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NEWS > Emerging Talent Award recipient > Jacki Badger (nee Evans, LEH 1997-2003)

Jacki Badger (nee Evans, LEH 1997-2003)

Jacki Badger, Class of 2003, used her Emerging Talent Award 2022 to upgrade the website for her knitting pattern busines, The Woolly Badger, including taking new photos to showcase her designs.

After accidentally starting my knitting business - teaching workshops and designing and selling patterns - during lockdown, I’ve been a one-woman show for the past 3yrs. I pay a tech editor to check my patterns, but other than that, it’s all me; website, marketing, and my real weakness - photography. 

I applied for the Emerging Talent Award so that I could get some professional photography and website updates- and was absolutely chuffed when my application was successful! 

After a whole load of research, I found a local photographer - Gem Hicks - who does small business shoots and has a beautiful style that I absolutely love. I booked her, and a studio, and then realised that I was going to have to be in front of the camera. 

Which was awkward. 

In a former life, I worked in PR and was behind the scenes on a few photoshoots, so the concept wasn’t totally alien to me, but being the one getting photographed definitely was. Knitting patterns sell better when people can see what they look like when they’re worn, though, so needs must. 

Thankfully, Gem was great at knowing how to direct things, and reassure me when I felt like my face was doing something strange. I’d also brought my favourite mug with me to help deal with the age-old photo problem of “what do k do with my hands?!” After a few hours, we’d got all the shots I needed - and then some more. 

The difference that having good photos has made to my business is unbelievable. Before, I would hold off on sending emails or writing blog posts because I had to images to go with them - but now everything marketing-related is so much easier to do. My website looks umpteen times better than it did before - especially as I was able to pay for a few upgrades with the rest of the grant - and when I’ve been asked for headshots, I’ve actually had ones to send. 

I’m currently trying to shift my business more towards pattern sales than workshops, and the ETA has been a huge help in doing that as I finally have a website and photos that reflect the amount of effort and work that I put into making high quality, professional patterns. I’m very grateful to LEH for the award and for believing in my small business!

You can see Jacki's amazing website here: https://thewoollybadger.com

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