Jo Deakin China is exactly the reason I started The London Mummy 3.5 years ago. I was always emailing friends about other friends new businesses and so decided to start a central place in which to share my discoveries! So today I wanted to share an interview with mother of 2 Jo Deakin, who has recently launched a beautiful fine china collection.
So, sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy…. (& once you have finished I have no doubt you will want one of her cups to drink out of!)
What made you start Jo Deakin?
A friend was staying for the weekend who was about to get married and as we talked about the excitements of her wedding list and she mentioned that she would love some lovely contemporary cups and saucers. I had just had my second child and like a lot of mothers, I was ready to engage my brain a lot quicker than with the shell-shocked factor of becoming a new parent!
I had a background in interior design and have always been a huge fan of bright colour, pattern and of course drinking comforting drinks from china! It took a very quick reaction to our friend’s comment from my husband who simply said, “well you could do that, design a new range of cups and mugs…”
That is literally how it began!
What inspired you?
When I think back Ceramics of all forms have been in my life for a long time. From playing with my grandparents’ eclectic collections as a little girl, to working in the ceramics department at an auction house in Edinburgh, to buying my first china jar in a shop off Jerymn Street with my first payslip from my first job in London. I guess it was a relationship that was meant to be!
The opportunity to do something for myself, to re-establish my capabilities as a person, not just as a mother, was a huge inspiration for this collection. However it is incredibly important to me to be able to predominantly work from home as my son is not quite 4 and unable to drive himself home from nursery yet!
Who is your target market?
I would love to think that my target market would be anyone equally passionate as myself about drinking their favourite tea, coffee and everything in between from fine bone china.
I would also like to think they were people who liked to share a quiet moment with friends, family or just on their own to take stock of the moment, breath, slow down and sip, and re-energise for the next leg of the rollercoaster!
Ideally they must also like colour and pattern of course.
How have you juggled motherhood with starting a new business?
That is exactly right, juggling! I have no idea how I have got to this stage of actually launching, apart from determination, excitement for it to work, support from my family and close friends and a really big dose of caffeine!
Any tips for those thinking of embarking on a new venture?
I would 100% say as long as you believe in the product/thing you are thinking of embarking on, and you feel excited every time you think about it, then there is nothing stopping you giving it a go. It is so much better to try than to not know how it could have turned out, and that’s where I am at at the moment.
Shop : I love any treasure trove shop I stumble across that might sell some china bits, everything from Anthropology on the high street to an antiques shop, like the ones we used to visit as children. Broadway and Tetbury, not far from where we live in Worcestershire, have some fantastic choices. I love to walk through William Yeoward (looking not buying!) as their glass is exceptional and I think the experience of being somewhere like Andrew Martin is also really great.
Website : Jo Deakin of course!
Restaurant : I have very special memories of times at J Sheekey’s, La Famiglia and Sexy Fish but actually my husband is obsessed with cooking meat on our new BBQ so having friends at home is one of the best times for food!
Hotel : The Datai in Langkawi is one of the most incredible places I have ever been, including stepping on an enormous lizard on our way back from breakfast!
Holiday destination : The Maldives and Sri Lanka was a trip of a lifetime I will never forget for our honeymoon. Otherwise the south west coast of Portugal and likewise in Cornwall are incredibly close to my heart.
Parenting tip : Try to laugh more than shout!