Subscribe to our Newsletter for all our latest info

Outset Bristil Success Stories How to find Outset Bristol

Sam Walsh – Green Giraffe

When Sam Walsh’s long-term temporary contract doing administration for Bristol City Council failed to be renewed during budget cuts last year, she found herself on another temporary contract working for a plant hire company. Sam had already begun to think about how she could turn her creative talents into a viable business when she saw [...]

When Sam Walsh’s long-term temporary contract doing administration for Bristol City Council failed to be renewed during budget cuts last year, she found herself on another temporary contract working for a plant hire company. Sam had already begun to think about how she could turn her creative talents into a viable business when she saw an Outset Bristol advert in The Mall Galleries.

Sam joined the Outset Bristol programme in April 2011 and was keen to take advantage of whatever help and support was available to her as well as enjoying the company of the other course members. “By the second week our team had bonded and we were supporting and encouraging each other both at the course and also by email,” says Sam. “I really looked forward to Thursday mornings as I felt I was doing something constructive, I was on a path to make my business a reality – more than a dream.”

Although in her professional life Sam had been working in administration for the past 24 years, she has always been creative and artistic in her spare time. “I have experimented with making my own clothes, photography, glass painting, watercolours, jewellery making and have now found my own style of art and design work,” says Sam.

In June 2011 Sam began trading her artwork under the business name, Green Giraffe. “I create bright, bold, fun designs that can be used on multiple applications. My artwork is available on ready-to-hang canvases, as prints and as greeting cards. I also get my designs printed on to ceramic tiles that can either be hung on the wall or used as saucepan / teapot stands (the print is heat resistant). I love creating bright designs that make people smile but I also want the product to be of some practical use.”

Sam is particularly grateful for the encouragement and support she has been given by the Outset Bristol advisors. “The whole experience of the last few months has come together to change how I feel about my potential business and that I want to really make it happen. I now feel far more focused and ready to start approaching new outlets for my work and move my business idea forward. My hope is that I can work with a larger company that will use my designs to print on a range of items including diaries, calendars and notebooks, along with t-shirts, mugs, key rings and fridge magnets. I would love for Green Giraffe to become a recognised brand.”

Sam regularly exhibits at the Art Market, which takes place on the first Sunday of every month at St Nicholas Market, Corn Street, as well as selling through online portals such as Westcountry Galleries and Redcliffe Imaging, along with through her own website.

If there's too much happening in your life to know whether enterprise is right for you, why not come along to one of our informal workshops

If you've got a seed of an idea, but not sure if it will work, or whether you can do it, our introduction to enterprise sessions are for you

If you've got a business idea, are keen to get going, and just want to learn how to do it properly, you need our start-up programme

If you've already started up your business but could do with some help, call for some 1:1 advice or choose one of our business growth workshops