Pandemic inspires alumna to start eco-friendly business

Pandemic inspires alumna to start eco-friendly business

The pandemic inspired alumna and current member of staff at the University, Helina Turbel to turn her graphic design hobby into a small business.

After completing a bachelor’s degree in Marketing with Events Management in 2017 and graduating with a master’s degree from Loughborough in International Management MSc in 2018, Helina joined a digital marketing agency on the University campus in the Advanced Technology Innovation Centre.  She now works as in the University’s Marketing and Advancement team as a Marketing Co-ordinator.

Helina had always wanted to start a business of her own, but often did not find the time to fit in all the processes involved. She also wanted the business to grow with sustainability in mind as she didn’t want to contribute to the large amount of plastic packaging and emissions like larger businesses do.

Once the pandemic started, Helina used her spare time at home to focus on her hobby. She started drawing on her iPad and sharing the designs on social media. She received heaps of encouraging support and product requests, which led her to visualise her designs as real-life products. That’s when Little Bloom Shop UK came to life.

Little Bloom Shop UK is a small online Etsy shop selling greeting cards, wall prints and stickers. Helina has designed every item by hand, and several products have already sold out since the launch in January 2021. She started off with a Valentine’s Day collection and after a successful launch, she went on to create both spring and summer collections. The products are accessible across the world, and recently she has shipped items to the Netherlands, Portugal, and the USA.

Helina is incredibly passionate about sustainability and making more eco-friendly choices where possible, and that is exactly what she has done with her small shop. She aims to source more local suppliers and use recyclable and compostable packaging where possible. For example, the greeting cards, wall prints and stickers that you would normally buy from a shop would be sealed in a plastic bag for protection, which are often fossil fuel derived and non-renewable, hence incredibly bad for our environment. Whilst Helina’s cards and prints are also sealed in a clear bag, they are made from annually renewable corn and potato starch, making them fully compostable and biodegradable!

Helina hopes her story inspires others to turn their small business dreams into reality – there is nothing that should hold you back.

You can find out more about Helina’s business online