It’s such an exciting time to be in Cornwall as a young person. Every year more and more freelancers and startup businesses are emerging, as this once mining and fishing county becomes one of the best places to live in the digital age.
As the internet grows, more and more Cornish companies are able to outsource the things they need to other individuals and businesses that are still in the county. An even more exciting fact, is that Cornwall now has more freelancers than any other county in the UK, showing that as a whole, we are a county that is actively trying to balance a great lifestyle, with a job that fits around it.
Made In Cornwall is a new series on Life Unexpected, where we showcase a whole range of Cornish startups, services and entrepreneurs.
Whether you’re looking for a Cornish business to work with, or you’d love some inspiration of what job you can do in this county, then look no further.
This week we interview Anna from Byrosanna. If you are looking for a new website or if your company needs branding, then she is the person to approach. Find out more about what she does below.
We know that you work in branding and web design, but could you tell us a bit more about your business. Why and when did you start it and what do you exactly do?
I started out in Software Marketing after qualifying with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, but quickly realised that what I really loved was branding, and working on the visual side of a business – be that a logo, brand imagery or website.
I’d been teaching myself website design from a young age, and designed several for myself and family businesses, and taught myself graphic design with the help of a few Adobe Illustrator courses too.
Gradually over the course of a year I built my design business up enough to leave my job and go freelance full-time! I’ve now been doing it for nearly 2 years and I love it!
I create beautiful brands, logos and websites for small businesses and fellow freelancers around the Cornwall and the rest of the world too!
We live in such a beautiful county, but what is your favourite thing about working and living in Cornwall?
I love being able to take my lunch break to the beach, or finish work with a countryside or coastal walk; what’s not to love about that?
But I think my favourite thing is the sense of community here, especially with small business owners and freelancers. There are lots of networking groups, but just generally everyone is very supportive of each other and friendly, always wanting to encourage any type Cornish business. This feature is living proof, right?
What is your vision/dream for your business?
I believe that beautiful and modern branding and website design should be accessible to all businesses, no matter how small! Design agency fees can rack up multiple thousands, which just isn’t realistic for many freelancers. But equally no one should be stuck with outdated, low quality design just because they’re starting out.
My vision is that all small business owners should have a logo and website they are proud of, and I want to help either by educating people about the deeper considerations of branding, marketing and DIY options, or by offering affordable design services for those wanting to ‘level up’.
Have you had any big business challenges so far and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge has been getting the whole work/life balance thing right… and I’m still working on it!
When you’re a freelancer it’s very difficult to stop or take time off, because if you’re not working, well – you’re not making money! There’s no such thing as sick pay or annual leave for small business owners, so it’s a struggle to organise yourself so that you can actually take time to relax.
Recently I have been getting better at this by finishing at set times each day and trying not to work too late into the evenings, and keeping weekend ‘email free’, but I’ve still got work to do!
What has been the highlight of running your own business?
Getting booked up with projects a few months in advance is always a great feeling, and helps you feel secure too!
But my main highlight definitely involves getting referrals from clients, and previous clients coming back to me for more work – I take it as a serious compliment as it means they really loved what I do!
What advice would you give to other people starting a business?
Nothing happens quickly (aka. Rome wasn’t built in a day!). It took me a solid 6 months of marketing myself before I started getting clients reach out to me instead of me reaching out to them, and another 6 months after that until I had enough work to warrant leaving my job!
It was worth all the effort, and it’s definitely seeing results now, but it took time to see that anything was working… so don’t give up if you don’t see results straight away!
What does a typical working day look like for you?
I’m not a morning person, but I am always sat down ready to work at 9am after taking the dog for a quick walk. I’ll work up until lunch time and take a long break; usually I’ll take the dog to the beach for a run around, or the woods.
In the afternoon I’m at my most creative – so will do admin work and technical website tasks in the morning and leave all the ‘fun stuff’ ’til after lunch! This might involve working on a logo design or a blog post. Then I’ll usually finish between 5 and 6pm and make dinner and settle in for the evening with a movie or a good book!
This is very much a Winter routine when it gets dark at 4:30pm though – in the Summer we’ll usually go out to a beach bar in the evening or for more walks… yes we really like walking!
Is there another Cornish business or creative that you recommend for us to check out?
I know loads of extremely talented photographers here in Cornwall and could recommend a handful to anyone! However, I must mention Olivia Bossert Photography as she is not only one of my closest friends and has an amazing photography style, but also was one of my favourite branding projects to work on too!
Describe Cornwall in no more than three words.
Freedom. Calm. Community
We love Cornwall. There are so many places to walk, explore and eat. Where would you recommend us to visit in Cornwall?
So many places! My favourite place to explore has to be the Lizard at the moment, it’s so wild and beautiful (and very easy to get lost in!) but all along Helford river is truly breathtaking. That and the coast walk along Wheal Coates (Porthtowan to St. Agnes) has incredible, rugged views!
My favourite places to eat include Archie Browns (a vegetarian restaurant with the best salads ever in Truro and Penzance), Rum & Crab Shack in St. Ives (no explanation needed) and Wildebeest Cafe in Falmouth (delicious vegan food and desserts to die for!).
Thank you so much Anna for sharing with us what you do and what you love about the county. We love your suggestions of places to eat . But, even more so love your visions and dreams for your business. We will definitely be coming to you for future branding and web design.
What did you think about our interview with Olivia? Let us know in the comments below.