In creating "A Box Of", not only do I want it to be the "go-to" place for beautiful, unique & thoughtful gifts of kindness but also a place that supports & promotes women who are making their dreams their reality. I'm delighted to have interviewed the very talented Jessie Miles co-founder and creator behind the stationery and design business "In the Daylight". Over to Jessie...
Tell us a bit about yourself;
I grew up on a farm in NSW and now live in the inner north of Brisbane with my husband of 13 years (we got married very young ) and our two Samoyed fur babies. We moved here from Canberra just over 4 years ago - not knowing a single person! We just wanted a change and to be warm and haven’t looked back since. I own and run a stationery and giftware label called In the Daylight.
How did you get into design?
I always loved art in school. I discovered I could communicate through drawing and painting and started layering type and illustration in art class in Year 12. Once I graduated high school I was a bit lost, but somehow ended up enrolling in Interior Design and realised how much I loved it. The parts that I enjoyed the most from my degree in Interior Design (the illustrating and graphics) inspired me to go on and study Graphic Design. So after 6 years of Uni, I worked for a couple of design agencies around town before starting a stationery brand.
When did you decide to establish your own brand?
I had been working in a retail gift store throughout my last year of Uni and became very familiar with the greeting card industry. I had always loved stationery and design - I remember frequently visiting my local newsagent as a kid in my tiny country town and pouring over the notebooks, sticky pads and beautiful illustrations. So when I found myself immersed in this world again - I saw a bit of a gap in the market for a new card brand. My artwork brought together illustrations and hand lettered typography and as not a lot of brands were doing both, I thought this combination could make a really great addition to the scene.
How did you come up with the name?
No special story I am afraid. It just came to me one day and felt right. I was coming out of a tricky period in my life from my last employer and making the jump to my own business seemed like I was coming from the darkness ‘into the daylight’. I didn’t even put that together until a friend pointed it out to me and was just amazed at how spot on our subconscious can be sometimes.
Where do you get your design inspiration from?
I really have a thing for everyday items that people usually don’t give a second thought to. A lot of the illustrations in our range are just common objects, but I love the stories behind them that really spark a memory with our customers. From vintage bicycles to house plants, old bottles and balloons. I love that these illustrations can help make really meaningful connections between people.
In establishing your own business what were some of the challenges you faced and how did you deal with them?
One of my biggest challenges was (and still is) finding the right manufacturer to work with. Right from the beginning, I knew it was important to my brand to have a really high quality print production. So I interviewed 7 local printers and made them print out some of my designs on multiple different types of paper until I found the best one. One printer gave me some samples that were smudged and the ink was bleeding, another asked why I wanted such expensive stock when I could just go with a cheap, glossy white paper and I knew that they were not going to work out as they didn’t understand my vision. The printer I work with now has extreme attention to detail which I love. All my stores and customers really appreciate the high quality of my products, so I am really glad I stuck with my gut instinct.
Printing locally was also really important to me. I want people to support me because I am local and Australian made, so I felt like I should do the same to local companies. I really appreciate the detail and personable service you get from having the printer right up the street.
What advice would you give someone starting their own business?
Oh wow, there really is so much you have to consider I almost don’t know where to start . The one thing I think is really important right now is to have a good foundation. So many people get swept up with having a pretty “brand” and a great social media presence, but unfortunately that isn’t going to pay the bills. You can be as pretty and as well branded as you want, but unless you have a well thought-out product, service or idea – it’s probably not going to work out. I would say research the crap out of your industry and make sure you know what you are bringing to it that makes you different.
What's next for you?
We are looking to expand our brand internationally. In the Daylight will be exhibiting at a tradeshow in the US later in the year. It’s definitely a first for us, so we are hoping the response will be positive
What's your favourite family meal?
We love everything and anything Mexican – can’t get enough!
What are you currently reading?
I have just started ‘What Alice Forgot’ by Liane Moriarty after reading a couple of her other books and watching the amazing mini-series Big Little Lies.
As a Brisbane local what is your favourite place?
Oooo, tricky question! Fave café would be Alcove in Wilston. Fave area would be Paddington for cute little shops and cafes. And we love a good walk along the Brisbane river either on Southbank or in Teneriffe.
Thank you so much to Jessie for this little insight into why you do what you do and you do it so well! If you want to see more of Jessie's gorgeous products you can find In the Daylight on Facebook, Instagram or via the website. Our Stationery Subscription Club members were lucky enough to receive a selection of In the Daylight products as part of our last mystery package , so gorgeous (the club is not currently open to new subscribers for the time being, sorry!)