After months of hard work, our first Etsy Made Local Dundee took place on Saturday. What a day!! It was amazing from start to finish, the team really came together on the Friday to transform the venue with all of our handmade decorations. Then all we could do was wait and hope that all of the hours we put in to promote and organise would pay off.
On the morning of the market we found there were people queueing to come in at opening time and we ended up with almost 1000 visitors throughout the day! This was a fantastic number for our first market, especially for the size and location of our venue - we wouldn't have had room for many more. It was so lovely to see our photobooth being used, and the Christmas jumper decoration workshop was busy from start to finish. There was a wonderful festive atmosphere, it felt so friendly and welcoming and we had such fab feedback from stallholders and customers alike.
Thanks so much to everyone who made this market happen, especially Jen (SPILTHdesign), James (Penguiniverse) and Leighan (Daftpup), and to everyone who came along. We're all going into Etsy team hibernation for now but look out for future plans come January.
We've been spending a lovely relaxing week off on the Isle of Lewis. It's been an interesting mix of weather, to say the least, but with a wood burning stove in a wonderful cottage with panoramic views, it's certainly been cosy! Lots of beaches, amazing (rainy, windswept) walks and hygge time for books. I picked up a cute wee book about Sheds in Ullapool before we caught the ferry which has gorgeous photos of cabins and studios and reminds me of a project I did back at art school.
I've also taken a little of the time off to think about Christmas plans for JillyJilly, do a bit of work on our upcoming Etsy Made Local market and get a couple of odd jobs ticked off the list. We have new eco-packaging starting next month so have had to adjust our prices a little to reflect this but it's been something that's bugged me for a while and I know it's worth fixing so hope you'll all understand.
I've been waiting ages to share this news... Our house has been featured in the October issue of Your Home magazine!!
This started way back when we moved and Alison of the Great Scottish Indoors got in touch after Rachel Henderson recommended our wee cottage. Of course, we had moved to a new house at this point and hadn't even unpacked properly, let alone made it our own, so I thought we'd have to pass up on the opportunity! Lucky for me Alison said to send over some pics once we'd finished part of the house and so the photoshoot was organised for March.
It's so strange to see our house in a magazine, especially with it being so budget and a mish-mash of DIY and hand-me-downs. I'm so glad I'm able to show an affordable alternative for interiors, making the most of old furniture, freebies, charity shop finds and upcycling.
Thank you so much to Alison and Douglas Gibb photography!
I've been bullet journalling for over a year now which I'm quite surprised at really. I'm sure most of you have seen pictures on social media and beautifully detailed journals on Pinterest and thought the same as me - it looks like a lot of work! It turns out that it's only as much work as you want it to be and that's the thing I love about it. The basic bullet journal concept is just a simple analog organisation system, how far you go with 'spreads' and decoration is personal to you.
I started mine in May last year and spent a while getting to grips with a system that suited me, at first I tried to do too much and it became (ironically) another thing on the to-do list. David bought me a Leuchtturm1917 in Emerald for Christmas so I started afresh for 2018 with a better plan of how to tackle it. Now I have a simple colour palette and weekly spread which is my go-to for everyday use. Alongside this, I have monthly overviews and some fun tracker type pages such as the books and films ones above. I should add that the 100 films to watch is a list from IMDB and we have watched much more than coloured in - we're just rewatching this year!
I find it such a great way to keep organised now and don't know where I'd be without it! One of the things which really works for me, which is the issue I usually have with regular diaries, is that if I don't have a lot on I can just take a break from it. Likewise, if it's a very busy time I can adjust my calendars to match!
If you'd like to see more of my bullet journal or journalling tips then let me know! I've actually filled in the whole of my 'books I've read' page which was meant to last the year.
My lovely friend and vegan-blogging-partner-in-crime, Falda, has set up a social media management business! Mafalda Media is the place to go for bespoke digital marketing and social media growth strategy. In other words, an amazing service for busy people who want to dedicate more time to other aspects of business and leave social media to the experts.
Although a little different from my usual branding and photography projects (much more minimal and sophisticated) I've created an identity and images for Mafalda Media which you can see a little of above but you can head over to Mafaldamedia.co.uk for more. This photoshoot was a lot of fun, working with a mix of simple textures and colour palette to soften the stark look of Apple products and create a balanced look of personal and professional. For more of my product and lifestyle photography, you can click here.
After setting up the Dundee Etsy Team I was delighted to be able to attend my first Etsy Team Captains' Summit last weekend! I know I've been to Etsy HQ in London before, but this time it was a completely different atmosphere as the team put so much work in to make it an inspirational weekend for all of the guests.
We were all booked into the same hotel near HQ so it made it feel a bit like a school trip or something! On the Friday evening, some of us got together for dinner then bright and early on Monday the weekend itinerary began. We had so much amazing food, including breakfasts each day at 'Eatsy' and everyone was well catered for. We all had lovely goody bags and a summit notebook to help process all of the talks and panels, there were lots of opportunities for discussion and idea sharing so those who have been running their teams for a while could share their experiences for us newbies to learn from. The Saturday night was a fab Captains' dinner at the postal museum with a ride on the underground 'Mail Rail' and cocktails. Wow!
I'm a bit overwhelmed with all the of the information and activities and people I met but I'm also so excited to get started on working out how to make things happen with the Dundee team to build a lovely community here.
I'm very excited to announce the launch of the new Dundee Etsy Team! After being involved in Etsy through mentoring for the 2017 Etsy Resolution programme and selected as an Etsy Educator at the end of last year I learned so much about the amazing communities that have come about through Teams. Etsy Teams are set up by groups of local sellers to create a space for like-minded creatives to support each other in running their small businesses.
The Aberdeen Etsy Team is super inspiring so I was keen to see what Dundee had to offer once I moved here... sadly nothing. Yet! So I've taken the first steps, setting up the social media and am organising our first meet up this month. Hopefully I'll find others who would like to help run the team so we can grow it and plan lots of workshops, events and other fun stuff - so watch this space!
I'm so excited to announce the launch of Vegan Dundee, a little side project I've been working on with my friend Falda. Vegan Dundee is a lifestyle blog featuring all of the new and exciting vegan friendly places around the city. We'll be writing about restaurants, cafes & coffee shops as well as events and beauty. There's also a little 'Outside Dundee' category which allows us to include any places from our travels around the UK. We've made every effort to create an easy to navigate system with places searchable by category, on a map or by A-Z.
Since moving to Dundee at the end of last year we'd been having weekly catch-ups which involved lots of vegan cake. Falda already has her blog Falda Eats (which is about encouraging a sustainable life that focuses on achieving health and happiness) and although I'm super busy with JillyJilly I do love a chance to play at food photography! It made perfect sense for us to work together on this and would give us the excuse to start investigating what vegan delights Dundee has to offer. We already have a list of around 50 places we've heard have vegan options so it may take us some time to get around them all!
Do pop over and check it out, would love to hear what you think and if there's anywhere in particular you think we should feature. We're also on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter.
Blushberry Botanicals is a luxury vegan cosmetics brand based in Scotland which uses the finest natural ingredients in their delicious product range. I should add that this is my Mum's new business which has just launched this week!
While my Mum has been busy perfecting her recipes I was working on the branding and packaging design. It's certainly been a challenge trying to show off a product that most people prefer to smell and try in person! After lots of development, you'll see we came up with a simple look which makes it flexible across multiple products but easy to keep consistent. The hand-drawn font style gives it a more organic feel to compliment the ethos of the brand.
I had a lot of fun with the product photography for this too! Especially all the edible props. We used Photoboards backdrops and lots of natural textures to bring the scents to life on screen. Check out Blushberry Botanicals here and on Etsy.
For more of my product photography, you can see past work here.
You might have noticed my excitement on social media recently as we've been counting down to moving day. We've just bought our first house!! As of 21st September we became home owners and on Monday we spent the first night in our new home in Dundee. Of course we'll miss Falkland, and have loved our 3 years there, but we're only half an hour away should we fancy a visit! We're looking forward to being back in a city, especially a city with so many creative things happening, and can't wait to start exploring.
First though we have a lot of unpacking and decorating to do. Of course, the priority is to get my new studio ready for work next week but with my Mum here she's been wallpapering the dining area which is actually the only area I planned out! If you'd like to see updates you should check out my Instagram stories but I can do some before and after posts once we're all done.
So here's a quick image of the dining area plans. I love this wallpaper and can't wait to see how it all comes together! Better get back to work...
Behind the scenes, DIY projects, news and more from JillyJilly.