Jess from Ivy and Wood is an inspiration - she had a passion, saw a gap in the market and now makes a living doing something she loves. Here she tells us a little more about her brand Ivy and Wood, about working with her partner, Brad, and life outside the brand.
Tell us about Ivy and Wood – what is it about and how did it begin?
Ivy & Wood is a home fragrance brand that was born out of a love of mason jars and candles and our struggle to find mason jar candles! We searched to no avail so decided to just make our own candles, which we also gifted to friends and family. After receiving lots of great feedback, we created a website and took them to local markets and with that, Ivy & Wood was born. Since then, we’ve expanded our range to include reed diffusers, room sprays and essential oils but candles are still the most popular.
Is your brand your full-time job or a side hustle?
I have been full-time for over 18 months since October 2017, after nearly two years of hustling on the side. Brad is currently part-time in the quieter months of the year and full-time in the busier periods.
What is a typical day for you?
It can actually be quite varied! Typically, Brad will be making candles most days, whilst I’m packing orders, doing admin, wholesale, website, marketing, working on new products and ranges… and basically everything else!
Which part of your brand do you enjoy working on the most?
I love working on new products and building relationships with our customers and stockists. I also quite enjoy the marketing, social media and website tasks as this is actually my background.
You run your business with your partner Brad – how do you handle working together?
It has definitely been (and still is) an adjustment! We spend a lot of time together now, so it’s really important that we know our roles and trust each other to do them. This is where I have had the most trouble - in letting go! Communication is also crucial and we’re still working on this. We also make sure that we do some things separately - such as going to different gyms and taking time out to do our own thing.
Can you tell us what you have in mind for Ivy and Wood in the next 12 months?
We are currently working on an exciting collaboration and new range, which should be released in June. We have ideas of expanding our product ranges too, but won’t give any details just yet as we know everything always takes longer than planned! We are also focusing on growing our wholesale business and attending more trade shows in the next 12 months. Stay tuned!
Your Everyday life
What do you enjoy doing (outside of your brand!)?
Ummm Ivy & Wood is generally my life, I live and breathe it! BUT - I love walking my dogs twice every day, getting to the gym, and seeing family and friends. At this stage in our business, there’s not really time for much else. I love travelling but this is also taking a backseat while we grow our business.
What are you reading at the moment?
Oh dear, I actually haven’t read a book in way too long. One of the last books I was reading was Quiet - the Power of Introverts in a World that Doesn’t Stop Talking.
What are you watching at the moment?
Like most of the world - Game of Thrones. Also What We Do in the Shadows, Barry, Bachelor in Paradise, True Detective, Our Planet, and Shameless to name a few.
You have a free day with no responsibilities to do anything you like in your hometown of Brisbane. What do you do?
One of my favourite things to do in Brisbane is to go for a walk by the river around Teneriffe, New Farm and the city. I’d go for brunch, see what’s new at GOMA and maybe take the dogs to Nudgee Beach for a splash in the water, or a bush walk near Samford.
Which do you prefer?
Dogs/cats - definitely dogs
Camping/staying in a hotel - I’d like to say camping but realistically I haven’t done this in my adult life, so will go with hotel.
Home cooking/eating out - Eating out
Watching a movie/reading a book - Watching a movie
Summer/winter - 100% summer!
Waking up early/staying up late - Waking up early
Tea/Coffee - Coffee
Sweet/savoury - Sweet
Breakfast/no breakfast - No breakfast
Online shopping/in store shopping - Online all the way
And finally, we have to ask - what is the best gift you have ever received?
Probably Brad’s Christmas gift to me last year, he commissioned a portrait of our two greyhounds from Mel Kilby of Kismet Art & Design, who is SO talented. It was a surprise and I cried when I saw it.