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University of Northampton supports Sophie’s art start-up

Date 21.04.2021

A Northampton artist Is painting the town red – and orange, purple, green, yellow, pink and blue – with a helping hand from the University of Northampton.

Sophie Slade has produced a series of eye-catching colourful depictions of Northampton landmarks, for her new collection, Paint The Town In Colour.

Her pictures, which include the Carlsberg brewery, The Mail Coach pub and The Guildhall, have proved to be a big hit with art-lovers. They’ve been snapping up originals and prints from Sophie, whose fledgling business, Sophie Slade Art, has been given a boost by the University.

The Parish Church of All Saints

Sophie’s interpretation of The Parish Church of All Saints.

Carlsberg factory

Sophie Slade’s painting of the Carlsberg factory.

After graduating from the Fine Art course in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Sophie was keen to make a living from her art.

She enrolled on the University’s Enterprise Boost scheme, which helps students and graduates to become self-employed and start their own businesses and social enterprises.

Sophie attended a series of free workshops covering self-employment, business models, social media marketing, taxation and business plans. Sophie also benefited from one-to-one coaching and is being mentored by the Enterprise Boost team, as her business develops. She also received £1,000 to put towards start-up costs.

“The Enterprise Boost scheme has been amazing,” said Sophie.

“So many people graduate and want to go into business but don’t know how to do it successfully. But I feel with the support I’ve received, I know what works and how to give my business the best chance of growing.

“The workshops went into depth about how to sell, how to price, how to use social media effectively, and so much more.

“And to have a mentor helping me, as I try to get the business off the ground has been amazing. I save up all my questions I have for when I meet them, and we work through to find solutions.”

Business aside, 23 year old Sophie, who is originally from East Hunsbury, and attended Wootton Primary School and Caroline Chisholm School, has been delighted with the reaction to her Paint The Town In Colour collection.

Bridge Street

Sophie’s painting, looking towards Bridge Street.

Guildhall

Northampton Guildhall, by Sophie Slade.

“I’ve had so many people telling me how much they like the paintings, and the memories they have of the places I’ve chosen to paint,” she said.

“I’m now looking at expanding my range by making smaller pieces and products, such as notebooks, which I’ll sell on my website, and hopefully in local stockists, as things reopen.”

Find out more about Enterprise Boost from the University’s Changemaker Hub.