Meet the Maker Continues

Here are some highlights from Joanne Hawker’s Instagram Challenge called #marchmeetthemaker - this time the topics covered include product range and photography as I attempted to join in the challenge for the month of March.

It’s ‘Product Range’ for #marchmeetthemaker Day 8. There’s quite a few products now in the Jin Designs range including mugs, coasters, plates and more recently candles, clocks and chopping boards. I’ve tried to stick with products that you can use in the home or give as gifts. With each product you’ll find plenty of space in the design, no repeat patterns, just clean and simple.

Can you believe that back in 2005, I originally wanted to call Jin Designs ‘Sunny Jin Designs’? A trusted friend took one look at the name and logo and said ‘no’. And that was that. Sunny Jin Designs was consigned to history and Jin Designs was born. Obviously Jin because my name is Jinny and Designs because I design things. Jin is normally what friends and family call me but now it’s open to anyone! It’s better than Virginia which is actually my real name but that’s just between you and me. Day 9 of #marchmeetthemaker and it’s ‘Story Behind the Name’.

Day 10 of #marchmeetthemaker is ‘You’ so that’s me, over there on the beach. Usually I’m found in my studio in Hove actually, but I took a much needed holiday and have been enjoying a few days of sunshine in Thailand. It’s been a lovely break. I was feeling tired and a bit burnt out. But I’m feeling a lot better now and ready for action. Well, I will do after the jet lag has gone! It’s back to the studio tomorrow, feeling inspired from the amazing scenery I’ve been lucky enough to see.

I’ve missed a couple of days of #marchmeetthemaker so catching up now with Day 13 which is ‘Photography’

Most of my website product shots are carried out at Capture Factory where I’ve been working with the very talented Rory for the last 4 years. The quality is so much better than anything I could achieve with the skills, equipment and space that I’ve got. It can be difficult to shop online when you can’t feel or touch the product. So I hope that the images bring the products to life and help customers make that all important decision.

I’ve never studied Graphic Design. I did an evening class in Web Design in my 20s but that was it in terms of design education. Day 14 is ‘How I learnt’. Most of the software skills I’ve learnt are through trial and error and hours upon hours of figuring out. As for learning how to run a business, I’m still learning that. Each year more and more pieces of the business puzzle fit together - and more and more pieces break apart! There is no easy way that’s for sure!

What gets me out of bed in the morning? Most days, it’s as simple as a customer leaving a nice review, an order from across the world, a positive comment on Instagram from a person I’ve never met. Most days, it’s the possibilities that are out there and what I can achieve creating and selling my own designs. Day 15 of #marchmeetthemaker is Motivation / Goals.

On some days, motivation has come from a desire to be successful, to follow the path of fame and fortune that others seem to have achieved. But that path is a tricky one. You see it seems to be over there. Over that hill, across the river, down the lane and through the field, turn right and head over the gate, mind the cows, then go left, left again, and left one more time. Back where you started? Keep going straight, past the river, across the lane and down the hill. Oh dear, sorry, wrong directions. It’s just over there, follow those people, they look like they know where they’re going. Oh, they don’t know either. Maybe just stay here a while and enjoy the view. As for goals, let’s deal with those another day!

It’s ‘Workspace’ today for Day 16 of #marchmeetthemaker so this is it. A small desk in a small room in a space I call my studio. It’s where I’ve spent the best part of the last 8 years. A small bundle of fur has joined me in the last 6 months which has certainly made things interesting. I’d say the workspace is generally untidy although I prefer to call this organised chaos.

For the rest of the #marchmeetthemaker journey, head to @jindesigns on instagram.