I love to support local designers, and when I met Emma Jones earlier this year I knew you'd want to meet her too! Emma is a freelance designer and maker based in Cardiff. Having studied Costume design and working behind the scenes in television and film for five years, she recently founded Thursday’s Child Design, a clothing and accessories label. Specialising in hand made, short run pieces, Emma's designs are quirky and full of fun!
Check out Emma's insights into the design process and what inspires her. Emma is also giving away one of her clutch bags to a lucky Political Style reader! Read on for the details...
What’s your background in design and fashion?
I actually come from a costume background! I studied Theatre Design at the Royal Welsh College in Cardiff, specialising in costume design and construction, and from there I went on to work on a few different films and TV shows- ranging from Dr. Who to a Mumford and Sons music promo, which gave me the opportunity to travel and have some amazing experiences!
Why did you want to start your own business?
I have loved my career so far, but the creative element is often guided by someone else’s (primarily the Costume Designer’s) vision and ideas. I have always had a million and one things that I have wanted to design and make for myself, so I decided that this would be the year I put those ideas into action! I have always worked freelance so had some idea of what I would be getting into, but taking the plunge felt like a huge step!
Tell us about Thursday's Child Design and why you chose this name!
Thursday’s Child Design is based around handmade clothing and accessories, which are created in limited runs, from materials I have picked up on my travels! A lot of the pieces are one of a kind, made from fabric that I had to buy when I was in America/Australia/Europe… The element of uniqueness is something that I love about the brand, and where possible I try and make sure I’m using materials that are sustainable- if I’m not using something I bought when travelling, it’s usually something that I have upcycled and printed myself.
The name comes from the fact I was born on a Thursday (surprise!), and was suggested to me by my Mum. She always liked the poem that corresponds to the day a baby was born on, and thought “Thursday’s child has far to go” could be a good omen for the business!
What have been the highlights and challenges?
The highlights were definitely opening my ASOS Marketplace boutique, and hearing customer’s feedback at markets. It’s really rewarding to hear that someone really likes what you have spent a long time designing and making! Another positive is all the lovely people I have met along the way- other people in the same position have been so supportive and forthcoming with helpful advice!
The challenges have included being organised! As a creative person, organisation does not come naturally to me, but I really wish it did!! I’m getting there though… I’ve also found it difficult to be able to spend as much time on the business as I would like to be able to, but I’m hoping one day it will be my full time job!
What advice can you offer those who want to start their own fashion business?
You really have to love what you want to do to make it work. It really helps on the more difficult days to know that you’re doing something you love, despite the day you’re having! I would also recommend maybe doing a short business course so you have an idea of what you need to do. I actually did one with the Prince’s Trust, which was really helpful.
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I currently find it really hard to switch off from the business- I’m constantly thinking about what I want to do and what I need to do! I think because I have taken a hobby and turned it into a business, I have had to find new ways to relax, but going to the gym or just getting out to see friend’s for coffee definitely helps when you need some time out!
Who would be your dream customer?
Florence Welch! I love her eclectic style! Or maybe a store like Anthropologie- I’d love to see Thursday’s Child Design stocked there one day!
What do you want to personally and professionally accomplish in the next year?
I’d love to have more chances to travel, that’s always on my list! In terms of the business, I’d just like to continue growing it and developing my ideas. I’d love to be stocked in more stores across Cardiff and Bristol. One of my main goals is to be able to donate a percentage of the profits to a nominated charity each month, but I’m not quite there yet.
Emma is also giving you a discount code for 20% off any order in her Etsy or ASOS Marketplace stores! The code is LED20 and is valid until 31/12/15. It's the perfect excuse to do your Christmas shopping!