Tell us a bit about your experience of working with a mentor...Fresh faced from university I knew I wanted to make a go of it with my ceramics but didn't know where to start. I was selected for a business scheme helping budding entrepreneurs. Alongside workshops giving me the business skills I needed I was also lucky enough to have two brilliant mentors. It's one thing having the relevant skills and tools but quite another to know how to put them into practice and how everything relates to your own work.
My mentors were there every step of the way discussing everything from stand set ups to new designs and everything in between. It was a huge help and support to be able to get their honest and impartial opinions on things and I don't think I'd be where I am now without them.
What made you decide to take the step to become a mentor?I mentor others because I know first hand how invaluable mentoring can be and because when I left university, I had very little business knowledge. I know that there are lots of people in the same boat and I want to help. There's a huge wealth of creative talent out there, but a lot of creatives aren't very good at the business side of things.
What does your mentoring cover?My mentoring covers everything from creative development to pricing, exhibitions and business plans. It really depends on who I'm mentoring and what they need help with.
What makes your mentoring scheme different from others?My mentoring is different because I'm a maker as well as a gallery owner so I get to see both sides. I went from having no business knowledge to creating an award winning ceramics business. Since taking on Itch Gallery, I've won 2 further awards to turn it into an award winning gallery. Also, although a face to face meeting is preferable (especially for creative development aspects), mentoring can also be done via phone or email. This means that your location doesn't prevent you from getting the support you need. It's also really useful to just be able to ring up someone and get a quick answer to a question.
If you want to find out more about Jenny's Mentoring Service you can find out more about the service she provides by clicking here or you can contact her through the Gallery website here