Our ‘In the Shop Window’ interviews are a wee glimpse into the lives of some of our fantastic Shop Scotland members. A look behind the scenes of the business and at the backstories of those who have become their own boss. This week we’re delighted to be interviewing Jilly of Fife based JillyJilly.
Our Business: At JillyJilly we design and create a range of illustrated gifts including mugs, prints, notebooks, earrings and accessories. Our products are known for their cute patterns and pastel colours, they often feature happy quotes too.
Starting Out: I studied Visual Communication at Gray’s School of Art and graduated in June 2014. I’d been running a wee jewellery business, mostly selling at local markets, to support myself as a student. I knew exactly what I wanted to do after my degree so decided to launch JillyJilly during my last year of art school and it’s been my job ever since! When we first started out my then boyfriend, now husband, David helped set up the technical side of things so he could turn my designs into products, I knew I wanted to print in house so we could offer personalisation but it was all a bit daunting in the beginning. Now we’re expanding our equipment so our range of gifts can grow!
Business Name: It may seem obvious since it’s my name but there is a story behind it! In the song Waterloo Sunset by The Kinks there’s a line “but chilly chilly is evening time” which I used to always sing JillyJilly instead (still do actually). I wanted the business name to be a bit quirky and my full name seemed too formal so this is a fun alternative!
My “typical” working day: I aim to be in the studio around 8am and start the morning with a cuppa, some social media and a quick email catch up. Then I’ll spend the morning working on orders and try to get to the post office before lunch. I usually have a list of goals for the week to fit around orders, such as new designs to finish or products to photograph so I’ll get on with these jobs in the afternoon. I’ve been working really hard on improving my work/life balance this year so I try to get out of the studio by 5pm. I won’t go back in unless we have outstanding orders but in the evenings I’m often planning or blogging from the sofa!
Self employment highs: When something wonderful happens and I realise it’s all because of the work we put in. Like lovely customer feedback, an enquiry from a new stockist or seeing one of our products in a magazine. That’s the best feeling!
Self employment lows: Decision making – knowing that I’m responsible if I make the wrong decision always makes me doubt myself!
Inspiration: I’m so inspired by colour, I love paint charts and creating colour palettes.
Business Achievements : Being able to say this is my actual job! Also, I was recently selected by Etsy UK to be a mentor for their Etsy Resolution 2017 programme which involved going to HQ in London for training then I spent a week mentoring new creative businesses online.
Longterm goals: I’d love to stock our products in even more shops across the UK and overseas. We have lots of plans for expanding our ranges, our new website which launches in March is the first stage of this!
Promotion: Social media is such a big part of our business, we’re on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and most recently Youtube. I’m working on getting back into blogging and starting monthly vlogs! Video promotion is so big right now.
Must have crafty tool: Superfine fineliner pens! All of our designs start off hand drawn with these.
With Hindsight: “The best time for new beginnings is now”
At Home: My favourite thing is our Karen Ross Pottery pink daisy clock which was a wedding gift from my grandparents.
Favourite Destination in Scotland: St. Andrews – we got married there in August.
Favourite place to eat: Flame Tree Cafe in Dundee (great vegan options!)
Hidden Scotland: Falkland! We get lots of tourists here in summer but it’s so pretty, like a mini historical toy town.
Favourite Scottish Celebrity: Ewan McGregor
Favourite Scottish Band: Travis
Best thing about Scotland: Highland Cows
Favourite TV Show: Bake Off – sob!
Favourite Film: Moulin Rouge
Do you believe in Nessie? We’re going to Loch Ness for the first time in September so I’ll decide then.
Shop Scotland profile page – JillyJilly
Website – jillyjilly.co.uk
Facebook – facebook.com/jillyjillydesign
Twitter – twitter.com/jillyjillyuk
Etsy – etsy.com/shop/jillyjillydesign
Folksy – folksy.com/shops/jillyjilly
Pinterest – pinterest.com/jillyjillyuk
Huge thanks to Jilly for taking part in In the Shop Window. Look out for another fabulous Shop Scotland interview coming soon and you can catch up with previous interviews here.