Mersesyside Independent Business Women: An interview with Lucy Byrne


Lucy Byrne

Managing Director, dot-art

Where is your business and what does it do?

I run an art organisation called dot-art, from our lovely little gallery in Queen Avenue, off Castle Street in Liverpool city centre. dot-art supports artists and champions art as in integral part of everyday life. We do this by selling affordable, locally sourced art, working with businesses to put art into the workplace and public realm, running a wide range of creative courses for the public, operating an annual, inter-school art competition across the Liverpool City Region and Cheshire, and lots of other creative projects.

What does it mean to you to be a female leader?

I did not set out to become a leader, or even a business owner, but over the past 12 years, by following my passion for art and belief that art should be accessible and relevant to all, dot-art has developed and grown. To date our small team of three has supported the careers of over 600 visual artists, engaged over 4000 children and young people and delivered almost 10000 hours of creative learning. As a woman in business, leading an all-female team, we are proud to say that 50% of the artists we work with are also female. As an organisation, we aim to inspire the next generation of creative talent through our work in schools, by providing strong female role models and building awareness of creative career opportunities across a wide range of fields.

What’s your favourite thing about going to work each day?

Knowing that no two days will ever be the same. Every day a will present a new challenge or adventure, whether it be launching a new project, opening an exhibition or working with a new artist. I particularly enjoy clients coming to us with a creative challenge that they have not been able to solve elsewhere; this is where working directly with over 100 artists really comes into its own! Another wonderful part of my job is being able to tell an artist when they have sold their first piece or won a big commission, this is when you really see the impact of what we do.

Your best piece of advice for women in independent business?

Ask for help – fellow female business owners especially, in my experience, are always willing to offer advice and support. Tenacity, determination and self-belief are also vital, as there will always be days when you question what on earth you are doing!