Alumni stories: How we launched our colourful mural business

Image of founder of K&B Design sat in front of mural
Silhouette image in blue

Article by: Gaynor Orvis

Publication date:

Kirsty Langston and Brittany Abbott-Trangmar are BA (Hons) Graphic Design graduates and the power-duo behind K&B Design. After having the idea to launch a mural design company, they got in touch with SEEDS, Ravensbourne’s Self-Employment Entrepreneurship Diversity Scheme for some business advice. With a huge amount of determination and the right support from their mentors, they were able to launch their dream career in 2020 and it is going from strength to strength.

hide

Image of Kirsty and Brittany from K&B Design painting a mural

We caught up with Kirsty and Brittany to discuss how SEEDS has helped them to kick-start their business and turn dreams into reality.

How was the idea for K&B Design born?

We have been friends since primary school and have always shared the same creative interests. At Ravensbourne we both studied on the BA (Hons) Graphic Design course and really focused on building our own signature style.

In our final year, we were commissioned to develop a mural for a local café, and after some really encouraging feedback for the piece, the idea for our business was born.

Growing up, we’d often talked about how great it would be to build a business together, but with no experience it seemed like a bit of a pipe dream.

But after discussing our business idea with our course leader, we were introduced to SEEDS. Through our involvement with the scheme, we learnt all about the fundamentals of launching and running a business.

What were some of the main benefits of working with SEEDS?

SEEDS gave us access to our very own mentor – a professional that has experience launching and running a business in a similar industry.

We were asked to put forward the names of three mentors we would love to work with and weren’t too unrealistic. We were paired with the lovely Abi Meats, from RUDE Studio. She and her husband have created murals for massive clients such as Apple and Ted Baker.

Abi taught us loads about the industry – she helped push us out of our comfort zones and build the courage to set bigger goals for the business.

Alongside our work with Abi, we also worked with SEEDS mentors Yvonne, Charles and Judi. They have their own expertise in business, finance and life coaching, and all their help and guidance was invaluable. Working with them helped us to really realise our own worth.

Another benefit of SEEDS were the fortnightly workshops that are run by the mentors as well as external helpers. The workshops cover a huge variety of topics – everything from tax to branding. Even though these meetings were held over Zoom because of the pandemic, they were still so engaging and really helped us implement new strategies and ideas into our business.

Bright green coffee shop signage and floral design

How has SEEDS helped you to pursue your career goals?

Before we were introduced to SEEDS, painting murals was just an idea to us, but with the right support we were able to launch K&B Design, and now we're proud to say that our business is thriving!

SEEDS gave us access to the connections and support we needed to really get our business off the ground. Over time, we have learnt how to scout and approach new business and complete jobs to the highest standards.

Without SEEDS, we wouldn’t have had the confidence to register as a limited company and take our business to the next level. We now feel we have the skills and professionalism to reach out to even bigger clients.

Cockney rhyming slang designs on a wall mural

What have you been doing since you launched the business?

Since graduating last summer, we have worked with a wide range of clients, ranging from small independently run businesses to a luxury London law firm. Alongside our part-time jobs, our work days are split into admin and designing and painting, meaning most days look completely different. 

We have recently found out that we have also won incubation space at Ravensbourne, which is another exciting stepping stone for our business. We look forward to seeing where this opportunity will take us.

hide quote