Take a Look Behind the Scenes of JollySmith
Say hello to …
Kyle Smith, the owner of JollySmith
Tell us a little about yourself and your company?
JollySmith is a design brand based in Yorkshire taking on other designers ideas and work, and getting them manufactured and sold to retailers across the world. JollySmith currently get all their products manufactured in the UK.
What inspired you to start the company?
I’ve always been interested in design and business. I studied Product Design at University for three years and from a young age, I have always aspired to own and run my own business. The natural step after leaving University as a Product Design graduate, seemed to focus on achieving my ambition, running my own design led company.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a business?
The advice I would give to anyone starting their own business would be to do plenty of research into the area or market you want to be established in. You need to know who your competition is, what they do well, and the products they sell. Your business needs to be tailored correctly with the right products that will sell within your specific market sector, and to be successful here, you must do your research. If you are able to gain any experience at any company, snap the opportunity up as the experience will help you greatly… and you can avoid their mistakes.
Describe your typical working day …
A typical working day would be heading to the studio at 9am and answering any unanswered emails from the evening before and dealing with any orders over the night or from the morning. Each day is different depending on orders or what stock I have ordered. Sometimes I will be packing my stock, filling out the finances, looking for some new designers to work with, seeking manufacturers. As I am a one man band I have to do everything. But I love it!
What is the best thing about your job?
Being my own boss. I like to know that I am in complete control of what the business can do next with nobody to tell me otherwise. However I always take on any advice or constructive criticism.
Your Designers & Products …
What is your personal favourite product in your collection?
I think my personal favourite is the ‘Multi Purpose’ card. I don’t think its been done in the same way we have done it. A contemporary design which serves every purpose and looks awesome!
What are the most popular products in your range?
The most popular products in my range are the Yorkshire Tea Towel and Love Doves. Both great products that are extremely popular over the festive period as they just make fantastic gifts.
Tell us a little about the Designers you collaborate with?
At JollySmith, we primarily have three Designers that work for us, John Green, Richard Storey and Katie Lawes. John is an award winning designer, specialising in furniture and lifestyle design. John works as a freelance designer for JollySmith, designing innovative and modern cards, prints and mugs for JollySmith. Richard Storey is a freelance graphic designer. Richard, has loved designing from an early age, but it turned into his passion when he went to study design at University. He has designed the popular Dialect Tea Towels, including the Yorkshire Dialect Tea Towel, that was recently featured on the BBC’s Saturday Kitchen. Katie Lawes is a freelance designer based in Leeds. She studied design at Manchester University. She has designed a range of cards for JollySmith that are vintage inspired.
What are you working on at the moment?
Unfortunately not a lot, we are currently working on a new place mat for the dinner table which again I think will be very popular, also a small extension on the card range for Christmas.
What do you hope to achieve in the next year?
JollySmith would like to have over 100 products over the next year and land one or two big retailers to help with the movement of business and create more awareness of the designers that work with JollySmith.
Your Inspiration …
What inspired you about the Designers you work with?
I was inspired to work with these designers, as I knew their work would suit my brand. JollySmith is a creative brand specialising in fun, contemporary household giftware, I look for designers and their work that suit my brand and this criterion.
What other card and gift designers do you admire?
What current or upcoming trend are you’re coveting?
I try to cover a few different trends using different styles of designers like vintage, contemporary, typographic and stylish design too.
Thank you Kyle!