Saturday, 31 October 2020

Let's Get Down to Business: Linda (Layhe) Nugent, Pixel Vista

Let's Get Down to Business: Linda (Layhe) Nugent, Pixel Vista

LINDA (Layhe) Nugent is the owner of Pixel Vista, a web and graphic design business. She works from her home in Nettlebed where she lives with her husband, Gareth, and their daughter Caitlin, 17. Linda has another daughter, Robyn, who is reading sociology and Spanish at Trinity College in Dublin, but is currently stranded in Amsterdam. Linda was born in Lancashire but raised in Rhyl. She has a passion for sculpture and ceramics.

Describe your business

I provide website and graphic design services for small businesses and start-ups.

How many people does it employ?

Just me but I refer work out to my network of skilled associates when required.

What did you do before you started this business?

After dropping out of sixth form, I left home and trained as a dental nurse. Over the next five years I had a series of different jobs. Then I moved south and worked at dental practices in Reading and Henley. A year later I left dental nursing to work for a local software company as a training co-ordinator and discovered my love of software. That company closed so I went to London and did private dental nursing. In 1994 I was offered a job in Marlow for a pharmaceutical company so I returned. Three years later I transferred to their pacemaker implant division as a training co-ordinator. I loved my job.

When did you start your business?

It has gradually evolved since 2004.

What was your objective?

A friend needed a website and had been given a quote that she could not afford. I said, “I’m sure I can do this for you”, which was how I started.

Who or what influenced you?

It was just organic progression. Creating visually pleasing designs gave me creative satisfaction.

Do you have a mentor or role model?

I have multiple role models in many people around me. I watch and notice what works and apply that to my own life and business.

What would you do differently if you could start again?

I probably would have gone to university.

What impact is the coronavirus pandemic having?

I’ve used my skills to set up a community shopping site called Henley Circle to assist local producers and sellers to carry on selling.

How is your business doing?

The business has been growing steadily but obviously these are challenging times for all of us.

How do you market your business?

Using social media mainly and I write an occasional blog. However, most of my clients have come to me as a result of recommendations.

What’s the best thing about running your own business?

Being able to spend time with particular clients that need it most and flexibility for a good work/life balance.

What’s the most challenging aspect?

Keeping up with the multitude of software updates.

How important are online sales?

They are to my clients with websites but I don’t sell anything online myself.

What would you advise someone starting a business?

Listen to experienced people and delegate the things you’re not good at.

What three qualities are most important to success?

Self-confidence, researching the potential of your service and having a good support network before you begin.

What’s the secret of your success?

Demystifying the web plus friendliness and good communication makes for a more enjoyable route to an end result.

What’s the most valuable thing you’ve learned?

Never to underestimate or overestimate the scale of a project and what we know to be correct to apply on one day may not be correct the next day.

What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made?

Like everyone else, I’ve made mistakes, learnt from them and moved on.

How organised are you?

In my personal life I’m very relaxed but in business I have to have good systems and workflows.

How do you dress for work?

Very casually but smart if visiting a client. I’m a bit of an insomniac and often work into the small hours in my pyjamas.

What can’t you be without every day?

Savoury snacks and coffee.

Lunch at your desk or going out?

Mainly snacking while working but sometimes Gareth or a friend will drag me out for lunch.

Do you continue to study?

Constantly because software changes on a daily basis.

What do you read?

I like epic collections of sci-fi and otherworldly fantasy action drama such as GoT, The Assassin’s Apprentice and The Chronicles Thomas Covenant. I read the Henley Standard as it’s such a friendly newspaper and reminds me all is safe in my chosen hometown.

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