After studying illustration at university, Sally experienced tough times. The relationship with her partner fell apart and she became homeless. She managed to find accommodation in supported housing, but was struggling to find any positives with her life.

Sally says:

“Every area of my life seemed like a disaster and that combined with my mental health issues, made it really difficult for me to see a happy future. I wanted to get into work but I didn’t feel up to it. I felt unnerved about my future.

I had no idea what to do next or where my life was going. I would spend most days painting, drawing or making things, which was the only thing that helped me to cope with my anxiety.

Sally wanted to put her illustration skills to use and pursue self-employment, so she approached The Prince’s Trust with her business idea.

She says:

“During the Enterprise programme, I started to understand more about running a business including bookkeeping, tax, marketing and the legal side too.

My business mentor was with me every step of the way and I received so much support; it helped me to believe in myself so that I could turn my dreams into a reality.

It was then that Sally decided to set up her own company, Sally Darby Illustrations. She specialises in producing designs for children’s publishing, stationery, kids’ products and surface patterns.

“With help from some incredible people and using all the internal strength available to me, I have managed to get myself to a place where I feel I can now focus on achieving my dreams. Being able to draw every day makes me feel as well as I can be. I found life really hard before, but now I’ve got a positive focus, which has literally helped save my life,” adds Sally.

Sally Darby

Sally was selected by our retail partner, FatFace, as a winner of the 2016 Tomorrow’s Talent competition. Her designs are featured on this range of accessories in the Spring 2017 collection.