If you’ve been a Red Door fan for awhile now, you’ll recognise the fun animal inspired jewellery of Hello Sunshine. The lovely lady behind this quirky label is Jo Want. Designer and creator of your favourite tweet lil studs and cat necklaces. Jo has worked with us at the Red Door since 2011.
Jo has just recently undergone a rebrand at Hello Sunshine HQ and quit her day job to follow her dreams of working full time, surrounded by boxes of Sunshine!
We’re sure you’ll agree, her new collection and branding is fantastic and her work can’t help but bring a smile to your face. Jo took the time to pop on the kettle, gather round her kitties and answer a few of our probing questions. We can be a little bit nosey sometimes!
Where and What did you study? Was there a reason why you chose to study there?
I decided to study in my home town of Nottingham and chose to do the Decorative Arts BA course at Nottingham Trent University. If I’m honest I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after my Art Foundation course – that was the BEST year of my educational life and as I enjoyed exploring so many different processes and disciplines within Art and Design. The Decorative Arts course on my doorstep seemed like a pretty good option! I’m pleased to say it was too as I had the BEST time there!
Where do you base yourself now and why?
After many adventures travelling and holidaying after University I am actually still based in Nottingham surrounded by my family and many of my friends. Nottingham is a great city and will always be home to me but this Summer I am planning on relocating Sunshine Towers (and the kitties) down to Cambridge to move in with a boy! Eeek! So watch this space…
You recently went full time as Hello Sunshine, How difficult was it to make the leap?
It was an incredibly difficult decision to be honest. I was in a lovely creative (and secure) job at Boots Head Office and part of the most amazing team of people but at the same time my little business was growing and over the last year I had been facing some pretty tough personal ups and downs too. There was A LOT going on. In the end everything was getting a bit too much and I had to sit myself down and really ask myself what I really wanted and what was important because I wasn’t able to do everything and was slowly breaking myself by trying. As cheesy as it sounds I decided to follow my heart and dreams and give Hello Sunshine the shot it deserved at being my full time income. It’s SO scary but I guess you never know until you try.
What’s the biggest inspiration behind your work?
Adventures to new places, food, people and day to day experiences… I realise that is a lot but I often find myself being inspired by many things and anything I have a true love of seems to work its way into my jewellery somehow! For example my kitties, Toby and Pegs both inspired my Little Black and Tabby Cat ranges of jewellery. When it comes to doodling Sunshine commissions though the people and their personalities are just the best inspiration. Whether it’s someone I know personally or a complete stranger, every doodle I create is unique and I love that!
What’s the most enjoyable part of designing and making your own jewellery?
I love the brainstorming and actual design process above all, especially as I find inspiration from so many things! I can be almost anywhere and if something pops into my head I scribble it down and then get overexcited about the time I’ll then spend in the studio working out how to turn the random ideas and thoughts into pieces of jewellery.
What’s your favourite piece to date?
Oooh as much as I love the Little Black and Tabby Cat studs I think I have to say that right now it has to be one of my shiny new pieces from my new ‘Cheese’ collection. The Cheese & Biscuit necklace represents one of my all time favourite treats and is a totally fun piece of jewellery! I love it and hope all of the other cheese fiends out there do too!
What do you like to do when you need to get away from work?
As well as eating cheese and spending time with the kitties in my garden I really enjoy running, cycling and generally being outdoors. Adventuring to new places and eating new foods feature heavily in my lifestyle too but there are also times when I just enjoy cuddling up on the sofa with a book, brew and blanket!
Where’s your favourite place to go for coffee and why?
Mmm coffee! At the moment I do love going to The Pudding Pantry in Nottingham. Their coffee is just divine and the cakes they have on display! Oh. My. Goodness. I’m not a cakey person but when I see the ones at The Pudding Pantry I want to put my face in them all! One glimpse on their website and you can see just what Jo is talking about!! WOW!! She’s a lucky lady to have this place close by.
Any interesting facts about you?
I am 30 (going on 3). I currently have pink hair. I am terrified of trains. I listen to Disney soundtracks every time I have to do admin/face a spreadsheet). I hate mint, orange and dark chocolate. I love cheese. My two cats are named after characters from Puddle Lane (a childhood TV fave!).I would very much like someone to draw a full floral sleeve tattoo on my left arm.
I have tried every burger on the menu at Annie’s Burger Shack in Nottingham. They look like some tasty burgers!! Yum!
Lastly…….. I believe that you cannot beat quality time with those you love.
I’m sure you’ll all agree, Jo is a lovely Sunny person, just like her Jewellery collection. You can keep up to date with what’s happening in Jo’s world over on her Instagram. There are some drool worthy images of her foodie adventures and many too cute for words, photos of her adorable kitties.
A big Thank you to Jo for taking the time out to answer our questions.
Artist Feature - Hello Sunshine