Ceramist, Katie Netley, has won the British Dyslexia Association’s Top Achievement Award thanks to the support she received from Lavenham based charity, Good Story.
Good Story was set up in early 2013 by Malcolm and Nicky McAllister in loving memory of Nicky’s daughter, Mimi Watts. A talented clothing designer, Mimi, 26, died in a snowboarding accident in Chamonix in 2012 while launching her own business.
Inspired by Mimi, the charity was established with the aim to help young people, aged 18 – 30, build a business in the creative industries. And in 2015, the charity developed a mentoring programme specifically for entrepreneurs with dyslexia.
The programme was born in response to a high number of applications received from individuals with dyslexia and 20 per cent of the UK’s entrepreneurs having the condition.
Excluded from school and without formal qualifications, Katie, from Haslemere, took dead-end jobs. Encouraged by her mum, she wanted to express her creativity and at 23, found she excelled at ceramics.
She secured a place at Brighton and Hove City College to study art and later completed a degree at Brighton University.
After graduation, Katie set up her own business; Katie Netley Ceramics. Although she shone creatively, she struggled running a business.
By approaching Good Story, Katie’s mentor guided her to develop strategies to overcome the difficulties specific to her dyslexia such as time management and expressing information.
The mother-of-one said: “A huge thank you to the charity for believing in me enough to match me with a mentor who helped turn my passion for ceramics into a sustainable business.”