Staffs graduate has designs on the high street

Lighting designs by Kirsty Shaw from the Creative Village

A Staffs University graduate is celebrating after she was chosen to produce lighting designs for Marks & Spencer's Christmas campaign.

Kirsty Shaw graduated in Design earlier this year and immediately began building her business at the University’s Creative Village.

The 22-year-old entrepreneur from Trent Vale took her work to the Design Centre in Islington, London, and secured orders from galleries and shops across the Midlands and South.

Kirsty’s breakthrough came when experts from design agency tigerprint spotted her work and asked her to contribute lighting designs for the M&S 2008 Christmas campaign.

“They saw my work and were really interested,” she said.

“It’s really exciting working with them. It seems funny to be working towards Christmas 2008, but there are already tight deadlines to meet so I’ve been very busy.”

She is also preparing to display her work at London’s Mall Gallery in January.

The former Thistley Hough pupil, from Trent Vale, has sold lights to a gallery in Buckinghamshire as well as receiving orders from galleries in Birmingham, Derby and Surrey.

“They’ve already sold the lights I sent so I’ll be going again to drop more off soon,” she said.

Kirsty joined Staffordshire University’s Enterprise Fellowship Scheme (EFS) to gain advice and setting up her business.

She can call on support from business advisers and former lecturers.

“EFS have been a great help. I have the knowledge and design skills, but it’s fantastic to have the back-up of business experts and advice on accounting.”

Her workshop in the Creative Village in College Road is kitted out with all the latest equipment and tools.

The Creative Village is also home to artists, silversmiths, ceramicists, potters and web designers among others.

Visit Kirsty Shaw’s Website for further information.