In conversation: Jamie & Catherine from Bread & Jam
Our journey with H&G means that we meet lots of amazing entrepreneurs and two of our favourites are Jamie and Catherine Douglas who are the duo behind "Bread & Jam". In July we all sat down together, they popped the kettle on and we asked them a few questions...
Where does the name Bread & Jam come from?
The name sums up exactly what we wanted to do, take useful, basic, everyday things such as a notebook (the bread) and sweeten it up with our own designs (the jam). The company has moved on quite a bit since we launched but the sentiment of the name still remains, it has to be useful and beautiful.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
It's all around us, our kids, our friends, our peers and of course countless blogs, magazines and images on social media. Being able to translate these influences into something "Bread & Jam" is the key as we have a tone of voice for the company that is pretty sacred and protected at all costs.
How do you relax after the hectic Christmas sales period?
We always try to take a few days off over Christmas and enjoy the simple things like baking with our two daughters, playing games and generally filling the house with happiness.
What is the best part of running your own business?
One of the best bits has to be that we are in control of our own destiny and we reap the rewards of our hard work. There is also that wonderful feeling of seeing your ideas come to life and people want to part with their hard earned cash for them. We're still very humble when to comes to that side of things, the very real human side to your customers. To know that your work will form part of someone's Christmas morning, birthday or wedding proposal.
What is the worst thing about running your own business?
It's never having enough family time or indeed enough time to explore all the ideas in our heads. Our girls are very patient with us and they come back to our studio after school until we can finish up and make our way home together. Often there is the misconception that people who work for themselves can take time off whenever they like but it's quite the opposite, we work long hours and even when we get home we find it difficult to switch off.
Do you have any advice for other small businesses?
We learn new things each and every day but the overriding thing we try to remember is that you are master of your own destiny, there's no one else who will push you or tell you what the right decisions are, this all falls at your own feet. Saying yes to everything isn't a prerequisite, saying no is an option, not everything is right for you and you have to go with your gut. Don't put all your faith and trust in what you see on social media, everyone else has problems too, there's no perfect company out there and as they say, comparison is the thief of joy!
OK, now for a little stuff and nonsense...
What's always in your fridge?
Wine for Catherine and cheese for Jamie.
First record you ever bought?
Catherine - Colour by Numbers by Culture Club
Jamie - Ready for Battle by The Rock Steady Crew
Marmite - love it or hate it?
Love it, always have, always will.
Ketchup or HP sauce?
Catherine - Ketchup
Jamie - HP sauce on a meat pie.
So, for now, let's leave Catherine with a ketchup smothered chip butty and Jamie to his meat pie with HP sauce knowing that Bread & Jam are going to keep making gorgeous happy products that bring a smile to their customer's faces. Jamie and Catherine bring a ray of sunshine to the grey world of business and we love them for it!
Words and photos by Tanya Taylor © 2018