We thought it was about time to introduce you to the makers behind our fabulous handmade goodies in-store…so, in the next of our Meet the Makers of OHC specials, please say hello to Jo of Chic-yCow Designs….
How did you become a designer/maker?
I’ve always had a passion for all things crafty and over a number of years I’ve learnt how to sew, knit, crochet, paint and make costume jewellery, all self-taught.
In 2011, after a couple of years running a costume jewellery business with friends, I decided to go it alone and diversify, so began to incorporate my love of painting and textiles, finally settling on the medium of leather as it’s very tactile and a great surface to print, paint and embroider onto but also combines well with my jewellery making techniques.
How did you choose your business name and what’s the meaning behind it?
I have to credit my dear old Dad for helping me to come up with my Business name.
He had recently passed away and as I was sat, struggling to come up with a name that was both catchy and memorable, moaning and complaining at him for not being around to help me, his voice popped into my head saying ‘You cheeky Mare’ which was a phrase he sometimes used – That was my ‘light bulb’ moment so ‘Cheeky Mare’ became Chic-yCow!
It’s a name that makes people laugh, sums up me and my business and sticks in people’s minds. I now answer to Chic-yCow more than I do my own name!
Do you run your business full time or balance another job as well?
I have been self-employed for over 25 years now as I run a Landscaping Company with my husband, in conjunction with running Chic-yCow.
How do you make time for it all?
Running both businesses involves a lot of ‘juggling’ and long hours, especially when I have a deadline for an event or need stock making, or orders to fulfil. There never seem to be enough hours in the day to fit work and family life into.
What’s your favourite thing about running your business?
The favourite thing about running Chic-yCow ,apart from being my own boss, is seeing a design that pops into my head at some ungodly hour of the morning emerge from brain to paper to reality. It always gives me a sense of pride to think that I’ve created something that someone wants to wear!
Of all the things you’ve ever made, which has been your favourite?
I think that over the past five years, my most favourite designs are my ‘Autumn Leaves’ range of jewellery and clutch bags. The choker, in particular, is my favourite piece as it incorporates all the most enjoyable parts of my job, the tactile leaf shapes, the painting , the embroidery and beading all combined together to make a statement piece.
Describe your business in three words
Artistic, Unique, Tactile
We adore the intricacy and style of your work Chic-yCow – oops, Jo! Thanks so much for popping by and telling us your story. You can find the Chic-yCow Designs collection in store now.
See you at the shop x