Angela Reed, left, has launched Creative Calligraphy, which offers a bespoke handwriting service for wedding stationery and other special occasions.
However the 32-year-old was encouraged to start her own firm by a business adviser she had spoken to in the course of her newspaper work and orders are now starting to roll in.
Said Angela: “One of the last press releases I received as a journalist was about a self-employment event being held by the National Careers Service, at Sunderland College.
“I went along with the intention of finding out about freelancing as a journalist, but at the back of my mind was an idea I had some years ago about doing something with my calligraphy skills.
“A representative from the BIC told me about the New Enterprise Allowance, a Government scheme that provides money and support to help you start your own business, and I thought it was too good an opportunity to miss.
“It has been a steep learning curve, but I’m thrilled with the way things have worked out and I’m delighted that I can now say I run my own business.”
Mum-of-two Angela accessed the enterprise allowance scheme via Jobcentre Plus in South Shields, later working with a mentor on her business plan.
Her lates commissions have included place cards for a wedding, a table plan for a charity dinner, certificates for staff at South Tyneside Council and scrolls for Year 6 leavers at Ridgeway Primary Academy in South Shields.
She added: “I think calligraphy adds a lovely finishing touch to stationery for special occasions.
“We’re used to communicating via e-mail and text, but there’s nothing like receiving something that has been handwritten.”