Gillian Seale, Author and Illustrator at Tailored Yarn CIC
Leaving a legacy of words through beautiful bespoke children’s books for families with terminal illness
I’ve always enjoyed reading and love telling stories – although, as an author, it’s hard to admit that I required a tutor to pass English at school or that I intentionally chose to study Mathematics at university so I’d avoid essay-based subjects. It wasn’t until years later, when I was working as an accountant, that I was formally diagnosed with dyslexia.
Accountancy was never my passion and I left it behind permanently a couple of years ago. I’m currently studying for a Masters degree in Psychology at the University of Chester. It was there, in June this year, that I entered the Venture Entrepreneur Competition – leading to prizes including social media and marketing consultancy along with a business grant which I used to start Tailored Yarn CIC. Without the positive feedback and encouragement from the judges, I would have lacked the confidence to set up my business.
My biggest inspiration for making it all possible is a close friend who has muscular dystrophy – and my first completed book, ‘Post Pixie Missing in Action’, is a fictional portrayal of her life.
My ultimate ambition with Tailored Yarn is to reach the stage where I can give my books away to families virtually for free by sourcing funding from elsewhere. I am hoping that through book sales, crowdfunding campaigns and providing educational workshops at local schools – using material around topics close to my heart such as dyslexia, muscular dystrophy and mental health – I can fulfil this dream.
Art therapy played an important healing role in my own recovery following a diagnosis of postpartum psychosis after the birth of my third child. I’ve volunteered with the national charity Action on Postpartum Psychosis (APP) – raising awareness of this rare but serious mental illness. Helping support other mothers during recovery is extremely important to me, which is why I’m researching this area in my dissertation.
I’m on track to complete this for my Masters by October 2020, which is when I’ll need to decide whether to fully focus on Tailored Yarn or pursue a career as a psychological wellbeing practitioner. For the time being I’m happy to spin all the plates I have and be thankful for the here and now.