Rose in Thorns has been my creative outlet for quite some time now. It began many years ago as rose among thorns, a brand I used for freelance graphic design work. A couple of years later I decided I would like to get back into candlemaking again, and I setup a stand at Craft World as ‘Candles by rose among thorns’. This was put on hold for a few more years to make time for our OE and then our wedding. At the same time the local craft scene was beginning to grow, so I decided to join in!
I looked into different alternatives to the rather unsustainable paraffin wax I had been using, and found that recycling old candles and using soy wax were two options worth exploring further. Since then, the range has evolved quite a lot, and I made the leap to self-employment after I discovered permanent jobs aren’t always permanent. I still dabble in graphic design, and have worked on the Pay it Forward brand.
You are actively involved with Pay It Forward, what do you enjoy most about being involved with this project? I like having our own wee shop! It’s something I’ve always dreamed about, but the reality of setting one up and running it means it never got past that stage. Unlike having your products in other stores, you get to choose what to display, and how to display it. I really like having that input, and seeing what works and what doesn’t. It’s great working with the other designers behind the scenes too, everyone has different skills, and together we’ve created something quite special.
You have a background in Graphic Design, how do you think this has shaped the brand in front of us today? My logo has evolved along with the business, I think it’s on its third incarnation now! It definitely helps to give my brand a more professional feel, though like all specialists in their field, I never seem to spend enough time on it as I think I should! I often get comments from people saying how they love the look of my brand.
What does an average day look like to you? I have a one year old son, so there is no such thing as an ‘average’ day! I try to sneak in some work while he naps, but often there’s a juggle between that and the household chores. I have some regular candle and design clients, so I’ll often try to keep up to date with their work, and I’ll make any candle orders, or replenish stock that is running low. Candle making is a disjointed process, as once the candles are poured, I usually wait to the next day before I can finish them. Consequently there can be several half finished batches of candles in progress at any given time! If there is any spare time, I might work on some new designs, or do some marketing on social media. Then of course there is the paperwork that always takes longer than I would like it to!
Who do you consider to be your muse? I don’t really have one, to be honest! I’ve always tried to keep my candles a little different to what’s already out there, so I’m usually looking for the gaps to fill, or what’s not there.
What does your creative look like? Do you keep sketch/recipe books? Have an online journal? It mostly lives in my head. I aspire to be organised, and keep track of everything, but I tend to end up with lots of bits of paper. I have lots of lists to help remind what I want to do next, but it almost seems to be a lot longer than the available time I have to do it.
What is the best piece of creative advice you've learnt on your creative journey? You don’t know until you try.
Where to next? Where do you see Rose in Thorns heading in the future? I still have a list of things I thought I could make when I first signed up to Felt all those years ago. Some I have tried, some given up on, and some still sit there, waiting. I like drawing and painting, and would love to get into illustration, and do a range of greeting cards and maybe other stationery or prints. I do have a new project I’m working on at the moment. It’s getting closer to completion, so hopefully I will be able to reveal all soon!