Case Study

Young entrepreneur turns dream into a reality

At a young age, Dearbhla McCann always dreamt of being her own boss. Coming from an art background; illustrating and painting had always been her passion however it wasn't until she decided to develop and learn new skills through the years whilst studying Graphic Design, did that dream turn into a reality.

While furloughed during the pandemic, Dearbhla used the time to plan and develop her business idea and finally took the plunge at the beginning of 2021 and started her own creative design business.

Creeve Lane Studio is a graphic design and illustration studio offering a range of creative services including logo design, bespoke card design, occasion cards & prints, custom illustrations as well as wedding stationery design.

“My absolute favourite is wedding stationery. From day invites, save the dates, table plans, place names to order of service. I just love creating a design that's tailored to each couple's taste and style whilst also standing out from the crowd.

Dearbhla believes it is vital to create design solutions that speak to audiences whilst creating a long lasting impression and feels she can give her customers that quirky, authentic look while at the same time delivery a premium product and service. Her goal is to make every customer love her designs as much as she loves creating and making them.

Despite her drive and motivation, starting a business during a pandemic has been proved challenging for Dearbhla. “It was challenging to plan and know what to invest in, with almost everything being uncertain. In normal circumstances, I would have promoted my business to the public by attending fairs across N.I. However, I had to rely solely on social media and figure out the algorithms, which constantly change for businesses.

To support her business development and help her overcome these challenges, Dearbhla availed of support under Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council’s Business Start Up Coaching Programme; was assigned Kerry as a coach who she described as knowledgeable, friendly and supportive.

Since starting Dearbhla has been busy further developing and improving her business. One of her proudest moments has been the development of her own sustainable, custom packaging that are all earth-friendly having been made from recycled material and are 100% recyclable as well as the launch of her new FSC certified greetings/occasion cards so watch this space.

Dearbhla McCann

What is your key strength?

I feel my key strength would be being authentic within all design aspects. The most important thing to me is using creativity and imagination to provide each client with a completely bespoke and individual design solution.

How has the Business Start up Coaching Programme helped you?

The coaching provided me with valuable insights on how to market my business effectively. I now feel much more confident in using various tools and platforms to promote and grow my business online.

What are your plans for the next six months?

I see my business expanding in stationery design and with several new product launches being developed. I have lots of creative ideas and plans up my sleeve. I am particularly excited about designing some unique Christmas stationery for this year and of course all the wedding stationery designs that are up and coming.

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