This week we are getting involved in the Just A Card Week Campaign which runs from June 18th – June 22nd 2018.
“If everyone who’d complimented our beautiful gallery had bought ‘just a card‘ we’d still be open”
The Just A Card campaign is celebrating its 3rd birthday this week and to celebrate, lots of designers, retailers and makers are getting involved on social media to share behind the scenes looks at their businesses and why having customers choose them and other independent stores is so important.
‘Everyone passionate about creativity and independents is invited to share their stories on Social Media, and their work places too. People are asked to celebrate the contribution independent shops and creatives make, plus post images of the hundreds of JUST A CARD stickers, encouraging people to support independents, which are popping up in shop windows all around the country.’
Josef McFadden has previously talked about the Just A Card campaign last year in a blog post, and we urged people to swap something from the high street for a purchase from a small business or independent designer. We are getting involved this week because we understand and feel the need to help promote such a brilliant campaign like Just A Card as well as educating the importance of visiting your small local shops rather than big chains, because once they are gone, we will miss them and we don’t want to live in a world filled with just fashion fashion and large chain brands!
Monday 18th June 2018 – Day 1: YOU
Today is all about YOU.
Hello! My name is Joe and I am the face and director behind the brand Josef McFadden. I spend most of my days here in my studio, based in Paisley in the West of Scotland, creating printed textile designs for the menswear fashion market under my brand name. My Brand is mostly inspired by what is around me and in particular what flowers I am drawn to, most of my collections have strong feels for florals that I like to capture through watercolour and pen and then apply to fabric applications to create distinct garments. I started my brand in 2016, just a few months after graduating from University and have been building on it ever since while continuing to work on several different aspects of the fashion industry by creating print collections for other brands to buy among other things.
My journey into printed textiles began back in 2010, a year after I left high school and began my journey by accepting a place at Northwest Regional college in Derry in Ireland on a general Art & Design course with dreams of becoming a fine art illustrator and painter. I wanted to spend my days painting beautiful Irish landscapes in my hometown of Ramelton, Co.Donegal, as well as work on portraits whilst exhibiting in galleries. During my time at Northwest Regional College, I had the option of trying out textiles and sewing, which really didn’t appeal to me at all, I was so set on staying away from the machines and opted for sculpture (which turned out to be a disaster in more ways than just being allergic to the clays.). After giving up my very short lived dream of creating clay ceramics, I was pushed into trying embroidery and print and as soon as I was introduced to screen-printing, I knew that I would love nothing more than to spend every opportunity I could get making print designs and playing around with colourful pigments whilst applying and translating them onto any type of fabric or plastic I could. From finding my new passion for print, I continued on to take up a place on a HND in Fashion & Textiles at NWRC where my love for print grew strongly and I began to develop my own style and artistic handwriting. Encouraged by a lecturer who saw my potential within design, I was able to develop more skills than just drawing or creating my art using my hands, I began to fall in love with developing digital patterns and textiles using computers, which led me on to studying in Scotland at University.
I first arrived in Scotland back in 2013, when I accepted a place on the Design for Textiles course at Heriot Watt School of Textiles and Design in the glorious Scottish Borders. I was quite nervous at the thought of moving countries to study, but couldn’t wait to get into the studios and begin painting and drawing for 2 years while completing my honours degree. My style began to become more apparent and recognisable while developing collections through screen printing, digital printing and occasional knitting. During my honours year I began to design a collection inspired by Caravaggio’s ‘The Taking Of Christ’ and the Dutch Masters. I illustrated a large range of flowers and plants and steeped them in deep shadow to create my degree collection ‘Dark Floral Opulence’ which ultimately became my first collection to be release on bow ties for the Josef McFadden brand. After graduation, I was lucky enough to exhibit at New Designers in London, where I met so many textile and fashion industry businesses and studios in which I was lucky enough to begin working freelance for a number of them while ultimately just knowing that I wanted to start my own business (purely from the frustration of walking into stores and never being able to find a good floral shirt or t-shirt among the many many versions of horrible plaid that saturates the highstreet.).
Living in the Scottish Borders from 2013, I up and moved to the historic town of Paisley in October 2017 where I now operate the brand from. The Incube programme in Paisley was another big reason in moving to the West of Scotland, I joined the space to help develop the brand and get the business mentoring that I needed to grow. Its been a great journey so far with my brand, from meeting and networking with so many people to sending out orders of my printed garments over Scotland, the UK and all over the world. When customers purchase from the brand, I am often the one behind the screen dealing with the orders, the manufacturing, the packaging, shipping, social media and so much more – but having YOU choosing to purchase from the Josef McFadden brand makes all of my work totally worth it. To all those who have bought something, no matter how small so far, from either the online store, at any of the Josef McFadden stockists or directly at shows or markets, you are supporting not just me, but a supply chain of hardworking suppliers, designers and more. Thank you for choosing to shop small and independent and thanks for shopping with Josef McFadden, or if you are planning to!
Tuesday 19th June 2018 – Day 2: JUST A CARD
Day 2 of Just A Card Week is all about what the campaign means to our small business. Just A Card celebrates the shop local and independent initiative by helping boost awareness of local designers, makers, retailers and their products. Josef McFadden is proud to be among small businesses taking to social media to support the #JustACard campaign in 2018 on its third birthday.
Supporting small business is so important to us, we try to support other independent businesses when we can. When you buy from our brand, you are supporting the creative work and vision that we put into our designs and business each and everyday, no matter how small your purchase is, it really does mean a lot to us and helps us grow. As in any small / independent business, it can be difficult at times but for all your orders, both new and returning, it helps keeping a smile on our faces and positive vibes around the studio.
For each and everyone one of you who have visited our fantastic stockists, met us face-to-face at markets, bought directly from our website or have commissioned bespoke prints and products – we thank you!
‘As a small designer the biggest challenge is competing with the high street. If I had the ear of everyone in the country for a moment I would try and make them see how important it is that they buy from companies like ours. Shopping with small companies is an investment into talent, it’s better for the economy, and it supports livelihoods. Guaranteed if everyone swapped one purchase a year for a small local company, it would change the face of fashion.’
– Josef McFadden, 2016
Wednesday 20th June 2018 – Day 3: COMMUNITY
Today is all about the community around us and supporting other independent designers / makers and shops. We appreciate that our list may be long, but we have a lot of love to share for these businesses when it comes to promoting them. We are very lucky as a small business in a creative industry to have the opportunity to network and meet other designers at shows, events and online, so there is nothing better than spreading the love and showing others that they exist too.
1) Millie Scott Bespoke
If you are a big fan of mending, up-cycling and creating new from vintage pieces in your wardrobe, then look no further than Millie Scott Bespoke. Based in East Lothian, Millie works with a variety of leathers that have been reclaimed or are off-cuts to recycle them into new fashion and accessory pieces, while doing the same with fabrics. Millie is fast becoming to go-to seamstress / designer in East Lothian when you need your favourite old piece of clothing repaired, updated or turned into something totally new. We recently did a collaboration with Millie Scott when we laser cut our floral designs onto found leathers and Millie worked her magic by turning them into coin purses, clutch bags and more.
If you love colour and you love a beautiful piece of knitwear, then collingwood-norris has you covered. The most amazing knitted jumpers, scarves, hats and gloves in absolutely gorgeous colour combinations like no other. Every piece is designed and hand-framed in the Scottish Borders by owner Flora, who has an impeccable eye for detail and finishes all products to perfection. Collingwood Norris attend many events across Scotland and their blog has some really interesting insights into the business which is updated on a regular basis, so we encourage everyone to visit the website.
3)Jennifer Tsang Jewellery
Modern jewellery designed and made in Paisley by the very talented Jennifer Tsang. Her collections are a reflection of her love for structural forms and patterns found in her surroundings, whether it be in nature or architecture. She offers a range of traditional jewellery items in designs that are simple and classic with a modern twist, as well as creating bespoke, ‘one off’ pieces. You may recognise some of Jennifer Tsang’s jewellery from some of our previous social media posts and stories, where we feature her popular ‘Penrose Pin’ with our ties and knitwear, we just LOVE them!
4)Westburn & Granite
This wonderful business is a local to Aberdeen, grooming and lifestyle brand which was set up in the Summer of 2015. Using a range of tried and tested concentrated batches, using only the finest natural ingredients, to create each and every product by hand, these brilliant beard oils are something that any gent with a beard should think about investing in. Each product is crafted by hand by founder Ryan in the granite City. We should probably mention their totally amazing range of soaps too, they are like nothing you will have ever smelt before and are definitely something you need to get in your shopping cart.
The AMAZING JuJu Books create carefully crafted books and stationery items which are worthy homes for your ideas, reflections and experiences. Designer and Founder, Gillian, who is based in Glasgow creates the most jaw dropping textured, painterly and quirky HAND stitched books. Gillian wants to create awareness to the importance of ethically sourced materials, and methods that keep alive the traditional craft of book binding. Who honestly would not want their sketchbook sewn into such a masterpiece or have one of JuJu Books stunning journals in their hands? The quality is like no other and what can be better than a product made totally by hand right here in Scotland. JuJu books run several workshops throughout the year and attend a range of events and markets where you can get your hands on a purchase.
Loopy Lally is a Paisley based interior textile design company who create vibrant, bold and energetic prints to liven up your home. The brand was created last year by print designer, Chloe, who gave the brand the phrase ‘Brightening up everyday life through colour’ which is so true of her colourful products. You cant help but smile when looking at the amount of colour used, and the cushions, city prints and abstract mark prints would certainly refresh the feeling of any interior. Loopy Lally regularly attend markets and events within Glasgow where you can purchase and begin to fill your home with the Loopy Lally range, or you can shop directly on the website.
7)Gie It Laldy
Gie It Laldy is a Glasgow based design business that provides us with all the best products from Scottish culture for our patter needs. Gie It Laldy was established in 2011 by Lisa, a Glaswegian artist with a passion for the patter. The brands signature style fuses strong typography with a sweet take on modern Scottish life and culture and are applied to a range of fun products such as mugs, coasters, cards, bags and more. With an ever growing repertoire and a constant release of new phrases, products and collections, you are sure to find that gift for a pal or that endearing insult to give as a birthday present. You can shop directly online or visit the studio / shop in the West End of Glasgow where you will not be disappointed with the banter you get.
8)Ryan James Studio
If you are in and around Glasgow and are looking for a menswear shop that has the best clothing, accessories and grooming products, look no further than Ryan James Studio. Situated in the Trongate part of Glasgow City, this independent store curates carefully considered collections of products that are brought together to tell a story that allow you to create a capsule wardrobe. All of the products are made in the UK, which is hugely important, and the layout of the shop is really exquisite. There are pop-up events that take place in the shop throughout the year and you can catch owner James at the Glasgow Markets with some of the collection occasionally.
9)Lovage & Lace
Lovage & Lace is a vintage and antique emporium based in East Lothian that specialise in finding only the best pieces from around the UK and worldwide. From the finest of real vintage jewellery to the warmest of glamorous vintage fur coats you can be sure that Lovage & Lace will have that treasure piece you are seeking. One of our favourite aspects of the business is the handmade hair combs created by owner Helen Scott, who carefully selects from authentic vintage and antique pieces and meticulously wires together to create a unique and beautiful haircomb. Also offering a bespoke made service for the hair combs, these are the perfect gifts or wedding day pieces that offer that something truly unique that you want for such an occasion. You can find Lovage & Lace all over the UK, and at their store at Belhaven Fruit Farm in Dunbar, East Lothian.
Quirq is a new Glasgow concept gift store on Byres Road in the beautiful West End of Glasgow. Set up in 2017 by owner Linda, the store features wonderful collections of work from stationery and cards to paintings, furniture and statement pieces to our knitwear and bowties. Quirq showcases the best in local designers and gives a great platform for them to reach their audience. Linda, who has a fantastic eye for detail and layout, hand-picks the designers and carefully places their products into the beautiful retail environment. Quirq is fast becoming the go-to spot on Byres Road for special gifts and bespoke items and is always looking for those special new products that deserve a space. We encourage anyone and everyone to call in and check out the store, the wonderfully welcoming atmosphere and customer service is second to none and you won’t be disappointed.
Belfast based eco-textile brand, Handikraft, creates the most beautiful and vibrant eco-products we have ever laid our eyes upon. Set up by owner, Kayleigh, all of the products are dyed or printed using organic materials such as plants, vegetables and done all by hand to create naturally occurring pattern with different results on every batch. Aside from using organic materials, Kayleigh also likes to create products like kimono’s, cushions, scarves, headscarves and more using the methods of ice-dying which create crystallised effects on fabrics which have all been sourced and recycled to be totally sustainable. You can catch Handikraft at several markets around Northern Ireland but are always online for your bespoke needs and wants. These products make the perfect one of a kind gifts and many of the patterns created using these eco-methods can not be replicated – what can get more special than that?
Natural Fibre Performance Knitwear brand, Ecosie, is a business based in Glasgow that specialise in creating knitted beanies inspired by and made for adventures in surf, skate and snow. Owner, Lucie, frames all of the hats in her Glasgow based studio but they have been seen on their adventures around the global in many amazing settings. All of the products are made from natural wool fibre, in Scotland, and several of the designs feature a reflective element that is very handy during dark nights. We just love the colours that Ecosie use in their hat designs and these are a staple needed in your hat collection for sure. Ecosie attend a range of markets around Glasgow city, where you can meet the maker or you can shop directly via their website.
When it comes to wedding gowns, it doesn’t get much better than an Ailsa Munro. Ailsa Munro is a Cornwall based bridal designer who creates enchanting fine art wedding gowns truly like no other. From winning Best Newcomer in the South West of UK in the bridal industry, the business has continued to reach new heights, but thats no wonder with just how magical these dresses are. With a variety of elements to each piece, whether its the insanely detailed hand stitching applied to a beautiful white silk or the fact that she is not afraid to use colour in her collections, you just know that you are in the presence of a modern day master when you see any of Ailsa Munro’s pieces up close. From flowers to planning, Ailsa knows every aspect of how to make your wedding day a dream, as she shares her tips on her blog which are well worth a read. Ailsa Munro also creates bridal lingerie, bridal separates and more which can be seen in her online showcase over on her website. Everyone in the mood for a wedding now?
14) Fiona Herbst
Fiona Herbst is an Irish jewellery designer based in Donegal who works exclusively with the unique and versatile substance that is polymerclay. Fiona’s designs are minimalist and modern yet feature strong and bold use of colour with patterning that is often inspired by her beautiful Co.Donegal surroundings. Using such a medium to create her jewellery, polymer clay allows Fiona to adapt and form organic shapes that come together to create statement neckpieces that are a fresh and welcome addition to any jewellery box. You can catch Fiona at several markets and events around Ireland and also has various online selling platforms where you can snap up that special piece from her ever growing collections.
15)We Are Rushworth
We Are Rushworth was born in 2012, it is a clothing label, rooted in Scotland and based in the Scottish Borders. The brand has a variety of unique products which include locally produced knitted hats, scarves, headbands, tank tops and blankets. These are manufactured using luxurious pure lambswool, merino and cashmere fibres. Business owner, Victoria, has always had a big passion for fashion and knitwear, and with a talent for producing some of the best knitwear that Scotland has to offer, its no surprise that the success of the newly opened WAR store in Berwick Upon Tweed has been doing so amazingly well. The designs are inspired by everyday experiences with her family, her travels, childhood memories and illustrations by friends and family. So if you are looking for that perfect knitted tank top, hat or scarf as a gift or want that piece of luxuriously soft premium fibre for yourself, We Are Rushworth has you covered. We definitely recommend visiting the beautiful retail environment if you are ever near, with friendly customer service and a wealth of knowledge and experience of design in knitwear, you won’t leave empty handed. #ProjectWAR
This list is by no means finished, we could sit here for hours sharing even more of our favourite businesses. Community is so important within the creative industries, and we are very lucky to be among the best of them.
Thursday 21st June 2018 – Day 4: Whats New?
The Golden Honeybee Print T-Shirt
Today’s Just A Card prompt is all about ‘Whats New?”. We are always developing new patterns, not just for our own brand, but what we are working on at the moment are expanding and broadening our range of brand t-shirts. Our Honeybee design has proved very popular since we launched it earlier this month and we have a few new designs being added to the collection over the coming weeks. Today, we want to share an update to our Honeybee t-shirt – GOLD! We have been preparing for the launch of our gold versions which will be available from next week. We hope you all love this one as much as you have been loving our black and white tee.
Friday 22nd June 2018 – Day 5: Happy Dance
”Every time you buy something from an independent business and actual person does a happy dance.”
It’s the final day of Just A Card Week and while today’s prompt is about the ‘happy dance’ a small business owner does each time someone buys their product, we take a different approach at the end of our sales week to celebrate. We love to enjoy a @tunnocksuk caramel water for all the hard work we put in during the long weeks where we spend hours designing, making, marketing and much more. All of your wonderful feedback, customer photos and tales of where you have worn your Josef McFadden products give us life and the positive energy to keep on going and developing our business. Thank you for all your business this week and a huge thank you for supporting a small creative business with a big vision.
Thanks for following along all week with our Just A Card Week Blog!