Interview : Little Miss Delicious November 17 2014
I've followed the work of Maxine's brand Little Miss Delicious for such a long time now that I honestly can't even remember how we first connected but in the last few years she's been a hugely supportive part of my creative network and has grown exponentially. She makes the most adorable kawaii jewellery and has recently created some amazing collections that showcase her art brilliantly. It's been so lovely to see Maxine branch out and develop and hone her already massively impressive skills, and I have no doubt that she'll continue to grow and to carve out her personal and gorgeous niche in the polymer clay field.
I recently asked Maxine a few questions about her business and her craft, and here is what she had to say.
M : I’ve been making jewellery for as long as I can remember, but Little Miss Delicious only came about while I was doing my law degree. I missed having a creative outlet so began designing jewellery again as a hobby on the side, but soon people were stopping me on the street to compliment my jewellery and friends were asking if I could make things for them, so I set up an Etsy store not really expecting much. I ended up getting my first order an hour later, and haven't looked back since! I find it very fulfilling watching a small lump of beige coloured clay turn into a cute cookie or ice cream, and having complete freedom over the process and the look of the end result.
I never imagined 5 years later LMD would even still exist nevermind be running it full time! It really is a dream come true to be able to spend every day doing what I love.
What's your favourite moment since starting the company? And what's the biggest obstacle you've overcome?
My favourite moment was definitely having my jewellery featured in LOOK Magazine last year. It was one I always used to buy growing up, and it was the first time I finally felt like I'd made the right choice going self employed - and the first time my family realised just how big LMD had become, which was a nice feeling!
I suffer from a chronic illness called interstitial cystitis, which is kind of like having a kidney infection but 100 times more painful and it never goes away. I have to have a lot of bed days because of the pain, and sometimes struggle walking around due to dizziness. It's been really hard adjusting to life with it since it only started again a few years ago, but running LMD means I can take bed days if I need to - I just take my work with me! It's not an obstacle I've quite overcome yet, but one that I continue battling and I like to think I've definitely racked up more wins than my IC has!
Where does most of your inspiration come from?
I’ve always had a huge sweet tooth so most of my designs are based on my favourite foods! My inspiration can come from anything, food I might be craving, customer suggestions and even just a colour combination I see in a picture, but my main inspiration is my love of all things cute and tasty. I've recently started venturing outside of food based designs for the first time, and the response has been amazing! While the designs haven't been specifically food based, they've still reflected the signature bright, playful and fun nature of my brand, and I'm looking forward to coming up with lots more new ideas for the future. It's gotten to the point where I always carry a notebook around with me so I can jot ideas down no matter where I am or when inspiration hits!
What's the best part of your working day?
Despite most people's perceptions of handmade designers, my day tends to be mostly admin based. I spend the majority of the working day replying to emails, doing accounts and keeping on top of social media. This means I get the main bulk of my creative work done at night, and that's by far my favourite, most productive time!
I've always been a night owl, and I'm grateful to be in a position where I can fit my job around that - even if it does mean I accidentally send the occasional email at 4am! Because of the varied nature of my products and the stages of production for jewellery items alone, each day is very different which is great in itself as it means I never get the chance to get bored and continually challenge myself.
What's your favourite LMD piece?
It's hard to pick a favourite, because they all hold a special place in my heart! Most pieces have a story behind them, especially the latest limited edition collections. The Woodland Creatures Collection is inspired by my African Pygmy Hedgehog, and the Tasty Tattoo Collection in my memory of my grandad, who gave me my love of tattoos. Because of this, my favourite is probably the Sweet Swallow Necklace, which is based on both his and my swallow tattoos.
Do you have any advice for creative startups?
Starting your own business is not easy, there is a lot of hard work and long hours involved. However, the more work you put into it, the stronger your business will be, so it all pays off!
The first step is to make sure it is something you really want to do and something you are very passionate about as it's very difficult to establish a stable income, so be prepared for some hard times unless you have lots of funding right from the start.
When you're running your own business the most important thing is just to promote as much as possible, and so it is important to consider this when first starting your business. Places like Facebook and Twitter are great for that, especially if you get your friends to invite everyone they know to join too. Once the ball starts rolling, you'd be amazed at how much interest you can generate!
Finally, what are your plans for the brand, moving forward?
I have lots of exciting plans for LMD over the next couple of months, including lots of limited edition collections, new designs and new stock! Make sure you like Little Miss Delicious on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram to keep up to date with the latest news :)