Like so many great business ideas Pam Kelly’s started with an unmet need.
“A friend had bought a flat with a high ceiling, explains Pam, and even after an extensive search she could not find a suitable lampshade anywhere. Having been a display expert with Harvey Nicholls I had been immersed in the attitude that nothing is beyond us. So, I determined to do something about it.”
“That’s when I set about making a lampshade from scratch – to go with the grandeur and size of the room, I made one with a 70cm diameter, a Harris Tweed outer and a specially coloured lining. When I showed the finished article to my friend, she was over the moon with the result. For me, approaching the age of 40 - a light was switched on. Could I do this as a full time business? I made the decision then to take the plunge and that’s how this fantastic adventure started.”
Pam specialises in creating beautiful bespoke lampshades, from 10 cm to I metre in diameter, and, if she had any initial doubts about the demand for such a niche service, these were quickly dissipated. Within just three months of launching, she had a website and was generating sales. With the additional bonus of matching cushions Pam had created a great business offer.
Next for Pam, came the chance to display at the Scottish Design Exchange (SDX). “That was the real game-changer, she says. “The opportunity was heaven sent. Working from home is fine but, it can be very isolating. Now, I was connected to the SDX staff, to other artists and of course, to customers. That was a fantastic boost to my morale and business. SDX is so different from anywhere else I know. It has an amazing array of original artwork and designs and has a feel-good effect – you get to see, test, touch, feel and wear. You cannot beat that.”
Pam recognised early on is the enormous impact on a room a lampshade makes. It alters light, colour, mood and atmosphere all at once. “Even if that is all that is done in a home it makes a sizeable impact. I call it the ‘lipstick effect’ – most women will understand what I mean. A quick application of lipstick has an immediate uplifting effect on your spirits. Similarly, I have seen so many interiors literally transformed by my shades. I work hard with each to create that impact. Now, with SDX planning to open in Glasgow’s Buchanan Galleries, Pam hopes to light up more and more homes in Scotland’s City with Style.
Pam Kelly’s lampshades can be seen at the Scottish Design Exchange in Ocean Terminal, Leith or online at http://www.lampshadedesignstudio.co.uk