A BORN-AND-BRED Hartlepool woman is living her dream of becoming an illustrator after a nationwide supermarket chain snapped up her designs.
Designer Amanda Bradley had always enjoyed art from being a young girl and dreamed of becoming an illustrator.
But the 25-year-old former Cleveland College of Art & Design student initially struggled to find design work in the area and almost gave up on her aspirations.
She took up an admin job with the NHS, but was made redundant after six months, leaving her unemployed.
Amanda then approached The Prince’s Trust for help and joined the charity’s Enterprise programme, which helps unemployed young people to launch businesses.
She decided to set up as a freelance illustrator, and got help to write a business plan.
Within months, Amanda Bradley Illustration was born and she has never looked back.
The talented artist designed a huge range of products – from greetings cards to clothes – in her own unique style and they were soon spotted by head-hunters from the George Home range which is sold in Asda stores up and down the country.
Since then her fortunes have turned around and her products have hit the shelves to raise money for The Prince’s Trust.
She told the Mail that she is proud to see her work in the aisles of Asda in Marina Way after months of working closely with George Home’s design team to create a range of textiles and home accessories.
“I love having my own business,” said Amanda. “I worried I’d never make it as an illustrator, but thanks to The Prince’s Trust, I’ve managed to turn my passion into a career.
“Working with George Home has been such an amazing opportunity. I learned so much from the designers there and I never thought I’d have the chance to work for such a major retailer.
“It has been so exciting to see my designs come to life over the last few months, and I couldn’t wait to see them in my local Asda store.”
She added: “It means a lot to me that the products will help raise money for The Prince’s Trust, and give other young people the opportunities I’ve had.” Amanda’s inspirations came from vintage diagrams and Victorian natural history illustration styles to create a British fairytale-like theme.