York St John graduate David runs office design business, Seven Hills Workspace.
Tell us about you
I studied Interior Design BA, 2014-2017. I believe it was the first year of the Interior Design course. We had a couple of guest lecturers visit from London in my second year, and I wanted to experience what the industry was like there. I went to do a work placement and fell in love with the industry.
Like many industries, it is competitive and sometimes I felt that the client was forgotten, and this was the reason for starting my own business. To help clients to feel like they are designing their office space for themselves.
Tell us about your business
I started the business in November 2019, a few months before the pandemic. It is called Seven Hills Workspace, it is an office design and fit-out team conducting nationwide projects. From an interior design background, and with project management experience, I thought this would be the perfect mix.
What were the main challenges of starting your business and/or going freelance?
The main challenge was finding new business. Especially during the time whilst everyone was working from home, finding office design projects was really tricky. I have never been a social or sales driven person, and I had to try and change that and start networking. It is also a lot of pressure to take on with no colleagues to support you.
Did you receive any support/inspiration from York St John? If so, what?
I did have had a lot of support from Andrew Thurman from the Interior Design course. He has always kept me involved as an alumni and offered me advice.
What’s the best thing about running your own business?
Freedom – you can work where you want, how you want, when you want. Highly recommended.
What tips would you give any aspiring student start-ups?
Go for it. You don’t need investment, you don’t need a stand-out idea, you just need to trust yourself. There is a lot of hard work, but the benefits outweigh the cons.