EACH week the Evening Times will turn the spotlight on one of the dozens of new local businesses determined to succeed.

They are the future for Glasgow and the west of Scotland's economy and are working hard to achieve success in the face of continuing economic hardship.

Many new businesses are struggling to take off because of the economic downturn, and this new column will offer advice for potential start-ups.

Each company will answer the same questions about their business and their answers will appear in the Evening Times each Wednesday.

This week, Kirsteen Connell tells how she started her company, Twinkle Twinkle

Who are you?

Twinkle Twinkle – we are a fabulous new design house for special occasion accessories.

Where are you based?

At home, at my dining room table, then I built a studio in my garden where I work from and offer a bespoke consultation design service

What is your background?

My background is in business and marketing, before moving into global sales with a large IT company.

Always striving to have accessories different from everyone else, I am a self taught accessory maker. I furthered my skills by completing a three-year degree in jewellery design at Cardonald College.

What is your top tip?

Never ever give up, and always know your customers and market inside out.

How long has your business been running?

It started as a small business called Twinkle Twinkle Tiaras six years ago and has flourished into so much more.

Has anyone helped you get started and how?

I worked initially with Business Gateway, who helped me locate and funded courses that gave me a better knowledge of social media.

I then applied and was accepted for E-spark, which has been fundamental in the acceleration of helping me launch Bella Brilla. The support and mentoring I have recieved in such a short time is priceless.

What was your biggest mistake/or what would you do differently?

If I could go back to leaving school again, I would definitely have followed my heart into a career in the creative industries.

Who is your inspiration?

In designing I am inspired by the actresses and models who exude Hollywood glamour.

In terms of business, I am inspired by people who have made it the fashion industry, such as Michelle Mone, Christopher Kane and all Scottish designers who have put Scotland on the map.

Where do you plan your business to be in five years time?

I am working towards building Bella Brilla as a brand name, working with innovative textile, millinery and jewellery graduates to bring to the special occasion market exclusive, fresh new products via a global e-commerce website and a hand-picked list of suppliers.

Useful contacts


http://www.entrepreneurial- spark.com/