Hi Guys, welcome to my brand new website and first ever (daunting and terrifying) Blog Post!
BRINGING YOU WAY BACK
I used to day dream during Art Class in School how great it would be to have a job where I could just ‘colour in’ all day… never imagining for one second I’d end up running my own craft business which basically allows me to do just that!
In college, I studied Multimedia Computing & Graphic Design with my friend Esther and together we had great plans of one day running our own Graphic Design business. We were going to call it Jester Design (a mash up of both our names – Jessica & Esther) and I designed the logo there and then with the real belief we were going to do this! However, life and other plans got in the way and we both ended up taking a very different career path.
Evolution of jesterdesign to Jessica Loves!
I went on to study Business and ended up working in various sectors from Accountants, Loss Adjustors to Engineers. I also worked weekends at Farrell’s Summerfield Bar in Youghal for 5 years meeting some great characters along the way but I won’t mention any names!! In 2007, I started working with AIB Bank up until I had my first baby Eva in 2013. While on Maternity Leave, I started to make small soft baby headbands for Eva and also for Esther’s new baby girl Darcy. We posted a lot of photos up on Facebook of our headband wearing babies (as proud mamas do!) and people started to ask where did we buy them. So without really giving it any thought, I very quickly on the spur of the moment set up a Facebook page and used that very logo I had stored on my laptop from my college days – eek jesterdesign was born. Esther kindly let me use our old ‘business’ name – so shout out to her for that!! x
GOING LIVE – 22nd October 2013
I’ll never forget it! So here I was sitting on the couch with my now husband Eoghan, my heart thumping in my chest and every time I got a new like on my page my heart jumped up my throat!!
I started to feel very self conscious about what people would think of me… were my headbands actually crap?.. would people be laughing at them?… would people be laughing at me?… will anyone even buy one?.. SWEATING! But I had just read Suzanne Jackson’s first book and it really inspired me to just give it a go and to not worry about what people think! I suppose that and also becoming a Mother gave me a new confidence that I never had previously.
My Facebook page really seemed to take off when I added a range of hand painted personalised Jute Tote Bags. I had just made some for my Bridesmaids for my upcoming wedding that New Year’s Day and showcased them on my page. The orders started flowing in for Christmas and I could not believe the huge support I was receiving from all the local people of my home town Youghal. It was actually overwhelming and still to this day they are keeping me on my toes with plenty of orders and I really appreciate them all so much! x
After my wedding I designed and set up my very first website www.jesterdesign.ie adding a new range of Wooden Gifts which also proved to be very popular YIPEEEEE!
ALONG CAME A BABY – YES ANOTHER ONE!
As my first maternity leave was coming to an end, I decided to try and look for part time work to allow me to concentrate on my little business on my free days (as free now as they can get with a six month old baby!). So I landed a great permanent part time role as Contract Administrator and Marketing Executive with Fastnet Recruitment 3 days a week – excellent! So here I was delighted with life thinking YES I got this work/life balance thing going well and… BOOM six weeks into the new job I fell pregnant for the second time. OH.HOLY.GOD.ALMIGHTY.SAKE! Was absolutely mortified having to tell my new Boss this news but she was so great and very understanding being a Mama of 3 herself.
So while on maternity leave for the second time with my baby boy Ben, I started to think long and hard about how I was going to go back to work with two babies under 15 months – firstly how much I would miss them (Naive New Mama – currently typing this with one elbow up trying to stop the 2 year writing this blog post for me, who come to think of it might actually do a better job!!!) but also how would I be able to face a day’s work after little to no sleep…! So I sat down with Eoghan and we ran through the figures – cost of childcare, diesel, lunch, etc. and it just didn’t make any financial sense to go back.
QUITTING THE DAY JOB – 7th April 2015
Believe me when I say the decision to quit the day job did not come lightly. Once I did decide, firstly I felt so sick at the thought of telling my new boss that the girl she had hired only a few months ago and who got pregnant almost immediately is now telling you she’s not coming back… and secondly – am I gone completely stone mad giving up a permanent secure job??!!!
What if no-one orders anything from jesterdesign ever again?!! How will I cope with not having a guaranteed salary every month?? Can we even survive?? But my fantastic Husband said look we’ll manage and supported my decision to do what I love! So thank you millions Eoghan I owe you one! x
SO WHY START A BLOG?
Okay, I never in a million years ever thought I would start a blog! But once again I was totally inspired by Suzanne Jackson. Her talk about her career and marketing at her recent SoSueMe Workshop in Cork got me thinking about my own business. It was also the conversation I had with her dad (the Snapchat infamous Damo!) that said why not start a blog – plenty of crafters out there!! So I thought about it, for like a minute, and decided you’re dead right why not!!! Anything that could potentially drive more traffic to my website and possibly create more sales will go on to feed my big dreams and little family!
In the past year, I’ve also had the absolute pleasure of meeting some other very inspirational and hugely successful ladies in Marissa Carter, Pippa O’Connor, Rosie Connolly and Lisa Jordan who actually took time out of their day to mention my little business on their Social Media!! Not able!!! Such fabulous Irish women absolutely slaying it and yet still all so down to earth and so kind x I’ll be forever grateful to each and every one of them! #girlboss #beamingfordays #womensupportingwomen
And sure JAYSUS I was only DELIRA DYMPHNA meeting this fella at Glam Squad in Cork!!! SWEATING I was!
So there you have it! I have since rebranded from jesterdesign to Jessica Loves and opened up my first Gifts & Homewares Retail Store and Studio at 105 North Main Street, Youghal, Co. Cork.
Thanks for stopping by and please stop by the shop!!