County Antrim Artist Crafting Future Success Following Business Support

Co Antrim artist Danielle Morgan is turning her love of pottery into a career after receiving support to grow her business through Go Succeed, a new programme funded by the UK Government and powered by the UK Levelling Up Fund.

Based in Crumlin, Danielle is in her final year studying Ceramic Product Design at Belfast Met but is already well on her way to realising her dream of making a business from her passion having taken part in several exhibitions and completing numerous private commissions.

Alongside her studies and fledgling business, Danielle also works as a support worker for adults with mental health issues and learning disabilities, showcasing her commitment to both her craft and community.

“Art is my passion but it can be difficult thinking about how to get from an idea to making a business and producing something that someone would want to buy. Now, after working with Go Succeed, I have a clear plan and a proven avenue to market,” she said.

Danielle, who has already exhibited in Belfast and Sheffield, has sold work to customers as far afield as the United States and Canada, and recently created a large-scale wall installation for the Khyber restaurant in Galgorm.

She recently won an internal competition to design and create the trophy used for the Belfast Met’s Honorary Fellowship Award given out at the institution’s recent graduation.

“I have always been interested in art, but I didn’t do it in school, so it wasn’t something that I had ever pursued seriously,” she said.

“Then around 2016, I took a notion after seeing a telephone table on Gumtree to drive 40 miles to pick it up, bring it home and upcycle it. It was just for me but when I placed it online for sale when I was moving house, I was immediately contacted from a woman in England who wanted to purchase it.

“I found a love for business and started upcycling differing pieces of furniture, finding them in thrift stores, restoring them and selling them. It was later when my mother recommended a local pottery class run by Ciaran Headley that I really found my passion. The class had to stop due to Covid but I was hooked and soon had a shed, kiln and pottery wheel and was creating my own pieces.

“I have attended craft markets throughout Northern Ireland and sold work to customers internationally, prior to and while studying. Now that I am about to finish the course, it is time for the next step.”

Danielle received support through Go Succeed Start, which provides expert business advice for people who have recently started their own business or who have an idea for a new enterprise and need help turning it into a reality.

“I wanted to get some structure and understand how to formulate a business plan and take things forward. Now I have a lengthy action plan, a list of names and contacts to move things forward, and a plan and strategy of who my customers are and how I might target them,” she said.

“It has given me a focus of what I now need to do, and I can’t wait to see where it takes me.”

Michael McKenna Deputy Director of Investment and Business Development at Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, added:

“The Go Succeed service was developed to support businesses through all stages of their life cycle, large and small. Among the most rewarding aspects is seeing those at the very beginning of their journey get the help they need to take the first step onto the business ladder. 

“Danielle is a fantastic example of someone who had a dream and is now turning it into a reality and we look forward to her continued success.”

Go Succeed is funded by the UK Government and powered by the government’s Levelling Up Fund. The service supports entrepreneurs, new starts and existing businesses with easy-to-access advice and support including mentoring, masterclasses, peer networks, access to grant funding and a business plan, at every stage of their growth journey. 

For more information, visit www.go-succeed.com.

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