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Guest Interviews

Behind the desk accessories: Emily Marlin

Published 2 years ago. Estimated reading time: 6 minutes.

Apr 7

As we say hello to our brand new range of desk accessories, hand-crafted by homeware designer Emily Marlin, we were thrilled to catch up with her about the making process behind these delightful designs. Made from Jesmonite, an eco-friendly resin alternative, Emily Marlin tells us the ins and outs about running her own homeware business and what it means to be the world’s first Jesmonite brand ambassador. Read on for more!

1. Introduce yourself, tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do

Hello! I’m Emily Marlin, a 26-year-old designer maker who started ands runs a small business using the material Jesmonite.  

2. Tell us about why you started your business?

I started using jesmonite during my second year of university (Cardiff Metropolitan) After using this material I realised how diverse, unique, and vibrant I could potentially make products out of jesmonite.

Fast forward 7 years and I now have my own business with my own homeware range. This hasn’t come without its stresses and hard work (ha-ha) but it’s now a range I am extremely proud of, and it continues to grow.

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3. What do you love most about what you do?

Firstly, I love the creativity of thinking of an idea and developing this into a physical product. Its journey from being an idea, making a mould, first pour to its final sand is something that really excites me as you don’t really know how the final product will look until all these stages are complete.

Secondly, the freedom of being able to continuously grow and develop in whichever direction I choose is something I really appreciate, also having the opportunities and choice of collaborating and working with other interesting brands on product ranges is something I feel really lucky and grateful to be able to do!

4. What does a typical day look like for you?

First things first, coffee! My partner and I who is also my business partner (comes with its own problems on times) sit down and plan the day prioritising what needs to be done and what new products we feel our range would benefit from. Then I often cast products in the morning and my partner (Morgan) sands.

In the afternoon we come together finishing/ sealing the products normally listening to the radio. We then package outstanding orders ready for the next morning delivery run.

5. Thank you so much for making our beautiful desk accessories. Tell us a little bit about your making process?

It’s been a pleasure to make these new products! The first stage of making new products is creating a mould from a form which is important as this will dictate the shape of each product. I make my moulds from silicon which can be a messy job!

We then need to colour match the Jesmonite liquid with pigment to the desired colour. From this the casting begins, once cast the products are then left to cure in the moulds. Once cured we then take the products out of moulds and let them fully air dry for 24 hours. Once fully dry we can then start the sanding process. The final stage is to seal the product which helps protect it from daily life.

6. We saw you are the first ever Jesmonite brand ambassador – congratulations! Tell us how that came about and what that means

Thank you! This is an exciting opportunity and an honour to be the first Jesmonite brand ambassador. I’ve worked with Jesmonite for some years now with our relationship growing as my business grew. During lockdown I saw a noticeable growth in people starting to use Jesmonite on all social media platforms, which is great as it’s a brilliant material. I guess due to the growth of the product Jesmonite wanted somebody to represent the brand for the creative art side of the company, they reached out to me asking would I be willing to do this and of course I was and am excited by this opportunity!

7. What do you do to switch off?

To be honest it is really hard to switch off and when I do there is often a project to do in our first home! So, I guess I am always doing something creative.

8. What stationery item can you not live without and why?

The simple notebook and pen are a must! I am forever organising and writing lists, my brain cannot function if things are not written down.

9. Best bit of advice you would give to someone else looking to start their own business

Just start! Start small, not everything will be perfect to begin with whether that being timing or the product, build a product / service at that time your proud of and the business will grow organically. Every business has low points but as the business grows the good times out way the struggles!

Also be authentic to yourself as its much easier to get out of bed every morning when your product is your passion!  

10. Do you have a life mantra or favourite saying that you live by?

I don’t really have a life mantra or saying but what I do believe in is ‘be happy’ take the chance, make small changes to your daily routine which will bring you long term happiness.  

We loved catching up with Emily Marlin and learning more about her day-to-day. If you want to see more more, check out our full range of desk accessories here.

P.S. Each piece has been hand-poured and is unique. Limited edition, make sure you grab yours here before they’re gone!

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