Amber-Lauren Ballantyne, grew up pursuing her passion for acrobatic gymnastics. At the age of 11 she was part of a trio representing Great Britain in international competition. She won the silver medal at the European Championships in Holland two years later.
The catalyst came after increasingly terrifying nightmares which were coupled with unpredictable bouts of sleepwalking. The situation became unbearable and she decided to quit her sport.
Having to find a new path in life, Amber-Lauren enrolled on a two-year course in Art and Design. She was enjoying it but her mother became concerned that her sketchbooks were filled with drawings of skeletal or obese women, death and violence. It turned out that her art helped her deal with what she had been through. With the help of her mother, Amber-Lauren put together an exhibition which was a huge success.
Upon completing her course, Amber-Lauren decided to start her own business and got in touch with The Prince’s Trust. She was accepted onto the Trust’s Enterprise programme.
From then on, Amber-Lauren’s confidence started to grow. She launched a Saturday class in a village hall teaching art to children. The business grew and classes are now taught six days a week in her own studio, teaching adults as well as children. In 2015, she won the National Young Entrepreneur Award at the Venus Awards.
Her first London exhibition was held at The Prince’s Trust’s Tomorrow’s Store in Moorgate. Amber-Lauren then launched a collection of wearable art scarves, which were sold nationwide. She quickly got commissioned paintings and her business is now very successful.
She has recently become a Young Ambassador for The Prince’s Trust. Amber-Lauren said:
Amber-Lauren’s design was selected by our retail partner, Asos, as a winner in the 2016 Tomorrow’s Talent competition. Her design will be used for a range of Asos t-shirts.