21 Sep Designer Interview: Jodie Bond of The Letter Loft
Welcome back to our Interview Series after our Summer Break. Our guest for September is Jodie Bond from The Letter Loft.
You are introduced to a stranger at a party, they ask you what you do, how do you answer?
I always find this tough! Although a lot easier now I don’t just make letters out of moss 😉 I say I run an online shop selling decorative letter items for the home and events.
Why do you do what you do and what inspires you?
I have spent the last 20 years trying to create something where I was able to work for myself and actually make a living from it. After a number of attempts I happened upon moss decorative letters in 2012 when I was planning our wedding.
I made moss letters for the top table (so bad when I look back now!) and when we came back from our epic honeymoon I was all out of sorts about going back to work and looking for some inspiration.
My hubby jokingly said ‘ what about those moss letters you obsessed over…..’ and that was that. 12 months later I set up as The Moss Letter Company, was made redundant from my then role and it has evolved from there.
Tomorrow it will be 2 years old and it’s transformed to The letter Loft. It is growing and I am so ecstatic about it!
What is your morning routine?
I like to have a plan and a routine but I easily deviate and do the more interesting things, putting off the boring stuff until the very last minute!
If I am being good my current day goes like this;
8am (ish) – Yoga
9am – Emails, print off orders for the day and other computer stuff if hubby isn’t on it. All with a massive coffee.
10am – In the workshop, where it can be a chaotic day of either mossing, cementing, spray painting or glittering. It is difficult to get a routine for this as I have a first come first served policy at the moment.
1pm – I have lunch but rarely relax. I tend to eat my lunch whilst doing social media or website updates.
Late afternoon – Back to the workshop to package orders ready for posting and tidy up.
Squeeze in photography, finances, postal runs, ordering supplies and all the other bits you have to do if you work alone!
Five things you wish you had known starting out
I appreciate learning it all as I go, I take pride that it was built from scratch with little clue as to what I was doing, but I wish I had known;
1) That a promise of lots of exposure rarely comes to anything!
2) I wish I had a better background knowledge of design and photography. Learning these from scratch HAS been tough, time consuming and frustrating at times.
3) I with I had known that if you are 12 hours late with your tax return, they don’t sympathise 🙂
4) I wish I had trusted my instincts a bit more with my first web designer. If you can’t get them on the phone for a solid 2 years, they aren’t the one! Luckily that relationship is now over and I have full control of my site now.
5) I suppose I wish I had known in my previous attempts at my own business was that it wasn’t going to take overnight and you have to be it’s biggest fan for it to work.
I am far to fickle not to love my business and thankfully the passion for it is there everyday and that is why I know it will continue to grow. It is so creative it can evolve with me and my interests.
Five tools that help you run your business
My Dad – He has built up the wire side of the business creating amazing things for the shop.
My husband – My emergency man when orders get too much. He will get stuck in with anything. He also sorted out an amazing workshop for me and likes to tidy it up regularly!
Photoshop – couldn’t be without it. It hides so many of my photography sins.
Social media – I feel it has been the best for advertising what I do. I do regular Facebook promos (since they stopped showing for free) and I am a big Instagram fan. I think Twitter may be on it’s way out for business though.
Moss! Still the biggest seller on my site, the moss letters are where it all began.
If money was no object what three things would you change straight away and what three would you still do?
I am desperate to work with a branding and website company that I have found but it is way over budget for now. I am very keen to make my branding pop and be more cohesive throughout my online presence.
Machinery – everything is made by hand but I swoon over some of the amazing machinery that could help support us to grow, if we had the funds.
A campervan – I want to be able to sell my wares out of the side of a camper van! It would look so pretty at a fayre/fete with mossy letters and glittery things oozing out. Totally unnecessary but I still want one 🙂
As for the things I would still do
I would still keep this business going if I had loads of money. It is an addiction.
I would still predominantly work alone – although it is nice to have company at times, I like my own thoughts and schedule. Money would bring lots of changes!
How do your customers find you?
Also sell’s on Etsy and Notonthehighstreet
Social Media. Do you use it, what platforms have worked the best, what tips do you have?
As said above Facebook and Instagram are the best match for me but I also love Pinterest which has bought me some traffic.
Apple or PC Apple – never looked back
Tea or Coffee Coffee
Digital recording or paper Paper
Country or City Country
Early Bird or Night Owl Neither!
What is your favourite…
Book Once – James Herbert as it is the only book I’ve ever read three times
Film Pretty Women! I’ll recite every line. Perhaps not the inspiration you want your young daughter to take but I’ve loved it forever 😉
Song Real Thing by Gwen Stefani was our first dance song
Place Thailand – I backpacked there when I was 19 and it is also where I was proposed to 12 years later.
Quote I tell myself all the time
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