KATIE Gillies – a 27-year-old surface and product designer from Nottingham – has been shortlisted in the Young Entrepreneur of the Year category at the Great British Entrepreneur Awards regional finals.
Based at One Thoresby Street, an artist-led complex in Nottingham’s city centre, Katie’s studio specialises in creating colourful and stylish Terrazzo surfaces, she also leads craft workshops and creates home DIY kits.
The Great British Entrepreneur Awards, which is being held in partnership is now entering its eighth year and aims to champion enterprising minds in Great Britain.
Katie said: “I am so excited to have made the shortlist for this year’s Great British Entrepreneur Awards regional finals. I’ve never entered awards before, so it’s really exciting to be considered alongside such amazing talent.
“Becoming an entrepreneur came partly from circumstance and was definitely driven by my Instagram presence. I had always used my Instagram during university where it acted as my online portfolio. However, the week of my graduation I was contacted by a company in Canada via my Instagram which was looking to commission some art concepts, I jumped at the opportunity to work on the project, which was my first taste of freelance work.
“I never intended on owning my own business, but as I slowly started to work on more and more bespoke projects I realised how much I enjoyed working at my own pace and being my own boss.”
Since launching her business in 2015, Katie has worked with leading brands including The Hoxton, WeWork, Glossier, Topshop, Larson & Jennings and Dezeen Watch Shop.
The awards programme has celebrated some incredible entrepreneurs many of whom have gone on to become household names, including the founders of BrewDog, Grenade, Tangle Teezer, Cambridge Satchel Company and more.
Katie added: “Now more than ever is an exciting time to experiment as a business owner, at the end of 2019 I was reviewing other ways to diversify the business – as I love leading workshops but they are time consuming and take me out of the studio for quite some time.
“I started to explore at home terrazzo kits, however, the pandemic fast-tracked this new product launch and I decided to release 50 kits on my online store, these sold out in a couple of minutes showing a real appetite for a DIY product alongside my wider offering.”