Business & IP Centre Devon

Inspiring Stories

Every day Business & IP Centre provides support to small business owners, entrepreneurs and inventors, just like this one, helping them to grow their business.

We’ve helped 100s of individuals to move forward, through our online courses, the workshops and webinars from experts within their field, as well as providing access to our databases and IP specialists, all for free!

To start your own inspiring story, get in touch today.

Design The Life You Want

women with brown hair standing in front of trees

Find out how Maya found the motivation to turn her dreams into reality with some help from BIPC Devon.

About Me

I’m Maya and I’m the lead designer of Mayajoy – a Home & lifestyle brand bringing joy into every home. With thoughtfully designed homeware, stationery, and gifts, I bring simple pleasure to everyday moments. On my website and Social media channels, I share my journey to encourage and inspire women to step outside of their comfort zones and live a life of purpose, contentment and joy.

After completing a degree in Interior Design and Masters in Textiles & Surface Pattern Design, I started my career with the well-acclaimed Laura Ashley working as an Interior Designer in London. It was here that I developed a love of British design with bright and modern playful accents. I left this role in 2013 and after taking a few (many) years out of the industry to start a family, I found myself working in a mundane 9-5 that left me feeling unfulfilled.

My Business

In September 2021 I was facing redundancy and finally made the decision to follow my dreams, take a leap of faith and commit to bringing my own design brand to life. My goal was to create my own design business: Mayajoy.

Getting a Kick-Start with BIPC Devon

A year ago I really struggled with putting my work out there. Why? I was worried that people wouldn’t like it. I let self-doubt hold me back from moving towards my dreams.

Then In March 2022 I was starting to get into the groove of building confidence, showcasing my work, and freelancing on some projects for other small business owners. I knew that for me to move forward, I needed to connect with other female led businesses and I joined the Women in Business Course with BIPC Devon.

The course really helped me connect and network with other women in Devon.

I learned new things and built on past knowledge of subjects such as copyright, growth mindset and branding.

It gave me a huge confidence boost. Both my mentor, course leaders and peers were able to see value in what I was doing, and this encouraged me to keep going. It also offered accountability because once I commit, I don’t like to give up!

Without this course I would have still been trying to navigate what to do next. The women in business course provided a natural timeline and pushed me to do things, which I had never done before.

The best thing about this course was the free mentoring and lifelong connections I have made. From day 1 I couldn’t believe that this was a free course. The standard of the course providers and presentations was very high and the women at BIPC were all friendly and happy to answer any questions I had.

Onwards and Upwards

One thing that has definitely changed since attending the Women in Business Course is my confidence in networking and public speaking. Prior to April 2022 I had never attended a networking event.

I always worried about going into a room full of people I didn’t know, wondering if I was experienced enough or had anything to offer. Everyone else seemed to have it all together and I was nervous, but it turns out that being yourself really is all you need to do! I really enjoy attending these sessions now and I have even started live conversations on Instagram!

BIPC Devon’s networking sessions showed me that networking doesn’t have to be about pitching, they don’t need to be formal or stuffy, they can be welcoming and inspiring.

If you’re thinking of starting a business, don’t let nerves stop you from being where you want to be.

Maya Lawrence

My advice to anyone starting out is to surround yourself with like-minded people and take full advantage of opportunities that arise. You never know, you might be lucky enough to meet a bunch of people who inspire you!

What I love about sharing your story with others, is that suddenly you are rubbing shoulders with lots of people who are also pushing themselves to grow, to overcome challenges and succeed.

I want other women, too scared to make those first steps feel at ease. I want other women to know that even the most confident women feel scared sometimes and I want other women to know that it is OK to prioritise yourself and become the best version of YOU that you can be.

Where am I now?

I made Mayjoy my full-time job last year and wow, what a ride it’s been. I’m finding my feet and using my years of study, to create something that brings me a joy I can share with others. The things we are passionate about are hard to ignore. Now I get excited to put out new work- because I get to share happy, fun and colourful designs, which I believe will make you as happy as they make me!

My designs are colourful, joyful and serve as a reminder that you too can achieve your goals and live a life of purpose, contentment, and joy! I take inspiration from nature, as well as my dual heritage, you can view my current collection here:

Ready to start your own inspiring story?

Our databases cover things like market research and statistics, finding funding, guidance on intellectual property and so much more. We provide interactive webinars throughout the year to teach you things like writing a successful business plan, ways to make an impact at networking, and how to boss social media. You can book 1-1 business surgeries with experts from a variety of fields and so much more.

All of this is available, for free, to anyone in Devon who is thinking about starting a business. Simply pop into Exeter, Barnstaple or Paignton libraries, click the “get started” button or email us at to find out how we can help you launch or grow, the business of your dreams.

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