People set up their own business for a number of reasons, for Emily Stone it was particularly poignant.
“In 2014 my daughter Bimpsy died in labour,” she recalled.
“She was going to be called Elizabeth but Bimpsy was her nickname so it stuck.
“It was just a silly name my dad had nicknamed her but once she was born we couldn’t face giving her a new name we had never used.
“This made me realise that I needed to do something for me and needed to look after myself.”
Letters From Emily was initially started as Emily created letter prints for people who had lost their babies or children.
“When you have lost a child their name becomes very important to you so the letters provide some comfort to people,” she said.
The Hastings business was officially launched in 2017, now she still creates the prints as well as stationery and invites for weddings.
“It all started as a local dress designer Tara Deighton got in touch with me asking if I would do a wedding fair with her.
“I had to produce some collections really quickly to take with me and it grew from there.
“I never thought of going into wedding stationery but it takes up most of my time now.”
Emily has a range of collections people can choose from but most opt for a bespoke personalised service.
“My work has a lot of flowers and foliage in it, but I can add personal elements.
“For one invite the couple wanted their cat and chicken in there.
“Sometimes people miss those little details when they look at it though, but for the person I have created it for it makes it more special.”
Everything is hand painted then put on a computer.
“It is all original work even the studio collections are,” explained Emily.
“I like painting and never thought it would be something I would do commercially I just always assumed I would do it personally as in painting for myself.
“What I do is very intricate, and I put a lot of work into it.”
Emily initially worked in graphic design after getting a job aged 18 in admin. The role included an element of graphic design as she had used the software in college.
“My mum was an artist but it felt like she was at college studying for like 15 to 20 years,” she laughed.
“In reality it wasn’t that long but in the 80s I felt like you couldn’t do it to make money, so I did media studies at college and then got the admin job.
“Graphic design showed me that there was a commercial element to it and that you could be creative and so something as a business, so it grew from there really.”
Emily also recently started a Hastings Etsy group, it has an Instagram account and hosts meet ups.
“When you are self employed it can be quite lonely and you can feel isolated without the social side you usually have working in an office,” she said.
“I had been to the Brighton one where they meet once a month but when I had my son I found it hard to go to meetings, so it was purely a selfish reason why I started it, but it is a great network of people.”
So why Etsy?
“When I started I looked at market places and different revenues and Etsy was on that I felt was trusted and was a great place to sell my art pieces.”
For the wedding stationery the couple have a free hour consultation where they can discuss ideas and themes and from here Emily starts her magic.
“I do try and include my letters in everything I do as it is where I started my business,” she explained.
“It has been a very natural progression for me from doing graphic design when I was 18 to now running my own business, which I absolutely love doing.”