We had the good fortune of connecting with Petra Northmore and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Petra, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
My thought process was … How can I show my children how to adapt to difficult situations, for instance Lock Down 1 in the UK.

First of all my son wanted to make thank you presents for his teachers, as he was leaving Primary School to go on to Secondary School. And it was my daughter who said….Signs. And my ever resourceful husband said lets see if we can recycle some wood.

It was really about how can we survive and make us happy. And we Like colour! And in LD1 we made signs for teachers, friends and family as so many were and still are struggling.

And then people started offering to pay for commissions and it slowly begun. And to be honest it is slow, but I knew it would be.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
How did I develop “Give it a Twist Designs.

After LD1 was coming to an end in the UK, and I was getting a few commissions; I remembered that when I was in Art College I developed a company name and logo.

“Give it a Twist Designs”

And since then it has slowly grown and my daughter, who is about to do her GCSE’s, has joined and developed it further.

We have a basic website which is linked to our original Instagram page. We have a shared Etsy page. My daughter has just started a separate Instagram page called “Give it a Twist Designs by Kat”. Which is beginning to showcase her work.

What we hope sets us apart is that we try to be unique. My paintings and products are never repeated, they always have a TWIST. Kat’s products are either hand drawn and coloured, always slightly different, or completely experimental and slightly edgy and are definitely made with a unique Twist. Plus we always try to stay within the boundaries of everyone’s budget.

Business wise, we have only been going just less than a year, from the dining room in the UK. Kats items on Etsy are selling really rather well, as there is nothing really like them on the market and they are well priced. Mine are going very slowly, I have lots of encouragement and praise for them on Instagram which is lovely. I just have to wait for sales to catch up.

We are still developing our style and I think we always will. We are influenced by how we feel, what is available, where we have been etc

I have a friendly Accountant who is there to help me with accounts and tax. I am ex Marketing and Admin. My daughter seems to be very business minded and has taken over the Etsy page and is looking at other sites to sell on. And having been brought up in business, I know that for me the fear of over reaching myself financially is always there, and the need to redevelop my products is always required. And I have a strong feeling that in my new financial year I will be looking at what sells and adapting my products.

My best advice would be. Adapt to situations. Don’t over stretch. Get on Financial Advice and keep a spreadsheet of all sales and costs. Keep an eye on the market place and how it is changing. Look at suitable internet selling sites, especially the free ones. And if you can have a business name that can adapt to different situations and can have side-lines, that’s always an idea. Which is what I’ve done with Give it a Twists. Its there for both of my kids. It can be used for any type of business.

What I would like the world to know about “Give it a Twist Designs” is that we are here. Have a look at what is possible. We make, draw and paint in our way. And we will always to stay within your budget. And we will always give it a Twist.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Living in Coventry, UK, we can go anywhere. First day would be chilling out mooching around Coventry Cathedral, Herbet Museum and Art Gallery. Coventry Transport Museum. Then to Earlsdon for the Cafe’s, Bars and Restaurants.
Second day. Kenilworth Castle and a gentle mooch around Kenilworth Town and parkland. Cafe. Then back for a lovely Take Away.
Third Day. Stratford Upon Avon. Mooch around the Town, visit the Shakespear Museum, grab a coffee and then a lunch in one of the many gorgeous Cafes and Restaurants. The attend a play at the RSC Theatre.
Fourth Day. A day out in Birmingham. Shopping, mooching, visit the Birmingham Art Gallery, find a restaurant near the canals and NIA. Perhaps catch a show at one of the theatres.
Fifth day. Catch the train and go into London for a day trip. More mooching, shopping, Museums and Art Galleries. Then to Soho for food and maybe a show.
Sixth day. We will need to chill. So stay in Coventry. Walk around Canley Ford and the Memorial Park with the dog. Grab a sausage sandwich and latte at the Memorial Park Cafe.
on the Seventh day we could mooch around Coombe Abbey maybe, so that they can relax for their journey home.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
People who have inspired me to be me…. My parents. Who ran a business for years called Custom Styling, in Devon during the 1980’s to 2000’s. They had to adapt to situations with very little money and very little help.
My Husband. The JLR Engineer who is all nicknamed on Instagram as the “Tame Woodshed Elf”.
My Daughter – Katherine. Whose artistic ability and ability to adapt and try is always inspiring. When she fully takes over GiaTD….it should be interesting.

Website: www.giveitatwistdesigns.co.uk

Instagram: giveitatwistdesigns

Linkedin: Petra Northmore

Twitter: Petra Northmore

Facebook: Give it a Twist Designs

Other: Instagram is – Give it a Twist Designs by Kat. Etsy – Give it a Twist Designs Depop – Give it a Twist Designs

Image Credits
All photos taken by Petra Northmore and Katherine Northmore

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.