Say hello to ...
Tell us a little about yourself and your company?
I established my company Jin Designs in 2005; I'm a Designer living and working in Hove, East Sussex who has been designing logos, graphics and websites for several years. This year, I have been working hard on a new venture and in June opened an online shop selling my creations. The shop sells a unique range of quality home and giftware including fine bone china mugs, tea towels, bags and greeting cards. It's minimalist, clean and contemporary - with the occasional touch of humour. My style appeals to those who like the simple things in life. In a world filled with noise and clutter the emphasis is on clean white space with plenty of room to breathe. Jin Designs is committed to supporting British made products. All products are made here in the UK by UK manufacturers.
Describe your typical working day ...
It’s usually an early start. I start at 6:30am and the early time is spent answering emails, updating social media and dealing with enquiries from stockists and customers. There may be a chance to do some design work at some point in which case, I can put some tunes on and get creative. Afternoons are spent dispatching products. My normal day is a long one but I usually find time to fit in some exercise at some point. Quite important if you’re sitting down all day!
What is the best thing about your job?
Designing, of course! It’s not something you get to do a great deal of though when running your own business. Luckily for a lot of the marketing and promoting it involves quite a bit of designing and creating so I enjoy doing that side of things – email newsletters, website promotions, banners, etc.
Do you use any specialist techniques or equipment to create your products?
I use my trusty 27inch iMac - and occasionally the more traditional paper and pencil.
Your products …
What is your personal favourite product in your collection?
It has to be the first design that started the range of products. Sleeping Cat. I’ve been drawing this cat for years and now it’s come to life. My favourite product is probably the Sleeping Cat Mug – although Sitting Cat Mug is also a close contender. I love tea in fine bone china mugs so these are perfect for a good cup of tea.
What are the most popular products in your range?
Both the cat collections are very popular but so far, the Beach Huts Collection, especially the Beach Huts bag which is proving to be the most popular: The Vintage Sayings are also very popular especially the Tea Towels. Out of the 4 Vintage Sayings it seems that “Seen Better Days” is the bestseller so far, followed by “Over The Hill”. Also, the Couples Collection has gone down really well, particularly for people buying wedding presents and civil partnership gifts. There is Hers and His, Hers and Hers, His and His and the most popular one, Mine and Yours.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a set of greeting cards that have been commissioned by a menswear store in Brighton. I’m also expanding the Vintage Sayings with additional designs.
What product or business plans do you hope to achieve in the next year?
I’d like to expand the range of products but my main aim is to get Jin Designs products in boutiques and retail outlets across the country. I’d like to introduce my designs to a wider audience so there are lots of plans for special promotions through the website and social media. There’s going to be a lot to do!
Your inspiration …
What inspires your products?
Inspiration comes from a vast source of things. Some ideas I’ve had in my head for a long time. But others I pick up from trends, style, designs from every day living. As a designer you keep your eyes open all the time to see what’s around you and sometimes it’s difficult to tell where the ideas and inspiration comes from. I think inspiration comes from many things, picked up consciously and subconsciously.
What other card and gift designers do you admire?
There are a few but one that stands out is probably Sophie Allport. I like her products but I think most of all I’d like to be as successful as her one day. And if it meant I could be commissioned to design next year’s collection of products for Wimbledon Tennis Championship then I wouldn’t mind that!
What current or upcoming trend are you're coveting?
Personalisation of products is a very popular trend at the moment. It’s something I am going to offer and am very interested in providing customers.
Quick questions ...
What is your favourite book?
I don’t really have one particular that stands out. I used to read a lot but nowadays I’m spending too much time on the computer.
What is your favourite film?
I could say Blazing Saddles but I won’t.
What is your favourite album, band or song? All 3 if you want!
It would have to be Chicane - Far from the Maddening Crowd. I've done a lot of design work listening to that album. It's described as electronic dance and if there was anything that could bring out creativity, for me it's those tunes.
What is your favourite card or gift brand?
I quite like the Waldo Pancake range for the humour, also these illustrations by Becka Griffin and probably Sophie Allport for the kind of gift you can buy your mother!
What is your favourite website or blog?
Yours of course!
What can't you live without?
What is your guilty pleasure?
Thank you Jinny! Visit the Jin Designs website