and styled with care, happy customers are by far my top objective.  
What makes the Little Square company offering so special?
There are many other companies which sell mass-produced personalised products that display photographs or children’s artwork, for example personalised photo montage posters, mugs, printed books etc. The Little Square Gallery offers something very different. We offer a personal service where every step of designing each bespoke piece is handled with the utmost care. We offer standard designs as shown on our website, and also welcome bespoke design requests to specifically suit a customer’s wall space and number of pictures they would like to display. We work closely with each of our customers to ensure they are happy with all details of their design. Each picture is carefully reviewed and enhanced with subtlety to ensure the best reproductions are created and form part of a stunning overall compilation. Each beautifully handcrafted piece is created using the best archival materials, from the luxuriously thick little square archival art prints used to display each picture to the beautiful solid wood frames.

What's your most treasured memories with your children?
Sleeves-rolled-up creative fun! I love getting paints out, splashing in muddy puddles, playing in home-made dens….anything where we can get messy and use our imagination together. My husband may have had a slight sense of humour failure with our messy play ideas a few times, like when I re-created a sandy beach scene in our bedroom using a big tray filled with lentils which the children sat in with buckets and spades – they had an hour of great fun but there may have been multiple hours of tidying up and many weeks of finding random lentils around the house! My favourite days are spent hanging out with my family doing simple outside things like running in the park or going for a bike ride. I hope my children remember growing up as being a whole lot of happy fun.

Thanks Nathalie! Wishing you all a great weekend


1 comment:

  1. I am definitely enjoying your website. You definitely have some great insight and great stories.
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