I began stocking London based brand Cai & Jo last year when I fell in love with their bold imagery and fun retro style. Owner Cody is a self-taught artist and designer creating eye-catching and unique prints and artwork. I love that the brand is ethical and sustainable, with almost all of their packaging re-used and recyclable. So far we've welcomed prints, greeting cards, hair accessories and we are also about to add their homewares to our online shop.
We (virtually) sat down with Cody to find out more about her wonderful brand.
Q: How long ago did you start Cai & Jo and what was the main inspiration behind the brand?
A: I started Cai & Jo officially in September 2019, and it was really a creative outlet for me as I was working as a software developer previously but I always enjoyed creating artwork in my free time. I'd been selling various things online for a few years and at that point I finally decided to take the leap and try designing a line of cards and prints that could take my passion and hobby to a full-time job!
Q: I see you work from a studio in London - what does a typical day at the studio look like for you?
A: No day is really the same, as running a small business means things are changing all the time. Most days will involve doing some finances, replying to lots of emails, organising things with suppliers and if I'm lucky, designing new products! Recently things have been really busy so I'm also working on packing and dispatching orders too.
Q: You recently took on your first staff member - does she work full time at Cai & Jo and how did you find that transition, from working alone to sharing the space with an employee?
A: She does work full-time and it was a transition I was totally ready for! Before she joined I had a part-time freelancer helping me out (she still comes in sometimes), and with her doing 2 days I was still working more than 50 hours every week, so I knew I needed someone to come in full time so that I didn't burn out.
It is challenging hiring someone, and quite a big scary thing to do, but I love sharing the space with someone else and I'm looking forward to being able to hire our next team member at some point!
Q: What is your favourite thing about running Cai & Jo?
A: I love pretty much everything about my job, but the absolute best part is designing new products and seeing them come to life!
Q: What is something in your studio that you can't live without?
A: Honestly pretty much everything.
I planned the studio move for months and now it's my dream space, I love being there and feel so proud and happy every day I spend there. The best part is probably the wall of windows giving us so much natural light and constant views of cute dogs walking by :)
Q: How do you like to spend your time outside of the studio?
A: I love to practice yoga, swim, play piano and do a lot of walking around London. I also love to cook, watch movies and of course spend time with friends!