Hello Miss Ginger Pickle! We have a lot of questions we’d like to ask you, so we had best start from the very beginning… Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became a jewelry designer:
I’m Jade, 22 (soon to be 23 in October) and I live in Aberdeen in Scotland…with my parents, but that will all change one day haha. I would love my own place (I would decorate it full of Vivid Please prints!) but the sensible option is to try and save money! I graduated from Gray’s School of Art in Aberdeen last year, I studied Fine Art and specialised in Painting believe it or not! I did quite well, I got a 2:1 and sold a lot of my paintings but I got fed up painting and wanted to learn something new and i’ve always loved jewellery so wanted to make some of my own.
Wow! That goes to show you are a true artist; so many different talents! You have a very distinctive style to your creations. Who would say was your biggest influence as a designer?
I am such a magpie when it comes to inspiration, I have the Geometric collection which is the stripping down of everything to it’s most basic of forms, it’s very focused on simple design and shape. This is a concept I played with in my final year at University, all my paintings where really colourful, featured text and typography but also included simplistic outlines of common household items. I guess this has stuck with me! My most recent collection, the Fallen Queen collection is inspired by the evil queen in Snow White. The evil queen is never seen, but her presence is always felt.
Because i’m new to the jewellery making business i’m constantly growing and developing and always wanting to experiment with new materials and ways to make things, so the Fallen Queen collection really encapsulates this. It’s just me experimenting and I love the look go gold mirror perspex, it’s completely different from the Geometric collection.
That’s really cool! We love hearing how collections come about. When stuck on a piece of work, what 3 things do you do for inspiration?
Pinterest-so many lovely pictures, always helps me out!
Sketch– I sometimes just draw to get the ideas out, and among all of the rubbish there will be one design that stands out and you roll with!
Polyvore-this is a new site I stumbled across, I love it, it’s sort of like Pinterest but more creative. People make all sorts of wonderful fashion boards and it is a good way to seek inspiration.
So how did your online store Ginger Pickle come about?
I am a creative person and working in a corporate industry will never be me (I became quite close to becoming a recruitment consultant believe it or not) I wanted to do something that was fun and enjoyable and made me happy, and this is where it all started, it’s always been a dream!
How do you promote Ginger Pickle?
Online promotion is so hard, and this is something i’m always trying to work on. I try to utilise social media by blogging, using Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest and Polyvore. I also work with bloggers and send them items to feature in their outfit posts, I like doing that it shows people how to style an item. I’m a little fish in a massive pond, so you really need to work at it. I’ve emailed magazines, papers, you name it and yeah it sucks when you don’t get featured especially when you try so hard but this is the game we are in, everyone is trying just as hard and the most important thing to do is keep trying! Some great things have come out of being proactive so I won’t ever stop!
We agree! Nothing ventured nothing gained; at the end of the day you don’t have much to loose.
As a shop owner, what do you look for in a product & what do you look for in a designer?
The two main things I look for is originality and how well the item is made. I love it when I stumble across a designers shop and their products make me go ‘wow’ or make me laugh. When I stumbled across your shop on Etsy that’s exactly what happened, I loved your work so much I just had to have it in my store!
I don’t like stocking things that look cheap, little things put me off like if a certain type of chain is used or if the chain doesn’t match the pendant, things like that are important, it’s the little details that make things special so make sure they are spot on!
I think as well professionalism is also important, I love it when designers provide me with everything I need, it just makes my job that much easier!
That’s lovely to hear! We’ve always been interested in what others look for. Do you find that working on ‘both sides of the fence’ has benefited you as a maker yourself?
Yes, definitely. I wouldn’t really have had a clue about how to approach a shop or what to include in the package, but now I do from running my own shop.
What tip would you advise to people who wanted to start their own online shop?
Find the right website design company to make your website. This is really important, believe me! I got stung by a guy who couldn’t finish the job and so I had to find another company to finish it which cost me much more time and money. I was meant to launch Ginger Pickle before Christmas 2011 but it never launched until March 2012. I’m taking him to court to try and get my money back, so if you want to avoid this pitfall get a company that has a great reputation, I kinda dived in without doing the research.
Crikey! A valuable lesson learned though. Good luck with seeing that through, and good on you for standing up to yourself!
What 3 tips would you give to designers looking to be stocked in online shops?
1. Unique work-it’s important to make work that is different because there’s lots of things that are really similar in the marketplace, stand out from the crowd! Also know how to approach shop owners, I prefer this method:
-info about you and your work
-couple of pictures
-if you’r willing to supply me with stock on a sale or return basis
-linesheet or catalogue if you have one
2. Great photographs- either modelled or shown on a white background, it’s always tricky but spend some time showing how to wear the product or how to display it! If you have good photographs then it saves the shop owner a job and it will make it much easier to upload your products to their site.
3. Have all the information ready to give to the shop owner-product descriptions-how it’s made, what it’s made from, RRP, size and dimensions, how to care for the product. Having all of this ready means the shop owner doesn’t have to go searching for it or chase you up for it.
That’s the best advice we’ve heard all year!
What has been your biggest challenge so far?
PR is a challenge! I’m trying to do it myself rather than outsource, i’ve had some great tips and help and been featured in my local paper and online but my dream would be to get editorial coverage in a magazine!
Oooh! We’d love to see that!! You have excellent taste so we think you’d be brilliant at it!
What has been the best piece of advice you’ve received?
My boyfriend is amazingly supportive. I wanted to quit my part-time job at Monsoon for ages, it was 4 days a week and ok not full time but it still took so much of my time, I was struggling to keep up with things let alone make my own stuff. Having over 20 designers means there is a lot of admin involved so I only really had time to do that and some social media at nights, but I wanted to do so much more, I had so many plans and wanted to have time to develop my own range of jewellery much more. Andrew just said go for it, now is the best time, I have nothing to lose, if it didn’t work out and I needed a job again then I would easily get one but I may as well try it now whilst I don’t have any responsibilities-no car, live at home, no kids! He just made everything so simple and made all my worries go away!
Hooray for boyfriends! I think Andrew did the right thing 😀
What are your goals as a designer and for Ginger Pickle in the next 5 years?
I would love to have my work stocked in other online and bricks and mortar shops like mines, the more outlets the better!
I’m really happy with Ginger Pickle as it is, I just want it to keep growing and getting bigger and bigger. I want to have much more designers too!
What’s your guilty secret?
I hate soaps but somehow have recently become obsessed with Home and Away and Neighbours, why? I have absolutely no idea, maybe it’s the accent?
Hahaha! Brilliant! We used to watch that at dinner time when we were younger – I bet it’s still as good now as it was then 😉
Thanks so much for coming over and sharing all this incredible advice Jade – it’s been a lot of fun and we’re sure you’ve inspired many budding artists and designers to take steps towards making their dreams come true too 🙂
To check out all these wonderful treasures and more, make sure you visit Ginger Pickle here. If you are a big fan of Jade’s work and love her taste, you simply must add her to your circle on Etsy – her treasuries and favorites are amazing! To keep up to date with all her exciting news, you can follow her on twitter, facebook and her lovely blog. Amazing!
Seen something you simply cannot live without? Well, you’re in luck as Ginger Pickle are offering FREE SHIPPING and a 10% discount on all products for the duration of the Olympics! Simply enter the code perfect10 at the checkout. Thanks Jade!!
Love this feature as much as we did? We’d love to hear your thoughts 🙂
Enjoy + good luck everyone!