Gayle Mansfield lives in Worthing and runs her own company Gayle Mansfield Designs, which specialises in producing bold, typographic prints and cards. Having changed careers and taught herself design and typography she successfully setup her studio and was able to pursue her passion for design and interiors. Gayle now runs a growing business and is a great entrepreneurial example to other women looking to find a fulfilling career which fits around family life.
We asked Gayle to share her story and her interior styling tips – check out her dreamy Instagram accounts for beautifully curated photographs of her prints (see images below) and her magazine-worthy home (which will be featured in House Beautiful magazine later this year).
How and why did you set up your design business?
I’ve always loved design and interiors in particular but never had the confidence or opportunity to pursue a career in the industry, instead I worked as a project manager for a housing organisation and interiors stuff was a hobby. After I graduated (more years ago than I care to remember!) I started working for a local council and progressed from there. After about 15 years in that field I had the opportunity to quit and took a couple of years out, focusing on renovating our house and looking after our young daughter. I felt the time had come to set something up by myself. I’ve always had friends telling me I should be an interior designer and I do hope to end up doing some styling in the future. My partner is a graphic designer and I kept having ideas for designs for wall art so he encouraged me to set up a small shop and see how it went. He has been instrumental in the whole process and I absolutely couldn’t do this without him. We bought a huge industrial printer from one of his clients as I was keen to do all our production in-house. I had a business idea years ago when my daughter was a baby but due to personal reasons I couldn’t pursue it (someone else has since done it!) and that really spurred me on to come up with something else.
How has digital technology and social media helped grow your business?
There really is nothing else quite like Instagram for small businesses, particularly a visual one such as mine. I owe a lot of my success so far to Instagram. I tend to use the same content on Facebook but it’s not really so instrumental to my success (aside from nudging my friends to buy something!) and I feel my business is best placed on Instagram at the moment. Having said that I am a member on some Facebook groups set up for women in business and these are brilliant. I’m currently doing a course about how to use Pinterest effectively for business, which is really exciting.
How to style prints in your home
Try hanging pictures without a frame for a relaxed look
“In our daughter’s room I have styled one of our personalised prints with a Happy banner from This Modern Life and some ball lights from Tiger. I like to hang pictures with no frames for a relaxed look.”
A simple picture ledge creates an effective display
Group prints together for a bold, contemporary look
“We have an area at the end of our kitchen that needed to be pulled together and I have achieved this by hanging two prints above this upcycled (by me) dresser. I like the look of two different sized prints together but with the same colours (one on the left by Seventy Tree, one on the right by me).”
You don’t have to attach pictures to a wall – try propping them up instead
“I like to prop prints up rather than commit to always putting them on the wall, as I am constantly moving things around! I have left the cat eyes print unframed as I like the relaxed look.”
By placing simple, typographic prints on shelves you can create Instagram-worthy displays
“Again, I have propped up two prints here, on our shelving in our living room, so that I can move them around easily. I am naturally drawn to prints that are typographic and simplistic.”
Gayle is following…
I find @sarahakwisombe‘s approach just so refreshing and real, she really inspires me so much. She’s clearly very hard-working and knows what she wants and is very passionate about what she does.
I cannot get enough of @bloggaibagis interior styling.
I have a lot of respect for Molly Gunn @selfishmother.