I (Jodie) launched as The Moss Letter Company in July 2013. The idea came when I had got married in 2012 and felt it was the start of a new era. In bed one morning, asking my new husband what business I could start (no longer feeling like I wanted to work in hospitality) he suggested 'those moss letters you obsessed over at the wedding'. Six months later I had found a factory in China and launched my business selling moss covered letters, numbers and symbols. I worked from my spare bedroom.
I joined Notonthehighstreet in October and sales started to come in regularly.
Urgh! Each time an order was received from the factory the quality was worse and worse and it was so disheartening. I had a little grumble to my Dad and he said he would have a go at making the wire frames, which I could moss myself. It was good! So he unofficially joined me and sent over (from his villa in Spain) boxes of frames and we became a handmade company, which felt great.
The family often came back from their holiday in Spain with suitcases of wire work!
As Dad got more skilled in wire work we introduced cake toppers and wire words and changed our name to The Letter Loft, to better fit our new offerings. I added in handmade knitted cushions made by my auntie, concrete letters, prints and we created the first 3D wire letters.
I joined Etsy and moved out of the spare bedroom into the motor house garage. We added in powder coating and began colouring the stainless steel. Our first powder coat room was a cupboard!
Mum and Dad moved back to England and we were looking for a new home also. We decided to rent together and Dad and I ran the business from the car garage. It was cold, we listened to a lot of radio 2 and everyone in the family chipped in when a product went viral :) We began to get daily pick ups by Royal Mail and the post office run was no more.
We worked with some big brands decorating their events including UGG, Bare Mineral, Charlotte Tilbury and the Golf Open.
We began working with photographer Yeshen Venema, which was one of the best decision we ever made.
We found the perfect house in Herefordshire which we bought and split into two houses. The gardens had two workshops where Dad did the wire work in one and I ran the business, powder coated and mossed from the other.
We had moved in only a few days when we got a call from Etsy to say they had chosen us for a seller feature, so we renovated the workshops before we even had a proper kitchen! Etsy did the feature and the business boomed.
I took on my first member of staff Katie and my husband came on board part time.
We had a big rebrand and worked with the amazing Ryn Frank on our website, logo and branding story. Fine tuning our offerings of wire and botanical home, gifts and event decor. We introduced faux flowers into our wire work and the marriage began of 'Industrial and Botanical' of which we are known today.
The crazy year when orders were so intense I had to close for the first time to give myself a break. I am hugely grateful that my business survived the pandemic but it wasn't an easy time with little help, postal issues and the beginnings of brexit/covid price increases.
We joined Friends of Joules.
I began working with dried flowers, which was a massive learning curve from faux. I launched my first dried flower range in April and it was the beginning of a new direction, focussing on reducing our carbon footprint and bringing even more of the manufacturing in-house.
I started my first flower farm in the garden so I could begin producing my own flowers to use in our cake toppers and wreaths. I had been growing my own flowers and vegetables since 2017 and like most of my passions, it found it's way into my work.
I stopped making moss covered items. It was sad to see it go but also a huge relief as I no longer enjoyed making moss covered letters.
We began to use the first of our homegrown flowers in our products and I started training officially in floristry. My Dad announced his retirement (gradually over 2023) and the focus is on extending the flower farm so I can increase our wreaths, bouquets, cake decor and more.
In July I flowered my first event with fresh flowers and I am keen to introduce more of this in 2023. Watch this space!
If you would like to see the journey in pictures, please go to Instagram where every part of the story is there.