In the run up to International Women’s Day we are highlighting some of the inspiring female entrepreneurs celebrated in Small Business Britain’s f:Entrepreneur #IAlso100 campaign, which is an annual a line-up of 100 multi-achieving women from all over the UK.
- Tell us about Tigz Rice
I am an empowerment photographer based in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire and I curate photographic experiences that help others reconnect with their bodies and feel confident and unapologetically present in both their personal and professional adventures. Combining luxury editorial photography with my signature style of industry-leading retouching, my mission is to level up my clients’ digital visibility and curate their legacy with authentic images that show the world their ‘why’.
- When did you set the company up an what was the thinking behind it?
I originally set up as a sole trader in 2009, having graduated from university with a degree in Illustration. We were just hitting the peak of a recession and jobs were few and far between, so I knew that if I wanted to do something meaningful with my creativity at that point. Setting up as self-employed and working on becoming visible online was the best way to get the ball rolling. But also, having spent most of my teenage years working part-time weekend jobs, it was a beautiful insight into the way business finances work. I quickly realised that if I ran my own business, I’d be getting a much bigger piece of the pie. Initially, most of my projects and commissions were illustration based, but a natural flair for photography soon took over, and by 2013 I was predominantly working as a photographer. In 2018, after gaining an international reputation and client base, I was given the opportunity to publish my award-winning book ‘Strip Tease’ featuring my burlesque photography, which I published with Working Class Publishing, and this was the major catalyst in switching to a limited company.
- What products/services do you produce?
I’m a pretty entrepreneurial human so there’s quite a few revenue streams that my brand offers. I’m best known for my empowering photography experiences, which can include personal branding photoshoots, portrait sessions and boudoir makeover sessions. I also run Creative Play Days, where I produce a series of styled shoot events each year for photographers to get out of their comfort zones and have a go at photographing something completely different.
On top of that, I also offer mentoring and tuition in all things photography: whether that is one-to-one sessions for individuals, setting up best practice workflows for corporate photography departments, or upskilling your entire media department on Adobe software. And if that wasn’t enough, I also offer a range of prints that sit alongside my book in my online store.
- What do you enjoy most about being your own boss?
There are so many reasons I love being my own boss, but at the very top of the list is having complete control over my working hours, where I have designed myself a schedule that works best for my lifestyle. One of my favourite parts of my schedule is that I don’t work Monday mornings, so instead of battling the inbox at 9am you’ll find me doing a morning gym session followed by a Japanese language class. I usually end up working one evening a week anyway, so my time is balanced, plus I get to start to week doing something that I really look forward to!
- What advice would you give other women thinking about setting up their own business?
There is no greater feeling in the world than knowing that something you did, said, invented or improved, is making a difference in the world. Be the change you want and need to see. It’s time to create your legacy.
- Sum up your business in three words.
Empowering, Authentic, Creative.
- What other areas of your life do you apply your entrepreneurial skill to?
To be completely honest, I’m not sure my entrepreneurial mindset ever truly switches off. Every time I pick up a new hobby or skill, somehow it ends up becoming monetised. Take, for example, our household recipes, which are tailored to support a variety of family allergies. These are currently typed up in an Indesign document halfway to becoming a self-published cook book. Or my Japanese lessons, which was a lockdown project that has since helped me develop business relationships internationally. I can’t even say my gym membership, because even that has been re-negotiated!