This week I took time to speak to Jenna Little, the Creative Director behind the textile brand Jlee.
I met Jenna via Instagram a few months ago when I became one of her Brand Reps. I was immediately attracted to her savvy business skills, friendly nature and naturally, her amazing screen printed cushions.
Jenna hand makes all her wares from her studio just outside of Bendigo, Victoria.
With a keen idea for design and vibrant patterns and colours, Jlee is really making its mark on the homewares scene. With exclusive designs stocked at www.kreohome.com.au and many other retailers wanting her cushions, Jlee is one to watch out for in the future.
Ooh did I mention that she makes amazing clutch bags as well!! www.jlee.com.au
Tell us a little about your background?
I have always been creating from a young age, I could never sit still for too long! My mum has been my inspiration, she has taught me how to sew and create. She is one special talented lady who I admire a lot.
Throughout my school years I loved Art class, Visual Arts and Wood Work, they were my favourite subjects. I loved drawing, painting, sewing and working on design briefs.
After finishing school in 2009 I gained a Traineeship in Business Administration at an Architect firm. From there I have worked in Administration and Reception jobs.
I currently work full time at Workspace Australia, a non for profit business that provides Business Incubator Centres throughout Regional Victoria. I love working with Small Business with their social media and website design. I work on the Jlee brand part time, before and after work and weekends.
I have a very busy schedule, a lot of planning is required to get everything done.
How and why was Jlee Textiles created?
Jlee was born in 2013. I started making gift cards, which then turned into creating jewellery, bags and accessories. It all changed a bit when I attended a Screen Printing course at Harvest Textiles (now Home Work), I was instantly hooked! The whole concept from design, stencil making to printing then sewing, to see the final product is amazing!
With printing you can play around with designs/colour combos. I always surprise myself at how each print comes out, each print is totally unique and one of a kind. That’s what I love about it!
After mastering the art of Screen Printing, I started creating cushions and bags finally finding my niche. I am always creating and designing new products for the Jlee Collection (in my spare time!!)
What do you enjoy the most about Jlee Textiles?
Being in the studio printing designs, I love being able to create one of a kind prints. Love working with colour, mixing the inks to create different tones. I just LOVE being in the studio playing..
Where do you get your inspiration for your designs?
From everyday objects and patterns. Flicking through magazines and looking through Pantone colour chips.
What have been the highlights of your career so far?
Oh... so many to choose from! I am blessed everyday by the support I receive. I couldn’t just pick one highlight.
What advice would you give to those wanting to start their own creative business?
Just start, find your niche, love what you do! No point wasting your life in a day job that you can’t stand, find your WHY and go for it. Yeah... you will have lows and highs in running a business but the highs are what push you along to better yourself and your business.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I am only a spring chicken (22) so I have so many exciting plans for the future hopefully in 5 years time… I will have my dream warehouse/studio working full time on the Jlee brand. Running screen printing & sewing workshops, printing beautiful pieces for customers and stores across Australia and beyond.
How would you describe your own personal interior styling style?
I love the colour blue, such a calming colour. So I would say a beachy style.
If you could do anything (business or personal) what would it be and why?
To create my own homewares/gift shop with a printing studio. I am working hard to make that dream come true.
Name 3 inspirational people that you admire and why?
- Harvest Textiles (now known as Home Work) – I love their work!! Their studio space and shop is amazing, a must see! I learnt to Screen Print by attending one of their workshops.
- Raw Styling – Emma is such an inspiration with her ability to style! You are amazing Em! Keep up the fantastic work. Wish I could style half as well as you can, that’s why you style and photograph our cushions! (not my strength)