Jess is the creative talent behind JessiCards and Crafts - a fantastic small business that designs a wide range of handmade products, from bespoke cards and party decor, to wedding stationery and personalised gifts, and so much more.
She has been running her business for 4 years from her family home in Cove, and we’ve caught up with her to find out why she started, what she loves most and her favourite businesses in Aberdeen right now…
Why did you start your business?
I started JessiCards and Crafts after making my own wedding stationery in December 2015. I found a love for all things personalised and handmade, and really appreciated the hard work and effort that went into someone’s special occasion.
This started out as a hobby and side project, selling to friends and family, but as the business grew and my family did too, I decided to bite the bullet and quit my steady job of 9 years to pursue my dream full time. And it was the best decision I ever made!
What was the inspiration behind your business?
I always knew I wanted to have my own business. I studied higher business management in school and admired so many different entrepreneurs, and from that point I knew I wanted to be my own boss.
What do you love most about your job?
I love being able to pick and choose the hours I work around my family life. My son is only 3 years old and my husband works shifts, so choosing when I work is perfect for us.
When you do something you love for a living, it doesn’t feel like work at all. You can be up until the early hours working, but you don’t resent it when it’s something you enjoy so much.
What’s your favourite product?
There’s not one product I don’t enjoy making, and I always struggle with this question! But I really do love all things henny and wedding! I love making our hen party packages for brides-to-be and also wedding invitations. Knowing you’re such a huge part of someone’s special day is such a rewarding feeling.
Why are you so passionate about what you do?
I’m passionate because I absolutely love being creative with my work, and there’s no better feeling than receiving lovely feedback from a happy customer. It really pushes me to continue with my business and continuously improve.
What’s been your biggest achievement so far?
My biggest achievement was when I was interviewed by a local newspaper after hanging up some of our ‘positive affirmation cards’ around Cove. I did this to spread some positivity across my local community, so people would randomly find them and feel happy. I didn’t do this to promote my business - I just felt it was a nice thing to do - and the newspaper got in touch and decided to write an article about it.
These cards are our best selling product, and it was incredible seeing the story in the newspaper and the lovely comments from the public!
What’s your advice for someone thinking about starting a business in Aberdeen?
Do it! The people of Aberdeen are 100% supportive of small and local businesses - it’s something that has really taken off over the past few years. If you don’t take the risk, you’ll always wonder ‘what if’.
What’s been the hardest or scariest part of starting your business?
The hardest part is not having the same guaranteed income each month to support my family. As with all small businesses, some months are better than others, so it’s about finding the balance of keeping money aside to factor in the harder months.
What’s been the most exciting or rewarding part of running your own business?
Definitely receiving a lovely review. Someone taking the time out of their day to share their positive experience with your business really is so amazing. It is by far the most rewarding part of running my own business.
What are your favourite local businesses right now and why?
A few of my favourite businesses are Meet the Meat in Cove - the staff are so friendly and the food is delicious and priced well too!
Mike's Pizza Gaff - I don’t know anyone who doesn’t enjoy pizza and these guys do the hard work and pass the kit to you! Dough ready to go with your choice of toppings and sauce - they taste incredible.
The Personalised Assistant - Jen is always my ‘go-to’ for special occasions. Her balloons are amazing, personalised with hanging polaroids and her cupcakes taste delicious.
Kilted Coffee - as a coffee lover myself, anything related to coffee has me sold, however the family behind Kilted Coffee are genuinely one of the nicest I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. They are so passionate about their work and the coffee is incredible!