Business Name: Foldability
Kyla McCallum’s design studio, Foldability, specialises in products and spaces inspired by folding and geometry. Inspired by her studies and motivated by the business opportunities that London has to offer, she embarked on starting her business and facing the highs and lows with support.
We spoke to Kyla about where her start-up journey has taken her.
Tell us more about your business idea?
At University I had the chance to study across a broad range of disciplines including branding and graphic design, product design, exhibition design, fashion, service/system design, user research and sociology. When I graduated, I wanted to find a way to bring my design skills to a range of different industries, rather than being a specialist in one particular field. I’d always been quite obsessed with origami and geometry so Foldability seemed the perfect vehicle to apply my 2D/3D skills across a number of applications.
What support did you receive from the London Small Business Centre?
I found London Small Business Centre by doing a search online for support for creative businesses in London and my experience has been brilliant. My advisor is Paul Creavin, who has helped me through many highs and lows on the journey of setting up my business. He is incredibly professional and I really quickly got a sense that he is 100% committed to the businesses he works with.
Paul has boosted my confidence when I’ve been feeling low, helped me with important decision making and working through day-to-day issues that I’ve faced within my business.
Another great experience with the centre was being invited to meet and present my business to two Directors from Ted Baker. One of them has since been mentoring me for over a year now and I wouldn’t be getting his advice if I hadn’t been introduced to him through the London Small Business Centre.
Did you encounter any challenges?
I found it very difficult to identify what my business model would be and I am still trying to work this out!
I’ve test traded in a few different ways which really helped me learn about different models of working and define which would be most suited for my business. I also spoke to others about their model which has helped shape my own.
Another challenge has been to be honest with myself about what my motivations are. Often opportunities would crop up that I wasn’t expecting and I would find myself spending time on things that weren’t part of my plan. I’ve been learning to be more honest about what I do and don’t want my business to be and I’ve found that the more I put that out there, the more my business begins to take a shape that I’m happy with.