Wolverhampton School of Art

It’s been non-stop for Karen Perry since graduating with a First Class Honours Degree in Design and Applied Arts (Textile Design) in 2011.

Following graduation Karen headed to the New Designers Exhibition in London and was recognised by Texprint as one of their Top 50 ‘highly recommended’ Designers for 2011.

After the success of New Designers Karen went on to complete internships at a number of Design Studios across the UK before starting her freelance career in the fashion and interiors market; securing sales in London, Paris, New York, L.A, Italy, Turkey, Japan and China.

She then became a member of the University of Wolverhampton’s Graduate Incubation Programme (GIP). The programme works to help graduates bring their business idea to life. The programme runs for nine months and includes office space, mentoring and specialised business advice.

Karen told us: “The programme is fantastic; with like-minded graduates coming together, along with business mentoring and tailored business sessions the scheme has provided me with a great foundation to my business. I made real contacts during my time with GIP whom I feel will assist me throughout my career.”

She is now building up her own business and online store to launch her designs and products direct to market, whilst maintaining her freelance work too.

And it’s been going very well for her so far! Karen freelances for a London Studio and one of her most recent successes include Marks and Spencer’s using one of these freelance designs for the production of various outfits and accessories. The first item, a lightweight scarf with tea cup design, has already hit the British high street.  And, one of her quirky geometric prints was also chosen by Alice and Olivia, and is now available to buy from their stores too.

Karen believes her time at the University of Wolverhampton’s School of Art & Design gave her a good footing to launch her career. She told us: “The course is extremely industry focused with live projects enabling students to have a real taster of the demands placed on a designer. Specific modules helped me to create my professional portfolio, essential for New Designers, and to also produce promotional packs that helped me to plan my ‘exit’ strategy!

I would highly recommend the course to other budding designers. The Lecturers and Technicians were great and still are – providing me with a good sounding board to bounce ideas off and offer advice.”

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For further information visit: www.karenperry.co.uk