Product Guru Supplier Focus | Into the world of Jessica Russell Flint and the Accessories and Homeware market
At Product Guru, we are proud to support a growing community of small independent suppliers. We list products across all FMCG and gifts categories and we like to share the stories behind them.
Our latest 'Supplier Focus' blog looks at Jessica Russell Flint, CEO and Founder at Jessica Russell Flint who told us more about her business in a recent interview.
Tell us a bit about your company and its background.
The company was formed by myself back in 2014 when I was still working in Advertising. I'd started on the graduate scheme at JWT and stayed for almost five years before moving agencies and finally going freelance in order to spend more time growing the business. I grew up in a family of artists, my Great Grandfather was watercolour artist Sir William Russell Flint, my grandfather, mother and cousin were also artists and we just grew up with paints and pens as entertainment. I’d done an exhibition of prints and illustrations and the Clerkenwell Gallery (I was always drawing on the sidelines outside of my work life) and I’d created some linen table napkins to sell with my prints on a sort of side product. They sold out on the launch night and people demanded more. I then jumped onto a technical course at Central St.Martins to work out how to use software to turn my artwork into prints and it’s gone from there.
We now sell a whole range of goods in the beauty and travel sector (silk eye masks, washbags, make up bags - all in luxury packaging), lots of different accessories, ready to wear, nightwear launching in AW19 and our brand new resort range will launch in SS20!
How many people work for the business?
We have four full-time staff, and many external freelancers and manufacturers.
Who does it sell to?
We sell to lots of UK stores, department stores and boutiques as well as doing bespoke projects for various brands including Karen Millen, Anthropologie, Garsington Opera and various others. The good thing about our products is that we can design for just about anything - as it's print-based it fits with a lot of stories and a wide range of products.
Is there a specific product you are particularly proud of and why?
When I was first launching Harrods commissioned me to do a range of Christmas decorations with a cocktail theme. This is when I came up with the idea of a pompom trim eye mask. We delivered the mask for Christmas and it sold so well we've expanded our range of masks to over 36 designs and various trims! It was a great fun project to be involved in but also really helped to scale a niche product area.
What do you most enjoy about running your business?
Creating and developing new products each season - meeting new people, producers, clients and tech teams, scaling up and working on new products and designs. It's so exciting to see how it's gone from the cliché of kitchen table story to big studio and showroom with employees.
What are your ambitions for your company?
I'd like it to grow to be a universally known brand that covers a whole range of product categories for a full lifestyle. The most exciting next phase is launching our nightwear collections and this is such a fun area with more silk masks, headbands and hair accessories, PJ's, robes, and even bedding!
What do you enjoy doing during your spare time?
In the evenings I'm a doodling/drawing addict, and on the weekends I'm hanging out with my one-year-old son and husband, ideally walking our dog on the Hackney Marshes, and having a good pub lunch somewhere en route!
What do you think of the Product Guru platform?
I think it's an amazing concept - we've been crying out for another channel aside from the good old trade show to help connect brands and buyers.
Product Guru facilitates the introduction and the product discovery process by placing products in front of vetted buyers. Like Jessica, you can sign up to Product Guru for free today and start showcasing your own products on our platform.
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