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Former Warrington & Vale Royal College students exuberate entrepreneurial spirit and take the creative industry by storm

It’s National Entrepreneurs Day and we want to celebrate some of the ambitious, hard-working young people of Warrington who are striving to make their aspirations a reality!

Today, we shine a spotlight on two of Warrington & Vale Royal College’s amazing alumni who embody entrepreneurial spirit and have embraced the college’s mantra of ‘careers not courses’ by putting their career aspirations at the centre of their education. Both Bobbi Watkins and Molly Horrocks, former pupils at Birchwood Community High School and Padgate Academy retrospectively, have used the skills and experiences gained whilst studying Level 3 Art & Design at the college to set themselves up with their own businesses alongside completing impressive university degrees.

Bobbi joined the college with a passion for art but no clear direction of what she would like to do with her talents. It was not until she worked with one of the college’s art tutors, Becky Rogers, that she explored the possibility of becoming a graphic designer. Upon this realisation, Bobbi worked hard to build her creative digital skills, and eventually left the college with a triple distinction*, which is the equivalent of three A* grades at A Level, to embark on her studies at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Classmate Molly discovered her love for photography at an early age and knew that her dream career would be one where she could stand behind a lens every day. The freedom of the art & design course at the college was ideal for her, as she wanted to focus on perfecting her photography skills while working with the college’s various industry links to build an impressive portfolio. She, too, chose to continue her studies at Manchester Metropolitan University on their BA (Hons) Photography course, taking the vital creative and employability skills she learned at the college with her.

While at university, the friends stayed in touch, continuing to peer assess each other’s work as they had been encouraged to do at college. It soon became clear that both women were ambitious and keen to take their first steps towards starting their own businesses, despite their busy university schedules and part-time jobs. Not people to let an opportunity pass them by, the young women devised plans to launch their businesses and begin to monetise on the skills they had been cultivating since joining the college at age sixteen.

From initially supporting each other to set up their websites and social media platforms, with Molly providing the visual content and Bobbi dealing with the logos and design elements, both budding businesswomen created eye-catching platforms and began to quickly establish their client bases.

Bobbi’s business, @BobbiNicoleDesigns, specialises in elevating and reviving companies’ branding. She has received glowing testimonials from those she has worked with so far, from ceramics specialists to dog fashion boutiques, each commenting on the highly professional service they received and on Bobbi’s ability to encapsulate a brand’s identity in her “fresh and modern” designs, following just one or two consultations.

Since starting her business, Molly has focused on fashion, editorial and portrait photography, and has worked with a host of models in studios while continuing to refine her portfolio which can be viewed at @portraitsbymoll. She is looking forward to completing her degree, which will allow her to dedicate more time to her business and hopefully open doors to opportunities to work with major fashion houses across the country.

Bobbi, reflecting on her successes so far as a young businesswoman, said: “If there is one thing that the college taught me, it was to commit to my dream career and make it happen. The tutors encouraged me to take creative risks and really pushed me to develop my eye for style and design. They also helped me to choose the right university course to suit me, which I have really benefited from so far. A combination of these experiences, as well as my friendship and encouragement from Molly, have been hugely useful in starting my business.”

If you have been inspired by Bobbi and Molly’s entrepreneurial success in the creative sector and want to study at a college that puts your career first, then check out the college’s range of art, design and fashion courses here!