Wearing a cute polka dot dress adorned with one of her original collar clips, it was a real delight to meet Zoe from Ladybird Likes at the Renegade Craft Fair recently (FYI – best craft fair ever). Focusing on wooden etched jewellery, Zoe’s work is simple yet detailed and colourful, and properly unique in a sea of high-street sameness. Find out more about her crafting, favourite magazines & love for the ol’ car bootie below…
Hi! Please can you introduce yourself and Ladybird Likes?
I’m Zoe and I own and run Ladybird Likes. We make a range of mostly wooden laser-cut jewellery. It’s all made and assembled in our studio on the edge of West London, and our inspiration is vintage, retro and a bit kitsch.
It looks like you’re really busy at Renegade today, how’s it going?
It’s really, really good. It’s been busy from the start really. We got here at 9am and it’s been pretty manic ever since.
That’s fantastic. How long have you been preparing for this?
Well we’re actually quite lucky because we started making Christmas stock in June. Because we do so many fairs and get so many online orders, we actually have quite a good amount of stock built up. So it’s more a case of trying to get everything together and do a last minute stall plan and things like that, rather than I know a lot of people have been making a load of stock ready for it.
I love your slogan, ‘Nice things for nice people’ – it’s so cute!
I just want to make nice things that people will like and want to wear. That’s really my aim with the business!
How do you do the laser-etching – is a special machine? How does it work?
We have a couple of different laser cutting companies that do our products. Some of them are printed and then laid on wood and then laser-cut and other ones are cut and laser-engraved directly onto wood. So we have different companies that do those different techniques for us.
(Zoe sorts out some change for a customer whilst her boyfriend serves. They are busy!)
I love your website! Did you design it yourself?
Yeah! I found this really cool tutorial for making a website out of a blogspot blog, taking all the code out of it so you’re left with big empty pages so I built it from there. I’m the least technical person ever but I managed to make something out of it. I literally just Google things as I think of them, ‘how do I do this?’ I don’t know what we did before Google!
I saw that you’re a massive magazine fan – I am also the same. What’s your favourite?
I really love ‘Oh Comely’ as a general one, and I love ‘Mollie Makes’ as a craft magazine. I also really like a magazine called ‘Ballad of’ which has loads of different contributors, each issue has a theme – the last one was ‘Sugar and Spice’ with all 90’s inspired stuff like ‘Saved by the Bell’ – so people send in photos and illustrations and everything inspired by that. I’m going to look out for that, thanks! (sounds amazing!)
Are there any other crafters particularly that you’d recommend?
Oh my gosh, there’s so many people and they’re all here as well! I’m so lucky, I have so many friends I’ve made through crafting. ‘Hello Harriet’ and ‘Oh no Rachio’ are both here and are really good friends of mine. And Ella Masters is behind me (at the fair).
It seems like a really supportive community, more than any other kind of industry.
Definitely. If you have a question and tweet someone, they will always get back to you. I’ve tweeted people and they’ve sent me a really long email with really helpful stuff and they don’t even know me really. So it’s just such a like-minded community to be involved in.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Very different, it really depends on the time of year. At the moment (well less so now as we’ve got everything made up ready for Christmas), the last few months have just been making, making, making. But when we’ve got a new range coming out, we work on product photos, contact bloggers and people like that to help us promote the range, send items out and things like that.
Is it completely full-time? Are you in the studio in the day and then in the evening are you working on it as well?
Yeah, my studio’s at home in our spare room so I work silly hours from like 10 in the morning till midnight. But, I love it. It’s not like you’re working for someone else’s benefit, and if you work the longer hours you do see you get like, more hits on your blog, you get more traffic to your Etsy shop so it’s really addictive in a way. I can see how it could be! Even having just started my blog I want to make it really fantastic (bold statement from me there!) and working 5 days a week already seems too much to deal with and do this! You do kind of have to do that though, take that leap of faith and you want to take that cut in work and put the extra time in.
What do you get up to when you’re not crafting?
I like going to car boot sales – I’m a massive massive car boot sale fan but I’ve had to restrain it a bit because I still live at home at the moment so my parents are getting a bit angry with me like filling up the loft with my stuff. ‘Yeah, when I move out one day, it’ll be really handy’. We like eating out and stuff, I try not to do too much crafting but I do like making stuff as well. And I’ve started trying to do on my blog a little mini-series of personal craft projects, rather than just making stuff for the business. I pin so much stuff on Pinterest so I try and make the things, even if it’s something little and not related to the business.
I tried starting cross-stitch the other day – so much fun but really time consuming!
I find that time goes really quick with cross-stitch and with crochet as well – I’ll be like, ‘Oh it’s only been half an hour’ but two hours have gone!
Brilliant, thank you so much for your time.
Not at all!
Check out Zoe’s awesome blog for more FAQ’s including where the name ‘Ladybird likes’ comes from. More pretty picture inspirations on Pinterest, Flickr (really love the pics over here) and Instagram, plus the usual suspects of Facebook and Twitter. I literally feel like a stalker now, so: The End.
Which ladybird like do you like?