Kylie Dixon: “I didn't want to be a girl at home painting, I wanted to build a brand that brings joy”
Everything Kylie Dixon creates includes a hand illustrated mushroom, a symbol of positive change and new beginnings: a message particularly close to Kylie’s heart at this moment in her in her life.
After spending 18 years working for corporates, in 2019, Kylie decided to pursue her dream by turning her love of all things creative into a business. Drawing on her artistic background and experience from the world of work, she launched Mushroom Marvellous, which sells quirky ink drawings and hand-crafted, personalised gifts through Etsy and Facebook.
Having someone who understands your thought process is instrumental and, when you have a bit of a zany mind like mine, it’s important your ideas are valued and supported.
“I knew I wanted to make beautiful, unique artworks with a twist. I didn't just want to be a girl at home painting, it had to be so much more than that. I wanted to build a brand that not only brings joy into people's lives but is a platform to grow something magical.”
Ready to take the leap into starting up her own business, Kylie signed up for our eight-week start-up course that introduces key topics, such as finance and marketing, to get participants kick started towards self-employment. She was then connected to a dedicated business advisor, Melissa Middleton. “The most important outcome of accessing PNE’s support has been having a business advisor. I have regular 1-2-1's with Mel and the knowledge, guidance and advice is superb. I quickly realised that having one central support community such as PNE was the most beneficial way to get your ideas listened to and broken down into tangible goals and actions.
“Having someone who understands your thought process is instrumental and, when you have a bit of a zany mind like mine, it’s important your ideas are valued and supported.”
Since launching, Mushroom Marvellous has continued to grow with momentum, in no small part down to Kylie’s huge creative energy; which is as integral to her business ideas as it is to the products her customers love. During the first lockdown, she created an online art group for homeschooling parents and, inspired by her online communities in this period, is publishing her own children’s book, Inkcap and the Nethers; selling over 250 copies even before it has gone to print.
“Not only have I built a family community online, built solely around mushroom characters, but I have brought positivity and magic into children’s lives.
Kylie’s advice for other people hoping to pursue their ambition to start-up is to draw on the wide range of support available. “Seek out advice from the offset. There are experienced people who you can call upon when anxiety kicks in. Networking has been important to me. At first, I avoided it as it was a bit of the unknown, but every business move I’ve made has had some sort of input from my support network. I found it so empowering I went on to start a second arm of my business The Northern Lass Lounge, where I help local women in business!”