Retro Kids are proud to support independant artists along with high profile well established brands. We have the pleasure in interviewing the lovely Jude behind the brand Jessie Jumbles who supplies our fabric button hair accessories and getting to know her a bit better. We love that her accessories are not mass produced and are lovingly made by Jude’s hand in her craft attic studio. Jude spends careful time sourcing the cutest fabric and our personal favourites are the cherries, no wait foxes, or perhaps the retro flower…there’s too many favourites too choose just one!
Describe your business set up and how long have you been established?
I started my business in 2011 when my son eventually started sleeping through the night but offically launched in January 2012. Jessie Jumbles is just me! I am the maker, the marketing department, the accountant all rolled into one. I am a stay at home mum to a four year old boy, Arthur, so wanted a job that would be flexible and allow me to not “go out” to work.
Can you tell me about your work studio and where it’s based?
We live in Hanover which is an area high up on the hills of Brighton full of little rows of coloured houses. My studio is a little room in our loft. I use a 1950s formica table as my desk. There are big cube shelves full of fabric and lots of vintage postcards and books dotted round the place to inspire me.
What does your typical day involve?
If it’s term time I get up at around 7 with my son and watch some cartoons with him before breakfast. I am usually answering emails and scheduling some social media posts in my pyjamas.The nursery run is around 845. We’re really lucky Arthurs nursery is in the grounds of one of Brightons most beautiful parks so whatever the weather its’ a nice walk to start my day. Sometimes I do a post office run on the way home from dropping him. I head upstairs to the studio and go through my list of orders and start work. I have to have lots of fresh air and music on, it helps me concentrate. I only have til 1145 before I have to head out on the nursery run again. Any other making generally has to wait til the evening. I fit in a few emails and uploading pictures online in between mummy stuff. Once bedtime is finished I eat with my husband and start work again around 830 for a couple of hours. Its certainly a juggling act!
What products/collection of your brand is your favourite?
I am pretty keen on my seaside brooches, particularly the beach huts and seagulls. They represent the seaside and I have felt so happy since I’ve moved here.
How do you gain inspiration for your work?
I am constantly rummaging around in flea markets and junk shops and I love museums. Any connection to the past inspires me. My work has become less vintage as the business has grown but it still has a foot rooted in the past and I want to create that feeling of childhood nostalgia. I used to love going to haberdashery departments with my mum and nan to choose ribbons for my hair. I’d love my button hair accessories to be used in the same way.
Whose work in the field do you admire and why?
For inspiration- Barbara Hulaniki,the founder of Biba. Although my work isn’t at all similar I love her attitude to her business and approach to life. And she named her business after her sisters childhood nickname as did I. I love the work by Hens Teeth, little pieices of loveliness hidden in a tin.
How would you describe your style?
Nostalgic, retro, vintage, quirky.
How did you get started down this route and what did you do prior?
I have a degree in history and really wanted to work for a museum or the national trust but competition for jobs was fierce in London. I fell into a career in finance at various stockbrokers in the city. I did take a break and managed two record shops in london for a couple of years. I moved to Brighton in 2008 shortly after i met the man who would become my husband. I knew I wanted to stay at home with a family and the commute was horrid. I thought I’d sell vintage items on ebay to add some money to the pot and maybe start sewing more. I was so sleep deprived that I ended up arguing with my sewing machine all the time. My mother in law suggested coveing buttons which doesn’t involve the machine and I was hooked!
What are your goals for the future?
I am currently investigating a possible pop up shop location for a collaboration with another local brand. Im also trying to design my own fabrics and expanding a mummy and me line for my website.
What did you want to be when you were a kid?
A part time waitress and ballerina apparently. Obviously thought job security was important at a young age!
To see more of Jessie Jumbles please click here.