alison m harkins limelite creative

The journey of a wee girl from Cumbernauld

Thanks to Sophie Robertson (Sophie Gets Social / 17 Degrees Magazine) for tagging me in this initiative.   

Here goes…  


I was born just before midday on April 4th 1975 in Robroyston (when there was a hospital there!). I grew up in Cumbernauld in the 80s with my mum and dad, and my 2 brothers – all 1 year apart in age! My parents had a ‘surprise’ baby when I was 16, another brother, he’s now 29!  

I left school aged 16 with no idea what I wanted to do and fell into a few temporary clerical jobs – initially with an electricity supplier, then a roofing company, followed by a wheel bearing company. But I didn’t want to measure sprockets and bearings for the rest of my life – and a much needed pep talk from my late Dad was all it took to convince me I had much more to offer.  

At 20, I left home to study graphic design for 5 years in Dundee and eventually graduated in 2000 with an Honours in Graphic Design. I went on to work in Aberdeen, Stirling and Falkirk for 4 different companies over a span 17 years (roles included Junior Designer, Assistant Studio Manager, Creative Artworker, Designer, and Creative Design Manager).

In March 2017, with a 2 year old and a 10 month old, I took a leap of faith and went for voluntary severance with then employer, SEPA, and set up my own graphic design business – Limelite Creative.  

I’m passionate about helping business owners transform their dreams into reality whether it’s through branding, packaging or social media graphics. The people I’ve met in the last 3 years have inspired me so much and completely opened up a new world of opportunities and abilities. New lifetime friendships have formed and I feel very lucky. I love what I do and have no regrets going out on my own, even in the current crisis.   

Just a few highlights in my career to date are:

? Designing my own bath and body range for The Scottish Fine Soaps Company which was even featured in Vogue Magazine – check out the ‘Get Flirty’ range which is still available in selected hotels! 

? Working with a client in Dubai!

? Being shortlisted in the Falkirk Herald Business Awards 2018 for the ‘Best Start-up Business’ category.  

My other half, Stew and I have 2 wee boys aged 3 and 5 who keep us entertained (or perhaps I mean exhausted?!). I’m kept extremely busy and life is a juggle at times but when I have free time I like to spend it with family and friends, watch psychological thrillers and just potter at home. Oh, and I do love a cup of tea and a wee roller skate – but not at the same time!  

THAT’S ME! I’ve tagged a few other businesses on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn to take part too!  

The headshot is from a recent series by the amazing Sonja Blietschau of Sonja Blietschau Photography in Falkirk.

#fromcorporatetoquirky #graphicdesignfalkirk #mystory