Gillian Logan, director of Skinny Sketcher

What does your business do?

As an architect I found myself in the position of being my son's show and tell during his school architecture topic.

I tried to source a fun, hands-on architectural activity to take along to class but found that the craft/design market was dominated by jewellery and fashion kits.

I designed my own activity for the day and over the past two years I've been developing that initial workshop into Skinny Sketcher - a children's drawing kit aimed at budding architects.

Where are you based? At Strathleven House in Vale of Leven near Loch Lomond.

This is a serviced office space within a listed building, run by the Scottish Historic Buildings Trust.

Coincidently one of my first jobs after graduating from the Glasgow School of Art was for the architect who refurbished the building and Strathleven House was one of my first site visits.

It's a really inspiring and beautiful place to work.

How did you get started?

I first started working for myself when my children were very young which involved a lot of juggling.

My working day would often start when my children went to bed and end in the early hours of the morning, which was quite hard going.

Now that both of my children are at school I'm hoping to have more regular hours.

What is your top tip?

Instead of writing a "to do" list, I record the things that I've done during the day within my diary.

I find it's more motivating to reflect on what I've achieved at the end of the day, as opposed to focusing on items on a to-do list.

How long has your business been running?

I registered the company in May 2014.

Has anyone helped you get started and how?

My Business Gateway advisor Ann Scott has been extremely supportive.

From putting me in touch with the relevant people, such as trading standards for advice on children's safety legislation, to answering queries including where to purchase a barcode. I'm extremely grateful that she encouraged me to apply for the Entrepreneurial Spark program.

What was your biggest mistake/or what would you do differently?

Initially Skinny Sketcher was going to be Pot Doodle and I even went as far as trademarking the name.

Once my trademark was granted I discussed it with some designer friends, who thankfully were quite honest with their criticism and I went back to the drawing board.

It was a valuable lesson, to always listen and change direction if it's the right thing to do, no matter how far down the line you are.

Who is your mentor or inspiration?

I've just started the Entrepreneurial Spark programme and I have my first meeting with my enabler Ken Whipp this week. Ken's from a retail background and his experience will be invaluable.

Where do you plan your business to be in five years time?

I plan to develop a range of Skinny Sketchers, featuring different buildings from around the world.

Useful contacts

Business Gateway has free resources, such as Mintel reports for market research.

Entrepreneurial Spark has a wide network of mentors and funding opportunities. They also provide free office space in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Ayrshire.

Trading Standards officers provide free advice on relevant regulations.

Glasgow Scientific Services carry out product testing to ensure compliance with safety regulations.

Contact Details

Gillian Logan, Skinny Sketcher Ltd, Suite G9, Strathleven House, Vale of Leven, G82 3PD. info@skinnysketcher.com