Hello again, thanks for popping on!
For this week’s Creative Q&A, we’re bringing you a business a little different from the previous features. The BRILLIANT Jessie’s Art Shed is a husband and wife dream team based in beautiful Oxfordshire. They provide workshops, art lessons, events, photography and parties, and if that wasn’t enough, (blimey you don’t want much do ya?!) they also sell supplies and kits, and gifts designed and made by themselves & other talented makers. Phew, I’m exhausted just thinking about all of that! So we spoke to Olly to find out how on earth they do it…
JANEY: First please tell us a bit more about you guys and the business!
OLLY: So we’ve been running for almost 5 years now as Jessie first set The Shed up in November 2016, although we’ve only had a physical shop since January 2019. Before that it was just Jessie running lessons, workshops and parties in her parents shed (hence the name).
J: Since we spoke to Olly, JAS have celebrated their 5th birthday, we are so super excited to see what the next 5 years bring this lovely pair!
So Olly, what does a typical workshop at Jessie’s Art Shed entail?
O: Our workshops are super varied as we run them for both adults and children! They can be anything from Unicorns and Dragons to Harry Potter themed and we’ve done a couple of workshops in the past with live animals such as Baby Crocodiles and Bunnies (these were separate workshops…!). For adults we offer lots of different things such as Lino Printing, Calligraphy, Bullet Journaling, Macramé, Wreath making and more! We get in lots of different teachers as we look to have a super eclectic mix of different arts and crafts!
J: This all sounds so super fun, and I love that there is something for everyone! So workshops aside, please tell us about some of the handmade goodies you stock!
O: We sell lots of different local small creators. Amazing jewellery from Crafting For A Cause and Majukooo [majukooo.co.uk], as well as Jessie’s macramé earrings.
We also sell some handmade reed diffusers, candles, scrunchies and much much more! We really try to stock and support lots of small businesses and indies out there!
J: And as a husband and wife team, how do you find working together? Do you have certain roles within the business?
O: Honestly we work great together, I couldn’t think of anyone I’d rather be working with – we have so much fun and we contrast each other really well. Jessie is the creative brain (something I lack intensely), and I’m a lot more business minded. I enjoy the jobs that Jessie doesn’t such as the accounts, bookings, our website, etc.
J: You two are absolutely the dream team – both playing to your strengths and having what looks like a lot of fun along the way! What do you hope to be on the cards for the future of the business?
O: We’re just looking to continue to grow and take things as they come. It’s been a wild couple of years and our growth has been so fun to see and be a part of. We don’t really have a grand plan as we don’t really know what the world is going to look like in 5/10 years. We’re really trying to grow our online business but would also love a big shop in the future to do what we do now but on a much grander scale (we’d love to convert a barn). But we’re really just going to go with the flow and with what works for us best rather than push something that might not be the best idea, especially in the current climate!
J: Yes for sure, it is a scary time to be a small business owner. How has your business been effected by all of the um, surprises that 2020 has had to offer?
O: Lockdown affected us greatly! We’ve always been a business that relied on our lessons and workshops for income, with our shop being just an extra. But we had to quickly put everything online and push our online shop massively. It was something we had planned to do anyway but it really did push it to the forefront of what we had to do and I’m so glad we did!
At the time of answering, Olly told us: “We still can’t run our workshops as normal but we are able to have our children’s lessons back.” But since last week’s announcement, they have unfortunately had to close again, and are itching to get back to what they were doing before lockdown.
O: One benefit for us though, has been being able to stand back and look at what is working for us in the business and what isn’t. We have adjusted the business in a way to hopefully be a lot more sustainable and successful in the future.
J: Hey, silver linings! This is something we have been noticing a lot: businesses who are usually in a physical space are having the time to take that step back and evaluate what they are doing, and also the time to make adjustments and work on the online side of things.
Obviously it has been hard, we’re not here to beat around the bush, but it is so good to see businesses managing to benefit and find positive outcomes!
So Olly, how can we keep up to date with Jessie’s Art Shed??
O: You can see everything we do on our Instagram @jessiesartshed (Jessie has recently got into reels and she’s having a lot of fun with that on our Insta), Facebook and on our website – www.jessiesartshed.com
J: Can confirm: those reels are GREAT and well worth a watch. We are particularly fond of the dancing….
So if you’re finding yourself twiddling your thumbs over the new lockdown, and you need some entertainment, pop over to their website and get yourself (or your little ones!) some supplies to keep you busy! Or treat yourself or a friend to some lush macramé earrings to match your favourite set of PJs? Let us know what you choose!