Every month we feature some of the inspiring businesses we work with on Radio Reverb’s Brighton Business Show, sharing their stories, tips and insights. 

In this months ‘Brighton Business Show. Lisa Moore interviewed local business owner Elizabeth Ockford who owns a luxury wallpaper business.

Elizabeth has been in the textiles industry for nearly 30 years.

Growing up, Elizabeth describes herself as a determined art school student. She decided from a young age she wanted to do textile designs. She wanted to go to London because that was ‘where it was all at’ Chelsea school of art. Her mum says she was always ‘set in her ways’.

After college, her career commenced as she got a job in a fashion studio which she described as ‘awful but fantastic’. She wanted to do interiors but fell into fashion in her early years of her career as advised by her tutor. She was lucky that she was extremely talented in making clothing and sold almost anything she created. However, it was a brutal job as she was only being paid for what she sold, Elizabeth explained. 

She decided to stick it out to get her into the experience in the industry as advised by her tutor.

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She soon realised she could never earn much more than she was earning as she was only paid for what she made.

A few years later, Elizabeth then got a dream job at Osbourne and Little which she got paid less for but she knew that was where her passion lay. She absolutely loved it and felt like she learnt so much more and blossomed as an artist being involved in the full production process. 

She gained more and more responsibility but with that came a lot of stress too which took its toll on her mental health. The time came when the head of management was retiring and offered Elizabeth to take her place. She was forced to make a very difficult decision, should she take the high paid role along with the stress she was facing or take the plunge and leave.

A few years on, now runs her own wallpaper business and loves the way you can create such different moods and trigger different ‘memories’ for people. Elizabeth explains what it’s like to run an artistic business like this. Her advice to young artists is to ‘work’ hard and not be fooled that art is the ‘easy’ option but to be successful within the industry you have to work extremely hard, be dedicated and ‘borderline obsessed’ she explains.

Story taken from Radio Reverbs Brighton Business Show. Want to find out more about this inspiring business story? Listen here for full airing.

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