Charming Jessica from Hector & Bailey is much like the designs she produces - whimsical, gorgeous, and with a really interesting story behind her! We decided to find out what that story is.
- Hello Jess! Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello there. I moved to Durban from the UK two and a half years ago. It was a spontaneous decision which is totally unlike me, but love was involved, so I'll say no more... I started Hector & Bailey, my interiors company, back in London and it only seemed right to bring it to South Africa to give the company a chance here. Nothing ventured, nothing gained as they say.
- And the UK's loss is SA's gain! How did Hector & Bailey come into being?
Hector & Bailey was the outcome of a very sad situation. In 2009, amidst the depths of recession, the architectural company I worked for went under. I decided to take my chances as a freelance interior designer and go it alone. I had 10 years experience under my belt, so I thought it was worth pursuing. I'm very glad I did, I've been out of my comfort zone ever since, but that's what keeps me on my toes. So in conclusion, Hector & Bailey is my silver lining.
- That must have taken guts. What inspires the H&B ethos and aesthetic?
I love to seek out unwanted items and nurture them into the best they can be. Everything - like everyone - has the true potential to be utterly wondrous, and I adore being part of that process. My influences tend to lean towards colour, however I'm currently embracing my neutral side. You can't fail to be inspired by the flora and fauna that reside in this country. I am also crazy mad for cats and the odd G&T too!
- We could be sisters! Cats and G&Ts are basically fuel for Team HP. Tell us a bit more about the wonderful things you make and remake?
The upcycling and product ranges from Hector & Bailey began when I moved here. I had spent far too long in front of a computer and wanted to be more hands on, plus I needed a reason to work outside and soak up the beautiful African sun! So I set to work transforming furniture from our garage. This grew to upcycled cushions and lights and then on to product design of cushions, perspex planters and coasters. I like to keep busy. :) Aside from the retail side, my day job is interior design & decor. My work has taken me to places as far as Mozambique - I love the diversity this industry has.
- I believe your mom is also very talented. Did that play a part in your story, do you think?
My mum is an extremely creative lady and has been a firm role model in my life. I think my emotional responses to beautiful, well made, ethical items is a trait I picked up from her. There has to be meaning behind things, whether it's the process of how it was made to the history tied up in that one item. Emotion plays a huge role in design, I wouldn't have that any other way.
Absolutely right - and gorgeous design is one of our favourite things (along with cats and G&Ts of course). You can see Jessica's latest treasures in the Hector & Bailey Hello Pretty store, and stay in touch on Facebook and Twitter.