Quirky, handmade crafts: Interview with The Jolly Dove

As far as local businesses go, The Jolly Dove is one of the ones I’m most excited about. I’ve admired Jem’s homemade trinkets for a long while so when she announced that she was officially starting her own business, I was delighted! She has a great eye for detail and all of her creations that I’ve seen so far are quirky, cute and very unique. From hypo-allergenic earrings to mug warmers, bunting to stuffed toys, Jem creates all the cute accessories you didn’t know you needed. Earlier this month, I had a quick catch-up with her about The Jolly Dove, small businesses and other crafty creators she admires!

The Jolly Dove: quirky handmade novelties and trinkets

How did The Jolly Dove start?

I’ve always loved making homemade gifts for friends and family – recently people have been telling me that they’d pay good money for my little creations and encouraged me to go into business. I’ve just finished my degree and I’m working from home so it just seemed like the perfect time to get The Jolly Dove off the ground.

Have you always been crafty? What did you used to love to create?

I have been – my Dad is an artist and picture framer and he’s always encouraged me to create, not just through traditional art but other mediums too. When I was little I always loved to draw pictures of aliens and make up the stories behind their own planets!  I also used to love pressing flowers and making collages with them too.

Between Little Birds Market, Granny Would Be Proud & Sloans Market, there seems to be an excessive influx of craft stalls, what makes The Jolly Dove unique?

I’m eager for The Jolly Dove to become a business with a very personalised service, I love taking custom orders and being able to give my customers exactly what they want. I’m a perfectionist and I have no problem with keeping in touch with customers while I make their order so I know it’ll be perfect for them too!

You’re very, very new. What are you nervous about when it comes to starting up and selling your products?

I am indeed! I’m a bit nervous about selling to the public face to face next month as I am a bit of a shy soul – but I’m also as equally excited about it all! I work in social media marketing which has given me a lot of advantage when it comes to the online side of business. Luckily I’ve got a great support system of family and friends who are always there for me whenever I’m panicking or doubting myself and I am so grateful for that.

You’ll soon be teaming up with Liverpool based Yurei Boutique, how did that come about? Are you inspired by her range? Do you hope to do many collaborations?

Kristie-Ann who runs Yurie is in a relationship with an old friend of mine, Andy. I was telling Andy about The Jolly Dove when he suggested I get in touch with Kristie. He gave me her email address so I could properly introduce myself and it all just spiralled from there. Kristie has given me a lot of great advice already; it’s been so helpful to have this connection with someone who already has a wealth of experience in the business. I absolutely love her range – I’ve always been a fan of Burlesque and she has some amazing items, got an eye on a few things for pay day!

I’m hoping to do lots and lots of collaborations in the future yes, not just in Glasgow but all over the place!

 Handmade earrings, knitted toys & bunting

Who are some of your favourite -local and international- designers?

I am a major fan of Pretty Cuckoo who regularly sells at Sloans Market, I’ve got some of my favourite necklaces from them. Outside Scotland, there’s a fantastic little company called The Black Emporium based in Southend-on-Sea who create stunning jewellery from recycled books. There are some many incredibly talented designers all over the UK, I get so excited when I find out it’s a small company creating the items I fall in love with!

How important is it to you to support local businesses?

Extremely! There are so many wonderful little companies and businesses in around Glasgow who provide the amazing kind of personalised service you just don’t get from big businesses.  I always try and support other small sellers when getting supplies from The Jolly Dove from places like Artstore on Queen Street – I think it’s very important that we all support each other.

How are the next 6 months looking in terms of events and general business growth? What are your plans?

I’m going to be selling at The Pop-Up Shop on Ashton Lane on the 11th – 13th and 18th – 20th of June next month which will be The Jolly Dove’s first major event and I’m hopefully going to get myself booked into a few more Vintage/Craft Fairs over the Summer. I’m also in the process of launching a shop for The Jolly Dove online via Etsy which I’m aiming to have ready for the start of July!