Blog

Hi Nuffnangers,

It’s Monday and time for a new Behind The Blog interview. We’re running this series until mid-October as you know and there is just one interview spot left so if you’d like to be featured, please get in touch asap! You can email me at jesse@nuffnang.com and we’ll chat about your career path and what you’ve learned along the way.

This feature has been a great opportunity to showcase bloggers who are self-employed and business-owners within our community so that we could celebrate together the entrepreneurship and creativity that we’ve witnessed in so many of our talents.

Catch up with all previous interviews at the following links: Sarah Moody (bloggers events), Lynette (illustration studio), Sarah Akwisombe (interior styling), Claire Wilson (maker, writer, workshop host), Laura Pashby (writing and photography), Kezia Hall (health and nutrition coach) and Jasiminne Yip (illustration, painting, comics).

Today, we introduce you to the lovely Emily Jayne. She is a lover of colour and a firm believer that every woman no matter their shape, size or age deserves to feel fabulous every day. She offers personal styling and image consultancy services on a one on one basis and as part of workshops or public speaking engagements, and works with individuals or brands who need a little help with their blog-writing and social media upkeep. Busy lady!

We hope that you’ll find this interview inspiring and an interesting read; please give Emily Jayne’s blog a visit and leave any questions for her in the comment section below. If you have a friend who would enjoy this post, why not share it? The more, the merrier!

Behind the Blog - Emily Jayne Nuffnang

Hi Emily Jayne! Thank you for taking part in our “Behind the Blog” interviews, it’s a pleasure to feature you today. To start off, can you tell us a little bit more about you: where are you from, what did you graduate in and what has been your career path so far?

Hello! I’m a personal stylist, blogger and general digital freelance type who lives in Birmingham. I did a degree in History at Leeds – I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life so I just picked a subject that I loved! Upon graduating I still didn’t really know what I wanted to do – I loved writing (and had dabbled with livejournal and fan sites) but couldn’t see how I could make a living from it, and so I decided upon the corporate world to keep myself in shoes and pretty dresses, and became an IT Recruitment Consultant.

I did this for five years, and during this time learned loads, and had some really good times (corporate trip snowboarding anyone?!) but came to the conclusion that my heart wasn’t in it.

I had day with a personal stylist as a target hitting reward and absolutely loved it, and something just clicked. I ended up training as a bit of a hobby at first, but then went on to quit my job and start up my styling business. Alongside this I started a blog, initially just to promote my business, but rediscovered my love of writing. Other people (including my old company!) noticed that I loved blogging and social media and asked me to help them, and so the other side of my business was born.

How long have you had your blog and what do you write about?

I’ve been blogging at Emily Jayne since 2009 (eek that seems like a very long time!) and write about style and beauty with a focus on colour, style advice and the fashion/beauty scene in Birmingham, with a little bit of what I’m up to in my life and business for good measure.

To what extent having a blog informed your desire to start a business or to work for yourself?

It was actually the other way around. Initially the blog was just about my business, letting clients know what I’d been up to and announcing events/new services etc, and it kind of all took off from there, gaining a bit of a life of its own.

Can you tell us a little bit about your business and when/how you started it?

I started my business after fleeing the corporate world. I have a styling studio where I offer one on one Colour and Styling consultations and run workshops, and also travel to do workshops and speaking engagements – this could be anything from a girls’ night in at someone’s home, to a talk for the WI, to a workshop on wearing colour for Dulux employees.

I also do personal shopping and wardrobe weeding, and am passionate about showing women how they can feel fantastic about what they wear at any age, size, shape or style. I particularly enjoy getting people to wear more colour – it makes a massive difference to people once they know what colours work the best for them, and seeing them walk out of my studio feeling happy and confident gives me a real buzz!

I also, of course, blog, both for myself and for clients, and offer social media and blogging coaching sessions to those who are feeling a little lost.

Do you think blogging played a part in giving you the drive, tools or confidence to make that desire a reality?

Blogging gives me a space to voice my passions and get people excited about colour, so absolutely, it is an integral part of my business and I have had many clients say to me that they have chosen me over other stylists because of my blog – it lets them know who I am and what to expect when they come to see me.

Did you seek anyone’s advice or insights before you took the plunge and what is the best piece of advice you were given?

My mother, my father, and my grandfather all run their own businesses (I guess it’s just in my blood to be my own boss!) and they have all been incredibly supportive throughout – the best piece of advice that I was given is that it doesn’t happen overnight (or “it takes years of work to be an overnight success”). Being self-employed takes perseverance and resilience, but it is oh so worth it if you can stick it out!

Did you set a timeline or goals for launching and growing your business or has it been very organic so far?

To be honest I kind of just threw myself into launching, although I did take some start-up business courses which were incredibly helpful. However as my business developed and ‘life stuff” happened, I set myself targets so that I can reach my goals – for example knowing how much I needed to earn to be able to move in with my other half (done!) and now saving for our wedding.

Would you change anything you’ve done in launching or developing your business?

There is no doubt that I have made mistakes – however I really don’t think I would change anything as they’ve been good lessons to learn, and got me where I am today.

[Jesse’s edit: Totally agree with this and I think that’s a great way to approach one’s mistakes.]

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

So much! Learning to live on practically nothing in the early days of my business after quitting a well-paid job, teaching myself how to blog and work with social media, that one time that my e-commerce website company went bankrupt and the whole thing went kaput, leaving me to rebuild from scratch overnight!

What is the thing you have been proudest of?

I was really proud that Birmingham Bullring asked me to take part in their Spring fashion event this year, and run presentations/workshops on colour. Standing in front of a packed shopping mall, wearing a Madonna-mic and talking colour to that size crowd was an absolute thrill!

How do you organise your workday and how do you keep motivated/focused to deal with your different varied priorities?

Lists, lists and more lists! I have a really varied schedule, and really enjoy this, but it means I have to work hard to keep track of everything. I really like the 30/30 app to keep me focused on the task at hand, and have found I can’t beat a pretty desk diary to plan out my blogging!

What are the next steps you will be focusing on to grow your business?

I’m about to go through a rebrand, and shift my blog over to wordpress which I’m really excited about! Following this I will be launching online colour and style consultations – I’ve done a few ‘pilot’ consultations and they’ve gone really well, so really can’t wait to launch this, just have to get all the tech in place first.

Is there anything you can share with bloggers wanting to start their own business or go it alone?

It’s not easy, but it’s totally worth it!

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and career path with us Emily Jayne. Nuffnangers, give her a follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. You can also add her blog to your RSS feed or Bloglovin to never miss a post and if you have any questions or comments for Emily Jayne, please leave them in the section below!

Connect with our community of over 1,300 UK bloggers and influencers on TwitterInstagramGoogle +Pinterest and FB. Interested in working together on our next blog features, campaigns or events? Just get in touch.

Sadie
Nuffnang Community Team

Hi Nuffnangers,

As it has become the custom every Monday, welcome to a new Behind The Blog interview. With this feature we’ve been showcasing self-employed or business-owners bloggers because we thought it’d be great to celebrate the entrepreneurship and creativity we see in so many of our talents.

You can catch up with all previous interviews at the following links: Sarah Moody (bloggers events), Lynette (illustration studio), Sarah Akwisombe (interior styling), Claire Wilson (maker, writer, workshop host), Laura Pashby (writing and photography) and Kezia Hall (health and nutrition coach).

As you may know already, we’re running this series until mid-October and there is one interview spot left so if you’d like to be featured, please get in touch. You can email me at jesse@nuffnang.com and we’d love to learn more about your career path and what you’ve learned along the way.

Today we introduce you to Jasiminne Yip from the blog Posh, Broke, & Bored. Ever the flamboyant and funny character at a party (I know this for a fact), her personality and creativity translate into her colorful, witty and slightly irreverent artwork from illustration to comics and paintings which she produces both for personal projects and client commissions.

We hope that you’ll find this interview inspiring and an interesting read; please give Jasiminne’s blog a visit and leave any questions for her in the comment section below. If you have a friend who would enjoy this post, why not share it?

Behind the Blog - Jasiminne Yip

Hi Jasiminne! Thank you for taking part in our “Behind the Blog” interviews, it’s a pleasure to feature you today and let’s dive right in with our interview questions:

To start off, can you tell us a little bit more about you: where are you from, what did you graduate in and what has been your career path so far?

Hello! I’m Malaysian, born and bred. I moved to London in 2006 to study design at Central St. Martins, majoring in illustration. In 2009, after I graduated with a Bachelor (Honours) in Graphic Design I chose not to return immediately to my home country like most of my fellow foreign classmates but instead I stayed behind in London. I’ve been freelancing as an illustrator and lifestyle blogger ever since.

How long have you had your blog and what do you write about?

I started blogging in earnest in 2012, but the catalyst was my very first blog in 2006, ‘Jasiminne the Penguin’ (I had a penguin obsession, yes you can laugh). This was before the start of Nuffnang in Malaysia and the days of blogging as a profession. I’ve since archived that blog.

Its more refined successor is Posh, Broke, & Bored, my lifestyle blog. I write about things of interest in both London and Kuala Lumpur like restaurants, openings, art exhibitions, events on my social calendar like the Malaysia Tatler Ball, the London season (Ascot, polo etc.), Fashion week, and also travel blog posts (this year I’ve blogged about Lisbon, Rome, the Vatican City, Cuba (both Havana and Cayo Largo Del Sur), and Redang Island, Malaysia).

I used to keep my lifestyle writing and my illustration work separate, but a recent commission by The House of Peroni ‘An Illustrated Roman Holiday’ based on my blog posts about Rome and Vatican City made me realise that there is definitely a crossover between Posh, Broke, & Bored and my work as an illustrator. After all, art imitates life!

To what extent having a blog informed your desire to start a business or to work for yourself?

I had always wanted to be a comic book artist but studied advertising design because that was the compromise between my creativity and my parent’s idea of what a ‘sensible course’ was. So when I was 19 and blogging on my now defunct ‘Jasiminne the Penguin’ blog, my creative outlet were self-portraits, conceptual photography, digital photo collages or graphics I’d create with type, vector art, and photography that I would accompany all my blog posts with.

From how my blog graphics were received, I realised what my father had been trying to tell me all along about the ‘Blue Ocean strategy’ that is, “if there isn’t a market for what you do, create that market”. That’s when I realised the internet was the best way to get my work ‘out there’. All I needed was a lot of good work, a strong brand and identity, and to utilise the power of social media and networking.

Can you tell us a little bit about your business and when/how you started it?

Posh, Broke, & Bored started as a personal blog and diary to myself. It was my way of documenting the stories in my life so that I might look back fondly one day and think ‘Hey, I was cool once!’ Somehow I gained a following, I got signed to Nuffnang, and now I get paid to write about things that are relevant to my lifestyle as a hungry, curious twenty-something with disposable income living in a big city.

I freelance as an illustrator too. Right before graduation I pulled together a makeshift online portfolio of my work by making a separate blog for my illustrations.  As basic as my website was (really just a standard Blogger blog) it helped put my work out there and got me job offers, freelance work, and exhibiting opportunities. I’ve also sold some of my posters online although I’ll be moving to a proper online shop.

Now my website is where I direct enquiring eyes and potential clients and collaborators to, showcase my best drawings, and document exhibitions, features, publications, and events my work has been featured in. Some of the content on Posh, Broke, & Bored and Jasiminne.com does overlap, but for simplicity’s sake I also post strictly work-related content and updates on my Tumblr… yet another blog!

Do you think blogging played a part in giving you the drive, tools or confidence to make that desire a reality?

Absolutely. You know how I said my ‘Jasiminne the Penguin’ posts were accompanied by self-portraits, conceptual photography, graphics etc? I won’t lie, some of it was truly terrible and so indicative of the now dated style of computer graphics which was so rampant back then. My blog readers were a very vocal bunch (as Malaysians and Singaporeans tend to be) and would give me feedback on how good (or bad) my design skills were. Their comments were more encouraging to me, as an aspiring designer, than the art school I was studying at the time was.

I thought at the time: if as a 19 year old I can handle studying for an advertising diploma while preparing to move to a foreign country to study a different degree, plus writing and producing a blog (including covering events, designing the graphics for each post), and practising my hand at being a conceptual photographer AND still having a social life and not losing my mind than surely, I can work for myself and start my own business. It’s certainly more challenging and interesting than a 9 to 5 job which I don’t think I have the right temperament for.

Did you seek anyone’s advice or insights before you took the plunge and what is the best piece of advice you were given?

Hahahaha I WISH I had someone who gave me advice. I hit the ground running the moment I graduated and had a good struggle for the first two years after. The best piece of advice I’ve ever heard is this Andy Warhol quote:

“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.”

… and of course the famous lines by Ira Glass on bridging The Gap:

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners… All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit…We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work… It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions… It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

[Jesse’s edit: Man, I love Ira Glass. I LOVE HIM.]

Did you set a timeline or goals for launching and growing your business or has it been very organic so far?

It has been very organic. I have had the luxury of only saying yes to work that I really want to do, and so I take on projects at my leisure. I often work on several things at the same time; at one point I was contributing a monthly graphic short story to a Malaysian newspaper, while freelancing as an illustrator and a writer, and also writing Posh, Broke, & Bored on top of travelling.

It’s quite tricky to set a rigid timeline for the things I do because I never know what’s around the corner for me. But I do set goals to achieve, and I’m happy to say that I’ve never missed a deadline yet.

Would you change anything you’ve done in launching or developing your business?

I can’t say so because I don’t know how, all I’ve ever done is what feels natural to me.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Staying motivated every day… and finding the will to get out of bed on a cold, bleak winter morning and not just work on my laptop, sitting in bed wearing my pyjamas. Oh, and being dropped by clients looking to save money and cut corners by hiring someone who’ll do an inferior job for less money, the client will then realise their mistake later and ask me to do their next job but won’t understand why I refuse to work for them after their first initial attempt at undercutting me.

What is the thing you have been proudest of?

That I’ve never compromised my ethics both as a blogger, a writer, and an illustrator. I’ve turned down work that I didn’t feel comfortable with or whose principles I didn’t agree with. Money can be earned back but lost integrity is a different story altogether.

How do you organise your workday and how do you keep motivated/focused to deal with your different varied priorities?

Coffee. Lots and lots of coffee ah ah ah. I jest. Right now I’m working from home and there are SO MANY DISTRACTIONS. I have colour-coded calendars and post it notes reminding me of what needs to be done but it’s ever so hard to resist wandering off to play with my hamster. When I move my office into a new studio space in October, it’ll be a lot easier to focus as that space will be purely for work.

What are the next steps you will be focusing on to grow your business?

I’m making some of my illustrations available to buy as prints, posters, iPhone cases, fabrics, etc. on Society 6 and Etsy, to test the market for the potential to sell some of my work online. I also have a solo exhibition of paintings next summer, maybe even spring, in London.

It’s a brave new world of painting that I’m exploring, and the largest body of work I’ve ever undertaken. I’ve also got myself an artist studio so that I can throw myself into a fully working environment and be surrounded by other artists too.

Is there anything you can share with bloggers wanting to start their own business or go it alone?

Yes. Don’t be afraid to promote yourself. Be on every relevant social media platform. Reach out to companies and clients you want to work for, they’ve never heard about you and you’re going to wait around till they do. Go to them. Network like a fiend. Be at events, places, and workshops where like-minded people are, it’s the best way to meet people, learn new things, and possibly make a new collaborator or two! And above all, always have your own domain name.

Jasiminne, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and career path with us. Nuffnangers, give Posh, Broke, & Bored a follow on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Google +. You can also add her blog to your RSS feed or Bloglovin to never miss a post.

Connect with our community of over 1,300 UK bloggers and influencers on TwitterInstagramGoogle +Pinterest and FB. Interested in working together on our next blog features, campaigns or events? Just get in touch.

Sadie
Nuffnang Community Team

Hi Nuffnangers,

What better way to start the week than with a a new “Behind The Blog” interview?

If you’ve read our September newsletter, you’ll know that with this feature series we’ve been showcasing bloggers who are self-employed or business owners. It’s running until October so if you’d like to be featured, whether your venture is big or small, established or not, we would love to hear from you! Please get in touch at jesse@nuffnang.com.

In the meantime, you can catch up with the previous published interviews with Sarah Moody (bloggers events), Lynette (illustration studio), Sarah Akwisombe (interior styling), Claire Wilson (maker, writer, workshop host), and Laura Pashby (writing and photography).

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kezia Hall from the blog Super Naturally Healthy. After dealing with her own health problems and becoming super knowledgeable on how to lead a happy healthy life in the process, Kezia started blogging to share her findings, recipes and advice with readers and she’s now growing her own coaching practice.

We hope that you’ll find this interview inspiring and an interesting read; please give Kezia’s blog a visit and leave any questions for her in the comment section below. If you have a friend who would enjoy this post, don’t hesitate to share it!

Behind the Blog Interview - Kezia Hall from Super Naturally Healthy

Hi Kezia, thank you for taking part in our “Behind the Blog” interviews, showcasing the side-businesses, entrepreneurship, and creativity of our talents; it’s a pleasure to have you! Let’s dive right in:

To start off, can you tell us a little bit more about you: where are you from, what did you graduate in and what has been your career path so far?

I am from a few places really but mainly Newcastle and Glasgow, with Glasgow being where I now call home. My career (feel funny even calling it that!) has been very diverse.

I graduated in Fine Art and up until last year spent about five years focusing on my artistic practice and working with the community in galleries or charity contexts. During that time I also helped set up a coffee house (9 months of coffee heaven), worked with a homeless charity and made a 6ft cake for a community afternoon tea!

Upon moving back to Glasgow last year I decided it was time for a change and that was when I started Super Naturally Healthy and trained as a health coach. I am still very much involved in creative practices but right now my main focus is to help this nation getting super naturally healthy!

How long have you had your blog and what do you write about?

My blog is about 15 months old and I love to write about holistic and natural approaches to health and wellbeing. This includes sharing recipes, debunking health myths and sharing wisdom on how to regain health or lose weight in a normal non-faddy way.

To what extent having a blog informed your desire to start a business or to work for yourself?

It has been a massive influence; my blog is just over a year old and it led to my starting of a ‘business’ recently, as a health coach. Blogging for about a year first really helped me figure out the market, who was interested in what, but mainly it gave me the confidence to pursue my dreams as all my readers were/are so encouraging.

Can you tell us a little bit about your business and when/how you started it?

I still feel like I am starting it! It has been a very organic process which really began about two years ago when I realised that my passion and personal journey for getting well, healed and healthy was something I could happily spend my days pursuing.

I have been on a long road to health over the last ten years dealing with my own personal health issues and one day I just realised that health coaching, creating tasty healthy gluten free alternatives and helping people to do the same was something I not only did naturally but also was VERY excited about.

I also took part in some really helpful personal development exercises which highlighted my specific strengths and they all pointed to coaching and creative practice, thus confirming my initial intuition.

My business is a mix of life coaching and holistic nutritional therapy; I work one on one with clients or with groups and take part in events as a public speaker. It is very varied as I work both online and offline with my immediate community. To be honest, I am still finding my feet and taking those first steps in creating a business, but everyday is different and exciting. I am currently working on developing products such as recipe ebooks, events, video tutorials and online programs – so there is never a dull moment!

Do you think blogging played a part in giving you the drive, tools or confidence to make that desire a reality?

Yes, 100%. Blogging helped/helps me find my feet in a vast market and also provides direct engagement with my audience so that I can tailor my service to what they actually need not what I think they need. My aim is to serve people really well and blogging is a great place to start in that direction. I like to blog regularly as a way to give out relevant information and it has helped with the practical side of things such as writing copy, getting organised and thinking strategically.

Did you seek anyone’s advice or insights before you took the plunge and what is the best piece of advice you were given?

Yes, I feel like I asked loads of people – maybe too many! I worked with the Prince’s Trust initially, which was so helpful in terms of refining my idea. I also connected with some government mentoring scheme and sought out friends who I knew were experts in areas like marketing or starting up businesses. At one point I had four mentors which I found really helpful but now I just meet with one every now and then to sound off ideas. I’m also in touch with other health coaches in the UK and planning to start a health coaching network in the near future.

I think the best piece of advice I was given was – “just start”! I thought I needed a grand master plan, but as helpful as that is, you just have to take the plunge and begin somewhere. Don’t wait until everything is lined up, sorted out or perfect because you could be waiting a very long time.

Did you set a timeline or goals for launching and growing your business or has it been very organic so far?

I do set goals and have a timeline to work to but mainly I let things happen organically. Ultimately, my business is more about creating a healthy community and culture so this takes time and can’t be forced. As a result, I balance my love of setting goals with letting things happen as they come. I am naturally quite goal-oriented but with a creative (chaotic) flair so I have learnt to use both strengths.

Would you change anything you’ve done in launching or developing your business?

I think I would have left my bread and butter sooner and taken the leap of faith needed to get things off the ground.

What has been your biggest challenge so far?

Battling feelings of “What the heck are you doing?” and fears of failure. I have had to learn to celebrate the little successes and try to make sure I’m surrounded with positive thoughts and people.

What is the thing you have been proudest of?

That the clients I have worked with have genuinely had their (and their families’) lives transformed through our coaching relationship. Seeing people once in pain, overweight or stressed living a healthy happy life is the best feeling ever.

How do you organise your workday and how do you keep motivated/focused to deal with your different varied priorities?

I use a lot of lists as well as GIANT charts to tackle longer projects and “big picture” stuff. Each day I set myself two main goals to focus on and I also have targets for each week and month so that I always know what my priorities are. I am a big post-it fan too!

What are the next steps you will be focusing on to grow your business?

I have just gone full time so I am aiming to grow both my online and offline presence. I am launching a new e-course in October called Flourish, starting a podcast channel and planning to launch my first e-book for Christmas. Phew!

Is there anything you can share with bloggers wanting to start their own business or go it alone?

Surround yourself with encouraging people, take time to inspire yourself everyday, find business mentors to help hone your ideas and most importantly, believe that you are amazing and that the world needs your passions to come alive.

Kezia, thank you so much for sharing your experiences and career path with us. Nuffnangers, give Super Naturally Healthy a follow on Twitter, FacebookPinterest, YouTube and Google +. You can also add the blog to your RSS feed or Bloglovin to never miss a post.

Connect with our community of over 1,300 UK bloggers and influencers on TwitterInstagramGoogle +Pinterest and Facebook. Interested in working together on our next blog features, campaigns or events? Just get in touch, we’re always happy to have a chat.

Sadie
Nuffnang Community Team

Instagram @Nuffnang

Nuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram Photo
Nuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram Photo
Nuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram Photo
Nuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram PhotoNuffnang Instagram Photo

Category

Archive

Latest PostRSS