Meet the Maker: An Interview with The January Rose

Now I have been accused of being a crazy dog lady more than once and to a certain extent I am. I love nothing more than spoiling my beloved woofers and they love the extra fuss they get! I discovered Louise's work a few years ago now and have bought many pieces for myself and for gifts- I'm a huge fan of her personalised key rings and have mine proudly jingling on my keys. So if you have a furry companion or a pet mad friend look no further...

1. Tell us a little about you and your business.

I’m Louise, self-confessed crazy dog lady in my twenties. I have lived my whole life in a small Devon town and spend my days here working with my furry sidekick and best friend, Rosie the Jack Russell x Chihuahua.

I own The January Rose, selling bespoke pet accessories including hand stamped ID tags, collars and bow ties. I also have a large choice of hand stamped key rings, with various sayings. Everything is hand made by myself, making each item completely unique and personal.

2. What inspired your business name?

Rosie, of course! She was born in January and has been the biggest inspiration and motivation for starting this business, so The January Rose naturally evolved from that. I also love all things floral, so it just seemed to work!

3. How did you first discover your passion for your craft?

I have always been crafty and enjoyed making with various different things. But the sewing started as Rosie is a very small breed, I found it hard to find collars that would fit her dainty neck that were comfortable and stylish. I was never really keen on using a sewing machine, in fact, they made me ever so nervous! But with encouragement from my equally crafty mum, I managed to make Rosie a collar and once I knew I could do it, with a few bits of tweaking designs here and there, she soon had a collection of pretty and comfy collars that fitted her perfectly. I discovered how many things could be sewn up and I am always trying my hand at new ideas and projects.

I can’t really pin point when I discovered hand stamping, I know Pinterest had a big role in inspiring it though! I bought a few basic tools to get me started and have gradually built on them over the years. When I think about my first key rings and technique it makes cringe but fortunately I have got a lot better over time!

4. How long has your business been running?

It started very slowly in 2014, I had not really planned on creating a business, it gradually just happened and has been my full time job for a few years now.

5. What inspires your creations?

Have I already spoken too much about Rosie?! She is a massive inspiration in the business. It is important to me that I only sell items that I would be happy for my own dog to use and wear, so that includes being practical and also comfortable for the pet. I am also inspired by the feedback I receive from customers, it is very satisfactory when something you have made is adored and appreciated.

6. What is your proudest achievement to date?

There are a few things but being chosen to be featured in The Guardian magazine is one thing I am very proud of. I was in it alongside my close friend and fellow maker, Caitie, of When Caitie Met Soda. It was incredible to see us both in print together.

7. What is the biggest lesson you have learned?

Not to be too hard on myself. It’s easy to make lists of all the things I want to achieve, create and do within the business but I have recently realised that its ok to leave some ideas and revisit them when I have more time or mental capacity to deal with them.

Sometimes we all need reminding - ’We can do anything, but not everything’.

8. What is your favourite make?

Last year I had the opportunity to create a whole wedding package for very good friends of mine for their special day. It included matching bow ties for the groom, groomsmen and also their dog, Soda, who was there to celebrate as well. I made several other accessories for the bride and close family members. It was a really exciting process working out the designs with them and then going onto making everything into a lovely unique package for them.

9. What is the best feedback you have received?

I was lucky enough to go to the wedding mentioned above, and was overwhelmed with how many people made a point of complimenting on the bow ties and how lovely they looked. After working so hard making them the feedback was really appreciated and it made me so proud to see them all in action on the day!

10. Is there anything you regret?

In all honesty, no. I'm just learning every day. I could have regrets about trying new things that haven’t gone to plan, or perhaps not planning enough, but the most important thing is that I continue to try - if you don’t do that you will always be left wondering what could have been.

11. What are your goals for the future?

I really want to work on and expand the wedding aspect of the business, because I believe dogs are part of the family and deserve to be looking gorgeous whilst getting involved in their parents big day. Plus who doesn’t want to match with their dog?!

12. What is the best part of being a maker?

Having freedom to create and the opportunity to expand and achieve my personal goals.

13. What is your least favourite job to do?

Anything to do with numbers and accounts, I can honestly say that’s the worst part and the thing I struggle with the most when It comes to working for myself.

14. What advice would you give your old self?

Everything is achievable given time, don’t get despondent - nothing happens overnight.

15. What advice would you give other makers?

Don’t be put off with a slow start, and have an open mind along the way. If you want to set something up, just go for it. I started very small and didn’t have any plans to do what I am doing now. See where it takes you.

To find out more about Louise and to see more of her incredible work (not to mention her sweet pup Rosie), follow her here:

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