Heather Kavanagh is someone, like Paul Dunning, whom I’ve known online for a very long time. As a freelance designer she really started to struggle when the financial crash of 2008 hit, and a concerted effort to find full-time employment let to a few interviews but no work. It got to the stage where she was feeling so low, she considered professional help.
However with the help of her network of friends, and the support of her partner, she managed to keep up the search for her professional niche. She decided to look into photography of scale models, something she had been doing (and enjoying for years), but nobody took her seriously enough to want to hire her.
A chance conversation with a friend at a railway modelling meeting let her to build a model railway coach for him. He was really pleased with the result, so she ended up making three more coaches for him, and three more, to the point where her friend suggested she contact the manufacturer of the models to offer her services.
They took her up on her offer, and before long she became a professional model maker, working on a commission for a complete stranger. She now has a whole stack of commissioned models, with the prospect of much more to come, with a workload that will keep her busy until the middle of next year.
From a personal perspective, having been witness to Heather’s struggles as she tried to find something that was right for her, I’m delighted that things are going so well for her now, and, like me, she’s finally being paid to do something she loves, which is the best feeling in the world. She credits her success to “trying to be positive about something I could do, and talking to people who were prepared to give me a break”.