Starting over: a Bread & Jam business tale

Bread & Jam talk us through their business experience with a few tips for selling online

Some people believe you should never mix business with pleasure, or work with friends. While that may be true in some cases, it’s proving quite a success for creative couple Jamie and Catherine. They set up Bread & Jam less than a year ago, but are already finding themselves kept busy selling their wares on Folksy and Not on the High Street. We caught up with one part of the team, Jamie, to find out the secret to their success.

Tell us a secret.

I won’t go into too much detail, but a few years ago we lost just about everything when my business failed – we were left with a mountain to climb. We were faced with two stark options, either roll over and give in or pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off and get on with things.

I’m pleased to say we have put all that behind us now and we’re getting back to enjoying life again. It was a hard lesson, but good things also happened as a result. We don’t take life for granted as much anymore and Bread & Jam would never have happened if it weren’t for our struggle.

Why and when did you decide to set up your own business? What has the experience been like?

We’ve been working for ourselves for a little over 12 years now, in one form or another. Our current situation is that we freelance full time as commercial interior designers but we have our hearts firmly set on a future with Bread & Jam.

We set up Bread & Jam in April last year and things have really taken off for us. The decision to start another company wasn’t a hard one really, I see us as lifers when it comes to taking a calculated risk, you just don’t know unless you give it a go and we don’t want to be wondering what if.

Can you offer any tips for crafters keen to start selling their wares online?

As Nike says: just do it! You’ve got nothing to lose, sites like Folksy and Etsy make it really easy to get going, low fees, easy shop management and a ready-made audience just waiting for something fresh.

Social media is really important to build up a following: Facebook and Twitter can be integrated, so what you do on one feeds the other, which means you don’t have to spend your life online. Good, old-fashioned talking to people about what you do helps massively to spread the word. Once you get your head around the various online nuances, it really does just become second nature.

About Jamie & Catherine

Mrs Bread and Mr Jam are based in the North of England. They live and work in their 17th Century long house with their delightful girls Ella and Grace, a deaf cat called Spice, an excitable dog Monty and two chickens.


Read the full interview in Gathered by Mollie Makes issue 12

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