When I launched This Little Space of Mine in November last year I’d wanted to find ways to inspire people – perhaps to find a job they love, or to be more creative in their home, or if I was lucky inspire them in a whole ‘nother way I hadn’t thought of. Sharing chats with people I find inspiring felt like a good place to start and I was delighted to be able to interview Allison from The People Shop at the end of last year.
Today I share with you a second chat – with another inspiring lady, Zoe Jade Bateman. Zoe is the creator of Ladybird Likes; making and selling wooden laser cut jewellery with a vintage and kitsch twist. Started in 2010, Zoe now runs Ladybird Likes full time from West-London. I’ve been a big fan of Zoe’s creative work since one of her beautiful pieces was included in my Blogtacular goody bag last May.
So pull up a pew, grab a cup of tea and delve into Zoe’s world. Be sure to check out Zoe’s beautiful product range too!
For anyone who hasn’t heard of Ladybird Likes, how would you describe the brand and your offering?
I always find it hard to describe Ladybird Likes – it’s a bit vintage, a bit kitsch, a bit pastel coloured, and doesn’t take itself too seriously! More officially though, I make wooden laser cut jewellery and accessories, plus some stationery bits and bobs. My brand slogan is ‘making nice things for nice people’ because that’s what, in a nutshell, I like doing!
What does a typical day look like for you?
One of the reasons I love being self-employed is that no two days are the same! What I need to do each day depends on what I’m working on at the moment – some days I will be working on new products, or creating blog content. Other days I will be doing admin work, taking product photos, or working on social networking. Most days start with tea, breakfast, and answering emails, followed by making a big cup of fresh juice and writing a to do list for the day ahead. I do love a good list!
If you weren’t running Ladybird Likes, what do you think you’d be doing instead?
Hopefully something else craft related or creative! Making things, taking photos, baking cakes, writing, these are my biggest passions in life. Oh and hunting down kitschy vintage treasures at car boot sales! Maybe I’d be a professional thrift shopper…. Or I’d own a book store. The kind that has really high shelves and ladders to reach the books, and smells musty and old.
My brand slogan is ‘making nice things for nice people’ because that’s what, in a nutshell, I like doing!
You started your blog back in 2010 and now run it full time; what made you take that step? Was there a lightbulb moment to prompt you?
There was never really a lightbulb moment – I knew I wanted to be self-employed full-time eventually but had no idea how long it would take to reach that stage when I started out! I was lucky that as my business grew I was able to cut down on my hours at my job – I started off by going part-time, splitting my week between my job that paid my bills, and growing my own business. In December 2012 I decided that I needed to spend more time on my business in order to grow it any further, so I bit the bullet and handed in my notice at my job. That was two years ago and I haven’t looked back since!
How do you keep yourself organised? We’ve just come past Christmas and I imagine that kept you really busy!
I’ll let you in on a little secret – I am so unorganised! I manage to give the impression that I am, but really I’m not! I keep a lot of lists, about everything, and have two diaries to organise my life a bit. One thing I’ve started doing this year is having a clipboard with 12 sheets of paper on, one for each month. Then I write a rough list of things to do that month, including ideas for blog posts, launch dates for new ranges, when I will do things like design new packaging etc. It means I can plan ahead a bit, which I think is the most important thing to stay organised. Otherwise December will arrive and I won’t have any Christmas stuff ready! Instead I write on my list under October that I need to design my Xmas products and plan ahead for blog posts during that busy period.
Ladybird Likes has created lots of gorgeous collections, what’s been your favourite and why?
Oh gosh, it’s hard to choose a favourite collection – it’s how I imagine choosing a favourite child would be! I think I’m proudest of my collar clips – very few people were making them when I launched my designs, and they are still one of my best selling pieces.
One thing I’ve started doing this year is having a clipboard with 12 sheets of paper on, one for each month.
To anyone reading this and thinking about starting a business this year, what’s the one piece of advice you’d offer them?
Just go for it. Seriously. I know it’s easier said than done, but you can spend a lifetime making excuses to not do it. But the reality is that if you want it enough you will make it happen, regardless of what obstacles there may be.
Do you have any exciting plans for Ladybird Likes in 2015 that you can share with us?
Oh gosh, I have so many plans for 2015! I have a feeling it’s going to be such an awesome year. I am moving in to a new studio currently, where I hope to run workshops, classes, talks, and all kinds of super fun events. I also have so many new products in the pipeline, plus lots of blog posts.
But the reality is that if you want it enough you will make it happen, regardless of what obstacles there may be.
What’s the key to a happy life for you?
Balance. That all elusive ideal, where you manage to balance seeing friends and family, working, sleeping, eating well, exercising, creating, and everything else. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it’s what I am constantly aiming for.
And finally, who would you invite to your famous person dinner party (dead or alive)?
Oh this is a tough one! I’d say Emma Stone, Matthew Gray Gubler, Kurt Vonnegut, Wes Anderson, Tim Walker…. ummm can’t think who else right now but those guys would be enough to be getting on with I reckon!
Have a good day!