Today I’m back with another nosey into the life and inspiration of another talented designer in my fortnightly feature. In the hotseat this week is Joss Maccoll, the creative force behind Just Joss Designs.
Joss retrained to become a textile designer and now does the job full-time – proof that if you want something enough and work hard you can get there and bag your dream job.
But less from me and more from Joss, who will tell you all about her business and how she got to where she is today.
Hello! First things first I would love to know how you came up with the idea for Just Joss Designs and what steps did you take from the ideas stage to launching your business?
The idea for Just Joss Designs came whilst exhibiting my final degree show at New Designers. I exhibited 30 different designs on four different types of fabric including silk, Irish upholstery linen, wallpaper and voile. I was inundated with requests asking if my designs could be made into women’s clothing. I was even approached by a mother of a bride asking if I could make her a dress in a particular design. Small ideas started to form and as soon as I graduated I knew I wanted to work for myself so I began researching print companies.
I had over 40 designs ready from my final project so I used the most popular designs. I wanted to use a high end material and as silk is so luxurious it was an obvious choice. The designs were printed and arrived in September 2014, I officially launched my Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest pages In November 2014.
At the moment I offer bespoke accessories for women of all ages that are looking for high quality silk accessories at an affordable price. At this point in time I am concentrating on scarves and kimonos as they suit my designs the most.
What is your background in design and do you run your business full or part-time?
I have had an artistic flair since a young age. With a love for all things creative I decided to quit my full time job at a local primary school and took a full time Art and Design course in a local collage. The course covered all areas of Art and Design but I fell in love with Textiles. I then progressed onto a University Textiles course as a mature student and studied Textiles for Fashion and Interiors. This course allowed you to choose if you preferred to become a designer or maker. I chose the design route concentrating on surface pattern design, but it has to be said I am also a keen maker at heart. Being a ‘maker’ has also enabled me to hand make the scarves and kimonos myself keeping the costs low. I also have great affection for creating patterns, drawing, manipulating designs and being creative. This is indeed my full time job that I thoroughly enjoy.
What does an average day look like for you?
That’s what I love about being my own boss, no two days are the same. From having a phone call from a new customer giving feedback on a scarf they just have purchased from one of the local gift shops I currently stock, to having an order from a bride asking for scarves as gifts for her bridesmaids. I love how busy I can be creating orders for customers. I also really enjoy the challenges customers give me if they ask for a special request. Nothing makes my day more than a client giving me complimentary feedback.
Where do you find your inspiration and what themes are there in your work?
First and foremost I love colour, bold and bright colour as well as the less obvious pastel shades. I use a pantone colour swatch chart and it was definitely one of my best investments. Obviously floral is a huge inspiration, the natural colours in them are simply exquisite. What I really enjoy doing when I design is using photography in my work. Taking photographs on local parks using these pictures as a design starting point and manipulating them in Photoshop, making the original photograph recognisable but having that added extra of something else to it. One of my best selling designs had originally come from a photograph of a cherry blossom tree in a local park taken last spring.
My favourite item I have made is a silk kimono with a small poppy design on. The designs came from a small hand drawn doodle of poppies in a field and progressed to this stunning mirrored repeat pattern. The main colour is navy with pops of mint green and peach and it is one of my favourite designs. The fact that it has then been handmade in to an oversized Kimono really shows off the design.
What are your plans for the future with and what targets have you set yourself?
I am just about to order more fabric as I have almost sold out of my original silk. The new order involves a lighter silk and chiffon fabrics for the next designs. I would like to sell my designs ready made in other local shops. I would also like to do more interior based products. I hope to develop my range further to have a bigger homeware section, I have started making throw cushions but I would like to progress to lampshades and wall hangings. Eventually I would like to offer a wallpaper range to suit my market.
A target I have set myself to accomplish over the next two years is to open up a local gift shop that show cases my range but also helps promote local artists, crafters and designers.
Do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?
I would like to offer anyone reading this £5 off any order over £40 with code 5-OFF. This can be used on my Etsy store or quoted to me if approached on Facebook or Instagram.
Joss’ Quickfire questions:
Tea or Coffee – Coffee
High fashion or High street – High Street
Spring or Summer – Spring
Tropical or Snow – Tropical
Main course or Dessert – Dessert
Silver or Gold – Silver
Book or Film – Can I choose both ! Hehe
Easter or May Day – Easter
Wool or Cashmere – Cashmere
Flowers or Foliage – Definitely Flowers
I hope you enjoyed this feature and Joss’ story of how she made the switch from the classroom to a full-time textile artist and designer. I think it’s really inspiring and I’m so pleased to have been able to showcase her work on my blog.
If you would like to check out her shop you can find the links you need here:
This feature will be back in a couple of weeks with another talented small creative business owner. If you would like to be featured in the future, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lots of pretty silk flower love,