The Holiday Shop

Posted by Jo Deakin on

The Summer Holidays are fast approaching now and I am so excited and ready for some down time, slow sunny days and room to restore and refresh.

There is never a right time to 'down tools' and take a break.  The to-do list still has a never ending feel and there are always loose ends that could be tied up.  However, as time rolls around for the all important break away, it is really important that we are present to this feeling, make peace with it and embrace the pause on normal, busy, working life and make the very most of being away.

Whether you are taking time for yourself by being with family, friends or just a break for two, we always encourage you to fully absorb the calm and quiet moments that a holiday can bring.

Taking time away not only helps to gain perspective on the everyday tasks and trials but it also lends a reflective quality and a chance to take stock of everything that has been achieved and all the plans waiting for us when we land back in blighty.

We have the opportunity to go away to warmer places this year, having not been abroad last year.  The hope is Portugal will happen for our family holiday this summer and I cannot wait to feel the sun on my face!  When I know a break is coming I seem to feel like I suddenly really need it and it is all I can think about, hence the productivity at my desk slows right up and the concentration fog starts to set in.

I tend to pack a whole raft of 'work related' items that not only don't get touched but they also sit neatly starring at me from the corner of the room making me feel just a little sense of failure everytime I choose the beach or my book instead.  So this year I will be travelling with a little notebook and a pen so I have an area for work I can write all ideas, new patterns and thoughts down in, and I will ditch the looming pile of things that don't get the attention they deserve.

I think, and especially after the last 15 or so months, we all need to be away from the everyday and fully submerge ourselves in the now and the here.  For me that looks like sandy sandwiches, rock pool exploration, ice creams before midday and a whole lot of sunny drinks and smiles.

We thought it would help you get in the mood for your own break away to provide a Holiday Shop Guide to the essential luxuries we could all treat ourselves to as we speed towards the bright and breezy summer days ahead!

Jo's Top 5 Holiday Essentials -

1. The throw-on outfit for sunny days

From sun lounger to lunch and beyond, this piece is simply perfection.  Not only is it consciously crafted in FSC viscose fabric (Viscose certified by the Forest Stewardship Council) but it is so stylish and will be such a treat to wear morning, noon and night.

2. The swimsuit of dreams

Who doesn't love a scalloped edge detail?  This recycled nylon-blend, light weight and stretchy swimsuit from Marysia is both stylish, subtle and I imagine with the edge details, would also be super comfortable too.  Let's face it, it has to be practical (boring I know) as well as look and feel great, no one wants anything riding up in the wrong places whilst building a sand castle!

3. The Sun Screen

For light and dewy face protection we absolutely love Tropic's Skin Shade.  This is one of those products that will make your life easier. A 100% mineral SPF50 that offers broad spectrum protection, it not only shields you from the sun’s damaging rays, the slight tint will give you a radiant all-round glow.

4. The best summer shoes

I am not a fan of wearing heels in the summer, especially if you are going somewhere hot.  It needs to be chic and comfortable at every turn for me.  These gorgeous sandals from Tory Burch are lightweight, ergonomic and feel like heaven. The blush pink colour is so on point for Jo D too!

5. The summer dress

From one of my favourite's Sezane, the style of this gorgeous clothing brand is boho-chic but with an edge of originality and floaty decadence that always feels so special whenever I wear anything by them.

However you plan on spending some time away this summer, I really hope it is relaxing, restful, fun and restorative, oh and of course, you too feel the sun on your face, Jo x

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Think BIG, shop SMALL

Posted by Jo Deakin on

News

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This week's newsletter is inspired by Holly Tucker, of Not on the High Street origin and now founder of Holly & Co, and the wonderful work she and her company are doing to promote and support small businesses this month.

June marks the first annual Campaign Shop Independent which is running throughout this month, building up to the 25th June; the first ever official ShopIndependentDay and exactly 6 months until Christmas Day, gulp!  Holly & Co are banging the drum for small businesses across the country, a lot of whom saw a big boost in sales and support for shopping locally and independently during the Pandemic.  Holly is keen to not loose this positive step in building back up the recognition for shopping with small UK based brands as life returns to normal, and asking people to consider where they are putting their money for the good of local communities and the wider economy.

To quote Holly "Imagine if everyone was to spend just £1 with independents each and everyday, that would add an additional £19 billion into the UK economy.

As a small, independent and growing business, this statement blows my mind...imagine indeed Holly!  Our ethos from the very outset, since launching in 2018, has been about being a brand with a face and a voice for our extremely loyal customers.  We are passionate about offering the very best choice, quality and style in British fine bone china and here at Jo D, we could not be more behind this campaign to champion the best that British independent retail has to offer. 

My company would not be what it is without my customers purposefully choosing to shop with me, buying my products and supporting my brand and our ethos.  By shopping with us you are supporting British local jobs and manufacturing.  When I say local I really mean that, as all our products are designed and manufactured within a 65 mile radius, from Worcestershire to Stoke-on-Trent and back, and we are extremely proud of this!

So we too are banging the drum and waving the flag for all small businesses right across the country who are trying to grow and thrive in this every changing crazy world we live in!  We thought it would be nice to shout about some of our favourite local and British brands that we so enjoy shopping with, and I hope this inspires you to really consider where you shop and who you are supporting in the process.

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Jo's top 5 favourite small independents to shop/support/enjoy...

1. Deakin and Francis

Deakin and Francis have been in business since 1768, so you could say this isn't exactly a small independent!  However, this family run business still remains in the original factory in Birmingham and has added a flagship store in London's Piccadilly Arcade to its brand in more recent times.

D&F make some of the world's finest cufflinks, signet rings, gentlemen's accessories, ladies jewellery and bespoke commissions.  Across seven generations, D&F continue to build on the heritage, brand and family values that have been created over the past two centuries, with quality and eccentricity at the core.

2. Thyme Kitchen

This fabulous place not only stocks our brand new Peacock range teapot and matching cups and saucers but they also serve fresh local beautiful breakfasts, brunches and lunches from Chef Susie Mandleberg, plus they host monthly guest chef pop ups with Sauce Supper Club and are home to Dine at Home with Tom Shepherd.  This is a very special small but thriving business and we so enjoyed a very special Dine at Home box from Tom during the last lockdown, it is truly spoiling!

3. Indian Summer London

Indian Summer is based in Fulham, London and is a lifestyle boutique, selling a colourfully curated mix of clothing, accessories, jewellery, home ware, stationery and party wear. Founded by mum and entrepreneur, Ruth Green in 2004. Who wanted to create a lifestyle store in London that offered a more relaxed approach to style and shopping. Indian Summer offers a message of optimism, fun and a relaxed, luxurious approach to style. This bright and vibrant store champions new and super stylish brands and products in a laid-back environment with a vibe that can't help but put you in a good mood...what is not to love about this store?!

4. Millie McCallum Art

I went to school with Millie (quite a few years ago now!) and have always followed, bought and shouted about her talents from the roof tops.  This image tells you everything you need to know about Millie.  She is talented, vibrant and utterly free-spirited and her artwork can't help but make you smile, uplift your spirits and make your walls sing with happy vibes.

5. Gussy and Lou

These gorgeous girls have taken the humble snuggly jumper and emulated it to dizzying heights of colour and style.  Gussy and Lou create wearable & fun-infused women's and childrenswear, from ready-to-wear cashmere to everyday jeans and the perfect summer wardrobe additions.  Finally with some gloriously warm weather here I have got my eye on this floaty number, the perfect throw-on summer dress!

 Remember, think BIG, shop SMALL and support your local brands and businesses for the good of the community, economy and country as a whole!

Love Jo x

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Time For A Treat

Posted by Jo Deakin on

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Feature

I don't know about you lovely people but I am so delighted that this brilliant country has stuck to all the efforts and plans and thankfully this week marks the opening up of our wonderful restaurants, bars, cafes, shops and so many other social distinations we have missed being able to go to.

We can finally gather around the table, with a menu and a glass of something cold and refreshing in our hands and interact in a way we have been hard-wired to do for so long but unable to do, for so long.

It is also my Birthday on the 19th so we are heading out for a treat dinner with some great mates and I cannot wait to be around the table, eating, drinking, chatting and probably being asked to leave because they are trying to close up!

This provides the perfect segue to talk about some of our favourite places to visit and experience a really spoiling treat together.  It could be a date, a celebration, an overnight stay or a really good coffee.  We have put together our favourite places to visit for that first and much deserved treat.

1. The Dormy House - For an overnight treat

'A Bit Like Home But Better'...is how this stunning country house hotel describes itself.  I have been lucky enough to visit here for a night (what feels like years ago now) and they really do create understated luxury so well.  There are corners and tucked away seating spots to snuggle up with a coffee and the papers next to a roaring fire.  There are decks outside bathed in sunshine for the brighter days, but it is the feeling of intimacy and style that makes this place so special.  The food is exceptional, the ambience they manage to create in each area is different but so comfortable and the overall experience is one of being ultimately spoilt.  Plus they have sister hotels and the stunning town of Broadway to explore, not to mention the most breathtaking rolling countryside of the Cotswolds.

2. Rudding Park - For a stylish spa experience

This would have to be in the list of places to treat yourself having collaborated with the wonderful team at Rudding on their bespoke afternoon tea service, however the hotel provides so many areas of enjoyment and I have to say the spa and the surrounding areas to relax are absolutely incredible.  There is style at every turn, no details have been left out and it is the ultimate place to go and be pampered.

3. Claridges - For Tea

As a tea lover, for me, Claridges in London's Mayfair is the ultimate treat as far as afternoon tea goes.  It is the epitome of sophistication, luxury and British elegance.  The tea and afternoon treats are famous the world over and to walk through the doors and be treated to an experience in this wonderful established hotel is nothing short of spectacular.  It would certainly be the ultimate treat to visit here after the last 14 months!

4. Sushi Samba - The ultimate blow out

I used to live in London and will always love it for its bright lights, bustling streets and its vast array of choice when it comes to glamorous spots for dinner.  This restaurant is simply everything that London stands for...cool, diverse, stylish and when it comes to a treat, one of the ultimate places to visit.  Located in London's Heron Tower, you will wonder if you have arrived at a restaurant or a night club.  To top off a day wandering the wonderful streets of our beloved capital city, Sushi Samba has got to be one of the most remarkable places to go.  The food is next-level in flavour and diversity, yet the interiors are wild, fun and so inviting.  Enjoy a quick trip in the lift to take you to this world and hold on tight for an experience you will not forget.

 

Whether it is brunch, lunch, dinner or just a takeaway coffee and a walk with a friend, we really hope you all manage to get out and about in some way and create a moment, however big or small, to mark this positive time of change towards better days.

Love Jo x

 

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Design

Throwing the spotlight on our final pattern from the new Balance Collection, I wanted to give you an insight into how the Zighy design came about...

A little On 'Zighy'

Inspired by a trip to Zighy Bay, Oman, this design draws on my passion for geometric pattern, whilst evoking the beautiful skies we were treated to daily on our 5 day trip away.  Zighy is a curved Bay that is framed by a dramatic moutain range backdrop which casts the most epic early evening light and shadows. I was lucky enough to design this pattern from our hut on the beach whilst looking at this stunning sight.

The jagged rock formations and sheer scale of the bay was so inspiring to be surrounded in for a whole 5 days.  I wanted to bring their forms into the designs whilst sticking to the Jo D house style of symmetry and geometric balance.

On leaving this place I felt so calm and balanced, it is also where the name for the entire Balance Collection came from.

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The Perfect Summer Garden Party

Posted by Jo Deakin on

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FEATURE

As we approach May, a month that for me symbolises rebirth and happiness, I am so excited and quite frankly ready to host friends and family in the garden again.  Whilst the weather might not be what it was last year, one thing we can be certain of is restrictions are finally lifting and there is a sense of positivity mixed with the smell of sweet spring flowers in the air.

I think regardless of whether you have access to 100 acres of rolling countryside or a balcony attached to your city flat, being outside with those closest to us, celebrating being together is everyone's main focus right now.

So we could think of nothing better to feature in our latest Studio Notes than our tips for the best summer garden party.  

Our top 5 favourite things to include in outside entertaining are below and I hope will give some inspiration for creating the best and most inviting spaces to entertain so your guests will want to stay forever!  From table style and recipe ideas to wearing something relaxed and chic, we have included our hottest treats we are currently loving below.

 Top Tips for a fabulous al fresco party

1. Summerill and Bishop Table Cloth

I am dreaming of one of these for my Birthday later in the month, this has got to be one of my favourites and would go so well with some Jo D china at afternoon tea time!  The crisp white china against this beauty sets the tone for a very fun and bright day ahead spent around the table together.

 

2. Sarah Raven solar spike lights

As lunch will invariably roll into the dusky hours, these stunning solar spike lights have already been installed at home.  Although the sunshine has only had a short time to get these going, they work so well, they are gorgeous to look at and they will add beautifully to the atmosphere as that glorious haze washes over the table.

3. Whispering Angel Rose

Now I am afriad to say it but unless it is almost see-through blush pink rose I will not be drinking it!  But when it is this glorious stuff, I cannot refuse.  It is light, refreshing and is the perfect tonic to go with a sunny day spent outside with friends.

4. Tart London

Lucy and Jemima epitomise summer entertaining to me.  Their style is laid-back, relaxed but totally delicious food that is so scrummy and spoiling.  The recipes in this book inspire me to make an effort for our closest mates, go that little extra to pull out a show-stopping pud and give us all a treat after a long and hard working week.  I am planning their white chocolate, cardamon and raspberry tart for Sunday, rain or shine it will be delivered to the table!

 

5. All things Sezane

Althought I wish I had legs up to my armpits and was a cool 5ft 10", I am in fact a mere 5ft 2" shrimp.  However Sezane to me is the ultimate in laid back luxurious fashion.  It is French chic at its absolute best and although it has some punchy price tags, it's quality and style is just the kind of thing I would love to wear for a spoiling garden party.

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DESIGN

Featured as our 'favourite's this month', I wanted to share a little more info on the next design recently launched in our Balance Collection.

A little on 'Gatsby'

Art Deco (or Deco for short) first appeared in France just before WWI.  It's style encompassed visual arts, architecture and design and had huge influence on the design of buildings (think of the Chrysler Building in NYC or Leo DC in The Great Gatsby - swoon!), furniture, fashion, cars, trains and everyday objects.  It combined modern styles with fine craftsmanship and rich materials and represented luxury, glamour, exuberance and faith in social and technological progress!

As a lover of all things symmetrical, the Deco era for design, style and pattern, to me, is the epitome of high-end luxury balanced with punch and flare.  It would speak to me as it combines bold geometric forms with stunning colours, and it is so appealing on the eye.  Our Gatsby design encapsulates the Deco era of geometry combined with a little Jo D contemporary style.

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NEWS!

And finally some lovely news for all you loyal and fabulous subscribers, we are delighted to be taking part in the two day Spring VIP Sale hosted by the wonderful Tamara and Caroline of By Beautiful Brands.

This platform champions beautiful brands and will be showcasing 70 stunning and diverse retailers, the perfect number to allow everyone to shine individually.  No two brands have the same offerings so I hope you find lots of lovely and unique treats to shop for.

To access the discount go to their website www.bybeautifulbrands.com

 

 

 

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Making The Perfect Cup

Posted by Jo Deakin on

Top Tips For The Perfect Cuppa

It will come as no surprise to hear that we will of course be celebrating National Tea Day on 21st April.  We are so passionate about the mighty cup of tea and everything it stands for.  Both in the sense of a nation of committed tea drinkers but also in our daily Jo D mantra of putting on the kettle, slowing down, taking time over how your cups are lovingly made and what restorative qualities this entire process has on our busy lives.

Perfecting your morning cup of joy has always been a hot topic when it comes to starting your day right.  Whether you have the latest in coffee bean perculating technology and barista style machinary (!) or instant will do, if it is a bag in a hurry or a precision timed teapot, we have 3 simple tips that instantly make this ritual so many of us live by, stand out to be a treat, and we think, the right way to start any day.

1. Water

Start with your water quality: Use freshly drawn cold filtered water for the perfect results, and don't be in a rush to pour straight from the kettle once boiled.  The optimum temperature for tea and coffee brewing is just under 100 degrees, so allow a minute or so after boiling to pour.

Also be mindful of how much water you are using, think of it as an eco-cuppa and only boil the amount of water you actually need.

2. Ingredients

Just as freshly ground coffee always tastes as though it has come straight from a barista, choosing loose leaf tea or fresh herbs will also make those taste buds dance with joy.  One of our favourites is a strong lemon and ginger first thing, to boost a cleanse on your system after a restful night of sleep.

3. Cup Of Choice

It is no surprise that with all the effort made going into brewing the perfect cup, you also need to drink it from the very best.  Quality is one of our main passions at Jo D and fine bone china is the perfect way to take your tea or coffee.  The bone china helps to balance the temperature, retain the flavour to ensure each sip is as delicious as the first.

We hope you find a moment to celebrate in some small way on 21st and we will be raising our mug to all the tea lovers out there!

Behind the scenes of the Peacock Pattern

The launch of our latest line of products has so far, and thanks to our wonderful customers, been really well received, I am so grateful to everyone for taking the time to get in touch, place orders and give us feedback on the items.

Being an entirely British brand comes with so many positive and proud feelings for us, we thought it might be nice to give you a little more information on each of the new designs and how they came to paper.

A little on the 'Peacock' Pattern...

It was only a matter of time before our resident Jo D motif made it's debut into one of our designs.  The Peacock symbolises so many things in so many varying cultures.  From rejuvenation and beauty to truth and kindness. 

I favour the spirit animal symbolism, as the Peacock is believed to come from a place of honor and integrity.  They are flamboyant and show beautiful colours in such a magical way. 

It is said that people with this spirit animal are entirely trustworthy, self-confident, and are good at discerning the truth in all matters. They are always willing to walk their talk. Moreover, they revel in being the centre of attention.  So with all that said, it seemed like it was time for our take on the stunning Peacock feather to take centre stage!  This is of course not without the Jo D signature symmetry, and complimentary colour scheme.

The Products

Each product is crafted from start to end under one roof in Stoke on Trent and showcases the very best British skills of manufacturing fine bone china. 

The mug size is generous and provides the perfect comforting cup.  It is ever so slightly larger than our original Jo D mug so you have the luxury of a few extra sips with this new addition!

Every item is made of the finest quality bone china which not only achieves the best overall look and feel, but also keeps your beloved comforting brews warmer for longer.

A set of the cups and saucers would make the most stunning end to a dinner party for coffee and would work equally well for Afternoon Tea.  This cup and saucer is a brand new shape and design to add to our Jo D product list.  It will sit perfectly under your coffee machine to make a special mid-morning treat and also makes a stunning set when the various options of saucers are mixed together. 

Our exclusive teapot is the first of it's kind for the Jo D Collection.  We have combined this exquisite piece with the perfect pour, the Peacock pattern and the stunning hand-applied painted details to the outer rim and lid handle, to give this tradition a more modern vibe. 

 

We believe making a pot of tea should be a great treat and requires a special product to make the perfect brew for family and friends.  You are going the extra mile in detail when you make a pot for other people to enjoy with you and this provides the perfect centrepiece for any gathering.

It is a generous size and can make 4 cups (or 3 full mugs) of delicious tea and pours like a dream.  This is such an important but often overlooked detail that really does make all the difference when it comes to making the perfect pot.

Once again crafted from the very best fine bone china skills Stoke On Trent has to offer, this robust teapot is such a stunning addition to a party and although a traditional past time we feel the shape, detail and quality gives it a contemporary twist.

We are so grateful to each and every order we receive and we hope this gives you a little insight into the designs, products and work that goes into getting the products off the design pages and onto your kitchen tables.

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