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6 February 2017

lady love: emily of jiminy magazine

(L-R Danni and Emily of jiminy magazine)

Following on from my feature last year with Hattie of Maud's House, I wanted to interview another Yorkshire lady doing extremely cool things! I'd like to introduce you to my good friend Emily, a digital marketeer who along with her bestie Danni runs an online magazine called jiminy dedicated to ethical fashion and living. She's a powerhouse, and one of the most motivated people I've ever met. I thought you guys might just feel as inspired by her as I do!  

Hey Em! So for those that don't know you why don’t you start off by telling us a bit about yourself and about jiminy magazine?

Hey Jen! I’m Emily, and I co-founded jiminy last summer with my best friend, Danni. I’ve always had an interest in slow living, especially in fashion; as a fashion stylist by training and also as someone that loves to spend time outdoors, I’ve always had an awareness and an interest in brands that benefit social and environmental development. It became a hobby to seek them out wherever I travelled, and coincidentally Danni was doing the same in Devon for arts and crafts!

Jiminy is first and foremost a conscious collective of wanderings, celebrating fashion, travel, food and handmade items that are made by those that create with a conscience. By this, we mean anything that is sustainable, handmade from innovative materials, vegetarian, vegan, recycled, and benefit the producer at the beginning of the products life cycle, not only the consumer.

When did you realise that you wanted to start jiminy? Talk us through the journey, your vision, the inspiration behind the online magazine, and how you went about putting your dreams into action.

It was during university that a number of factors came together for the magazine. I was styling and directing fashion shoots using only clothing that came from designers that used upcycled materials, and working with artists that used cruelty free products. When it came to promoting our work, I realised that there wasn’t an easily accessible UK based publication, or even a platform that we could submit our work to, that highlighted creative work of a sustainable nature.

I wanted there to be a magazine that shouted about brand’s transparency and ethos, as well as the product. I dreamt of something that would celebrate the hard work of creatives making a stand against fast fashion, and practised their craft using alternative materials. It was pure coincidence that when discussing my final major project with Danni when she came to visit from Devon, that she began to explain that she had steered her jewellery business in the same direction. It made sense to join forces, and that’s when jiminy came to life!

Talk us through Jiminy's creative process.

We sit down together (mostly via Facetime!) and plan a couple of months ahead. Based on our travels we plan content, and try to loosely base each month on a particular country or region. Although we do have a colour palette, this does naturally change with each destination, and forms the basis for our content (the food element is always a particular favourite as we get to try new dishes!) We often have requests from incredible brands that want us to showcase their work, and we also reach out to NGO’s and small businesses. It helps that we both love to travel and experience cultures, as well as having Danni on board with her knowledge on arts and crafts, which is admittedly is a grey area for me. It helps to bounce ideas off one another and our interests in different areas balance us.

What’s been the best thing about starting the magazine, and what’s been the most challenging? How do you juggle your full-time job working in marketing with your side-hustles?

Gosh that’s a difficult one! I’d say at this point, it has to be working with so many incredible brands. It’s been a great journey to work with so many worldwide designers and companies that are making a difference to their local communities.

One of the most challenging aspects has been juggling our 9-5 jobs (and Danni’s full time degree) We have to be quite strict in defining when it’s jiminy time. A balance between work, jiminy and free time is so important, and there are times when all I want to do is go home and get in the bath with a large glass of wine! However, the thought of all the new connections and support we can give to others in the sustainable community makes us want to jump up and create! It gives us motivation!

You actively support ethical lifestyle choices. Why do you think this so important to you?

Jiminy exists because we believe that those who create with a conscience deserve a platform. We showcase slow lifestyles, fashion and travel from across the globe, and believe in bringing the ever-expanding community of designers and consumers together to celebrate transparent, sustainable works that aren’t only stylish, but also have great background stories.

My friends probably think I’m a bit of a tree hugger, but honestly I just love the outdoors! As a brand ambassador, you should live what you preach, and as we both enjoy walking, cycling and surfing etc it makes sense to respect those environments. Since launching jiminy we have both now cut meat out of our diets, and are starting to cut out dairy as well.

Plug time! Cowspiracy is an educational documentary that brings you up to date with the impact of food consumerism, and True Cost is a must watch for anyone with an interest in the fashion industry.

I wouldn’t ever try to force anyone to change their lifestyle, or look down my nose at someone who is purchasing from a high-street retailer or eating meat. No one is perfect. I do however believe that we can all make little changes to our habits that will better not only our health but also the environment, and communities across the globe that we impact when purchasing goods. 

Obviously you focus on sustainable fashion too - what are your dream brands at the moment? Who's really getting it right, right now?

OOOOO Jen! Where to begin! There is so much going on at the moment, it’s a really exciting time! Kowtow are great and I love their aesthetic. ELEVEN SIX is also a brand that we collaborated with at the beginning of jiminy are the perfect go to when there’s a nip in the air. And then you consider beauty products. We’re working with Earth Conscious at the moment looking at their natural deodorant (so zingy!), Living Naturally, and the Soapnut Apothecary who make organic vegan skincare products that smell good enough to eat! You’ve got to feel good underneath your clothes too!

What would your tips be for building a personal brand, and being successful across all channels?

To get the story right. If you stick to your manifesto, style and your reason for creating the brand in the first place, it builds trust. If you’re asked to write about something that makes you uncomfortable then don’t write about it. Stay true to your brand, your voice, and engage with those that reach out to you.

How do you stay motivated and productive?

Whenever I feel too tired to write, I say to myself, stop making excuses. We are our own wall. Take down the wall by recognising your excuses, and boom! Productivity! A good juice and trip to the gym helps too, as well as focusing on our short and long term business goals.

In this social media driven world we live in, it can often be pretty difficult to fully disengage. How do you relax and unwind?

Call Danni! (or you for wine!) I find that being in the sea is calming, so I often head to the coast. A weekend away in the lakes with friends hiking in the mountains and cooking over a fire never fails either.  A digital detox is healthy and helps to reconnect you with grassroots simplicity. In this day and age when tablets and phones are an extension of our arms and we are expected to be available 24 hours a day, everyone should take a break!
Which other women are inspiring you with what they’re doing at the moment?

Sian Conway of Ethical Hour is both inspiring and supportive, not only of us, but of many other small business and blogs. She helps ethical businesses grow online and we recommend following her! I met Professor Sandy Black a few years ago, and her research helped a great deal during my research. Emma Watson is one of our heroines not only for her style but also for her political voice.

Do you have any advice for anyone looking to start their own publication/ to pursue passion projects/ to change things up a bit in their careers?

Whatever excuses you may make, question them. You’ve had a light bulb moment that has sprouted from something you’ve obviously passionate about, so don’t sit on it... Take the leap. It’s healthy to put yourself out of your comfort zone.

Finally, what’s next for you and for jiminy magazine? Where do you see yourself in the next few years?

This will be the first time we announce it, but jiminy is going international! It’s a big step for us because we’ve only just scraped the surface of what this part of the world can offer. Danni will still be covering the U.K., but I will be on the lookout for international brands, charities and creatives that fit our manifesto whilst I’m on the road. This will allow us to give a more personal approach, and help to connect our community directly with the people behind their products. It’s within our long-term plan to have an online store, so watch this space! Follow us on social media to see where we go, and if you're in the area, come and say hey!

Find Danni and Emily on Twitter @jiminy_magazine
And on Instagram @jiminymagazine



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