Kim studied BA (Hons) Graphic Design and graduated in 2012.

Leeds Arts University alumna Kim Sandford certainly has reason to celebrate. Her new business, Bread and Butter Threads has turned over £53k in first year of trading, and delivered an impressive one thousand orders in the run up to Christmas months.

After graduating she went straight to work in the creative sector, initially in a graphic design role at Rabbit Hole, then at FCT Online.  She established the Bread and Butter Threads brand after moving back to Tees Valley late in 2015 and began trading in February last year. We caught up with Kim to find out more.

Kim Sandford

What did you enjoy about your time at Leeds Arts University and how did the course help you in starting out professionally?

I really enjoyed the intensity of the course. Fred Bates really pushed us to our maximum, and opened our minds to our potential and what we could achieve in the creative industry. The course definitely instilled a sense of hard work pays off, we were in the university all hours working very hard to achieve the best we could. 

What did you do after leaving University?

On leaving the course I went to work for a graphic design company in Leeds called Rabbit Hole. They are an amazing team of graphic designers who work very hard to create new and exciting design work. I then moved more into the fashion side, designing prints for clothing. 

Your new business Bread and Butter Threads has done really well in the first year of trading. Can you tell us more about it?

Starting up my business was by far the hardest but most rewarding thing I have ever done. A typical day starts with completing orders answering and enquiries for workwear and personalised items. I then focus on promotion and getting my brand out there and creating more designs to sell. 

A lot of time and hard work went into setting up Bread & Butter Threads; I remember starting trading and selling four in a week and being over the moon!

Do you have any tips or advice for current students or recent graduates wanting to start their own business?

The only advice I would give to students is to just work as hard as you possibly can and to learn all aspects of design but keep the vision of where you see yourself going in the future, that dream job! 

Finally, are there any future ambitions or projects in the pipeline you can tell us about?

I am looking to grow my business and hopefully employ like-minded creatives to expand Bread & Butter Threads further and hopefully have an even better second year than the first!