After 10 happy years working for a national record store chain in the UK, like so many institutions of the high street in the late 2000s, it closed its doors and with it went my cherished career in entertainment retail. I was lucky to find employment quickly, but it never felt like I'd found what I was really for.
Fast forward four years, and I'm creating typographic book page art and jewelry using vintage book pages and sheet music. I sell through Etsy.com and notonthehighstreet.com as well as through a lovely range of bricks and mortar shops. It started with an antique French dictionary, my grandfather's set of water colors, and a handful of orders on Etsy. With my own premises, staff, and developing business relationships, I'm still amazed at the pace at which things escalated beyond my most optimistic expectations.
That said, despite having to "scale up" on lots of different fronts, I still spend a lot of time hunting through old bookshops looking for inspiration and for books to give a new lease of life as a little piece of art.
Four years since starting the company as "wall envy art" I have just re-branded as Bookishly. So much is tied to brand-awareness and visibility across social media (a real bedrock of support and contacts for a business like mine) that this was a daunting prospect. I'm glad I took the leap though; I think the new name really speaks to the direction the products have gone, guided by the wonderful (and often very personal) feedback I get from my customers on what a certain book or quote means to them, or those they are gifting my pieces to.