It was just a few short years ago that Lynette Jordan (“Flossy”) found herself a single mother of two young children, unemployed, bankrupt, and evicted from her home in Swindon. After she was mugged in broad daylight, Lynette took the decision to move away and try to establish a new life for herself and children in the seaside town of Brixham, Devon, where she had spent holidays as a child.
“I didn’t know anyone in Brixham,” said Lynette. “My confidence was at rock bottom but I knew it was the place I wanted to be. I didn’t think things could possibly get any worse than they had been so it was a fresh start for us all.”
Looking forward to her future, Lynette secured a place on a three year Illustration degree course at South Devon College, putting into practice her passion and skills for creative art and design.
“My Jobcentre Plus advisor was so helpful at that time. I had two young children to support; one of whom is autistic and needs me around-the-clock. The thought of taking on a degree was daunting, but my advisor helped me to work out how my benefits would change by returning to education, and supported me when I said I wanted to become self-employed as an illustrator.”
During her final year of study, Lynette took her Jobcentre’s advice and got in touch with business start-up organisation Outset Torbay for free support to help bring her business idea and plan together.
“I knew everything I needed to know about illustration, but doing it on a commercial basis and having the confidence to market my work to consumers was another matter. Outset Torbay was brilliant in helping me to prepare myself and develop the critical business skills I needed.”
Lynette completed the Outset programme of start-up workshops that provided her with a familiar and supportive group each week, where she could gain confidence and keep motivated.
“My creative, fun side can sometimes take me off in all directions, but Outset helped to keep me focused and grounded when I need to. They helped me make sense of financial planning, budgeting and tax requirements and worked with me to secure a small Start Up Loan to get me started.”
Lynette’s life has taken on a whole new direction since moving to Brixham. Her partner, Jim, has completed her relocation, supporting her at home and in her business “Flossy and Jim” – a bright, quirky and unique design and illustration business.
“Flossy and Jim aims to make the world a happier and sunnier place with our illustration and designs. Not just for children but for adults too! We create punchy images for business brands, family portraits, illustration for books and learning aides, wall murals, and a range of merchandise. We’ve also opened a shop in Dartmouth which has been an exciting step forward for the business!”
Flossy and Jim has caught the imagination of many and an increasing stream of orders has meant a three-month waiting list for new commissions. Added to this, a contract to illustrate a series of books and cartoons in America, the business is truly flourishing.
“I can’t quite believe how things have changed for me. I absolutely love what I do and I couldn’t have done it without the support of Outset Torbay. They’ve been like a second family really. Everyone is so friendly and supportive, and if I’m ever unsure of something, they are readily available to sit down for a chat to work through it. They have given me a much needed confidence boost, and now I can’t believe I am doing my dream job for a living! I will always be eternally grateful for that.
“Starting my business has been a great adventure, and I can’t imagine doing anything else. My vision is to have retailers selling Flossy and Jim merchandise while I continue to develop the illustration portfolio. So many fantastic opportunities have come my way so far; I am looking forward to a sunny future!”
The Flossy and Jim shop is located at Unit 4, Palladium Arcade, Duke Street, Dartmouth, Devon, TQ6 9PY or you can visit www.flossyandjim.com