An enterprising woman from Whitley Bay has turned a lockdown career change into an exciting business opportunity with a new interior design firm, following assistance from the North Tyneside Business Factory.

Carole Crowe (47) launched Carole Crowe Interior Design after swapping a management role in hotel hospitality to follow her lifelong dream of working in the creative industries.  With a number of high specification and ground-breaking interior schemes in the domestic market already under her belt, the future is already looking bright for the flourishing interior design business.

Carole formerly worked as part of the operations team at a Northumberland hotel & spa before the combination of a domestic renovation project and the Covid lockdowns put a new perspective on her career aspirations.

Carole Crowe comments: “I actually started my professional life very much in the creative industries.  I studied art and design and specialised in photography and graphic design with a hope to pursue a career which made the most of my broader love of the arts.  For various reasons, I ended up moving in a different direction but always hoped to one day return when the time was right.


“The lockdowns were a real moment of reflection for me professionally.  I wasn’t enjoying my job and it was becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a positive outlook in the working environment I was experiencing.  This also coincided with starting a new home renovation and extension project and I realised that my passion for interior design was far greater than what I was doing in my day-to-day role.

“I have quite a unique but approachable style and the whole process became a huge eye opener for me as I my project management and creative skills came to the fore in a way that just felt right.  Creating schemes for each room which were unique but cohesive and working with the different trades I realised that this is what I was meant to do.”

As the project came to fruition, Carole realised that her always intuitive and unique skills in interior design could be something other people may appreciate as a service.  Emboldened by the positive response to the final finished scheme, Carole took the plunge to leave her role and embark upon self-employment as an interior designer.

Carole continued: “It was, and still is, a very scary thing to do when deciding to set up your own business.  Interior design is so personal but as a trainer counsellor I’ve always been able to really tap into a person’s psyche and get a handle on what they would enjoy creatively.  I like to get to know my clients, really get under their skin, and try to create a home environment which reflects their life and what they enjoy.

“I’ve just completed my first two multi-room renovation for a domestic client in Whitley Bay with another underway in Gosforth and they both have so many wonderful and unique touches.  I’m also currently in discussions with my first commercial client and another multi-room project in Durham which for a brand new business, is fantastic.  I’m just so pleased that people have responded to my ideas and approach in such a positive way.”

Carole received help and guidance from the North Tyneside Business factory, supported by the European Regional Development Fund to assist in her start-up journey.  Delivered by TEDCO Business Support in the Borough, the Business Factory and its team of experienced advisors bring one-to-one support in the form of business planning and financial guidance to guide start-ups to a successful launch.

Carole continues: “My business advisor, Lee Casey has been absolutely outstanding in her level of support.  She has been there as my sounding board throughout every aspect of starting up my own business.  I was also able to access a series of free workshops from the Business Factory which cover just about every aspect of running your own business.

The Business Factory is the enterprise support programme from North Tyneside Council

Lee Casey, Business Advisor at TEDCO / The Business Factory comments: “Carole has so much talent that to date, she has kept to herself for her own private interior projects.  I’m so pleased that the world can now experience the wonderfully creative and simply beautiful interior skills that she possesses through her new business venture.  It’s been a real pleasure supporting Carole through this early start-up phase and I look forward to helping in her business journey long into the future.”

For more information on the services we deliver through the North Tyneside Business Factory, please contact (0191) 605 3110 or visit


What we offer

TEDCO offers one-on-one support provided by a dedicated team of business advisors and a range of pre start seminars available to clients who are taking the first steps into self-employment. This could be looking at an initial idea and developing it further, looking at how to start a business plan, business competitors, business marketing.

Are you eligible?

If you are looking to start and grow a business we’d love to hear from you. Our friendly team of experienced Business Advisors are on hand to take your call to discuss the support available.

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