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START UP Stories

START UP-supported artist collaborates with global self-care platform

Current student Louise Brown founded GoodStrangeVibes to promote body positivity and mental health awareness through playful artwork powered by serious messages.

Graduating this year from a combined honours in Politics, Psychology and Sociology, Louise expresses the principles and theories from her subjects within her art. In particular, her work pioneers feminist, LGBTQ+ and sustainability directives with inclusive illustrations printed on sustainable products - such as recycled notebooks and good quality second-hand t-shirts, making them one of a kind. 

Louise took up START UP support soon after launching an Instagram page for her work in 2018 and accessed our Student Initiative Fund whilst she explored how best to establish her business and set the wheels in motion. She registered as a sole trader and was introduced to a connection within Commercial Union House to produce her screen prints. 

Louise commented: “The START UP support available is incredible. I would be nowhere near where I am now without it and I’m so impressed we can have it after graduation as well”. 

Finding opportunities amid covid-19 disruption 

The markets Louise usually sells at, including those organised by Sister Shack who frequent the Northumbria and Newcastle University students unions, have been put on hold due to the covid-19 crisis. Louise was also forced to leave most of her stock behind in Newcastle after returning to her family in London to self-isolate, so is currently unable to sell many of the products within her online store. 

Encouraged by her START UP Adviser to adapt and seek new opportunities to keep her business going, Louise began submitting new designs to the online platform Self Care Is For Everyone (SCIFE), which allows her to work remotely and distribute worldwide. 

She was thrilled when SCIFE accepted all of her new designs to be printed on 16 different product lines and is currently in discussions about delivering online body appreciation workshops with the site. 

In addition, Louise and a collective of artists on Instagram have created a free downloadable colouring book, available from to support mental health and mindfulness at this difficult time. 

Artists are entrepreneurs too

You don’t need to be a business student to be an entrepreneur. Our START UP services are available to any Newcastle University student or recent graduate who wants to be their own boss, whether that’s by starting a business, freelance or portfolio career. 

Commenting on what she would say to other creatives who don’t realise they can access our support, Louise said: “I’d definitely say to get in touch because I’ve only ever received really friendly and helpful advice that was individually adapted to me. I think it's a really incredible resource”. 

If you would like to access our incredible resources, arrange a 121 appointment via MyCareer today! 


Louise Brown, founder of GoodStrangeVibes

published on: 28 May 2020