Entrepreneurial alumna Laura Scott set to launch new vegan venture
Entrepreneur Laura Scott, who graduated from BA (Hons) Graphic Design (now called BA (Hons) Graphic Communication) at Arts University Plymouth in 2018, is launching a new venture, Dimpsy’s Diner, after running her first business, Conscious Candy, for five years.
Before undergraduate study, Laura completed an Extended Diploma with Arts University Plymouth’s Pre-Degree provision, specialising in graphic design and illustration. She started the Conscious Candy company within a year of graduating from Arts University Plymouth and went on to achieve a turnover of £1.3m before moving on to found Dimpsy’s Diner, her next business venture.
With Dimpsy’s set to launch in June in Plymouth, we caught up with Laura to ask the 25-year-old about her journey so far and how her artistic background has influenced her entrepreneurial career.
I enjoyed the course. I loved the fact that it was extremely creative. We had great opportunities and a great course leader. The team were extremely supportive especially when I started my first graphic design job whilst still studying in the final year. I met a lot of great friends and some amazing contacts. The course allowed me to get my first job as a graphic designer and I am still using skills today from the course.
There are so many unique people within the University and you also have the opportunity to make the most of other courses. If I ever needed another person with a different set of skills there was always the option to work with people from other courses. The amenities within the University are also super useful. I wish I had used more of them looking back!
I admire a lot of entrepreneurs and often listen to podcasts and read books but I think the only person that should drive you as a person is yourself. I'm constantly trying to grow and I set myself bolder goals for the future all the time. I love being inspired by my failures and looking back on the things I have achieved in the past.
Whilst I only had a job within graphic design for 6 months before leaving to start my own business I still use graphic design on a daily basis. My creative thinking is what allows me to stand out in a group of budget and spreadsheet driven entrepreneurs. I love applying my creative flair to projects and branding especially. At the moment I am currently creating artwork for Dimpsy's and a custom wallpaper.
I also love creating brands inspired by vintage artwork. I always find new ideas for projects by going to car boot sales or antique shops.
Always be different and stand out. There are a lot of students doing exactly the same thing. Find a niche that drives you and makes you stand out from the crowd. This doesn't have to be over the top but make sure you are memorable at an interview. For example - in an interview I had I created edible cupcake toppers with my branding and examples of my work. The cupcakes were a great hit with the interviewers and the staff members that worked there.
It's not just about the gimmicks - make sure your work stands out too and that you are doing passion projects and client work and not just your student briefs. People in the industry want to see examples of real work done under time constraints so make sure you're either doing paid work or voluntary design work.
I started Conscious Candy the same year I graduated. I wanted something to keep me busy at the weekends whilst I was working my graphic design job and to bring in a few extra pennies. However, within a week of launching the business had a huge amount of interest and orders and I had to quit my job and look for a commercial unit within a week.
Conscious Candy filled a gap in the market for vegan confectionery to be delivered to your door. We offered large 1kg pick and mix as well as baked goods, chocolate, fudge and American candy. I am very proud to say that we grew for 5 years, turned over £1.3 million and employed 5 people at our largest.
I was never a business person and I had no skills in business when I started. I was simply a person with an idea and the possibility to turn that idea from a vision to a brand. I learnt SO much from my first business (including boring things like bookkeeping, payroll, interviews, PAYE, VAT etc) but also professional and personal skills. I always let my creativity lead the business and applied my graphic design knowledge to designing and building a website, creating ads for the business, designing flyers and award applications.
I will be using many transferable skills from Conscious Candy to launch my new business, Dimpsy's Diner, including all the boring business stuff! But most importantly I'm super happy to be able to have some of the staff working there that have come from Conscious Candy and are great friends now.
Dimpsy's Diner is a new restaurant opening in Plymouth at the beginning of June 2023. We will be based on Mayflower Street in the vegan restaurant previously known as Samphire. Dimpsy's will be a 1960's themed Americana diner with amazing plant based food including burgers, hotdogs, milkshakes, deep fried Oreos, coke floats, American pies and more. We will have 1950s and 1960s music played through a jukebox and mid-century inspired interior.
I am super excited to be opening a vegan diner in the city centre that will be a great space for students to chill out at or study in whilst enjoying well priced plant-based food and unlimited coffee with great music.
If you're ever wanting to start a business or become your own boss, never hold yourself back. Go for it with full force and you'll never regret the future.
Dimpsy’s Diner is launching at the beginning of June.
Laura said: “Please follow our socials for more up to date information about our opening @dimpsys and student discounts once we open.”
BA (Hons) Graphic Communication at Arts University Plymouth is an ambitious undergraduate-level course aimed at creating a new breed of professional designers who can empower brands and inspire community action on a global scale, through both traditional and hybrid design approaches.
For anybody interested in the role of graphic communication as a vehicle for change and idea transfer, this degree will equip students with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge necessary to succeed at the forefront of industry. From print publications to large-format advertising, user experience to data visualisation, Graphic Communication students at Arts University Plymouth learn how to make their ideas an online and offline reality