Interior insider: Nessie Maclay of Thisisnessie

 

Sussex-based Nessie Maclay designs beautiful handmade greeting cards and stationery for her company Thisisnessie.

Thisisnessie started almost by accident… I was a fashion designer up until 2002 when I had my first child. That Christmas my mother asked me to design some Christmas cards and one thing led to another and I wound up selling nearly 10,000. The seed of an idea was sown and it all grew from there.

To begin with, my motivation was… to earn a bit of pocket money, but it all snowballed rather fast.

The core of Thisisnessie's product is… bespoke stationery – everything from invitations to thank you cards for events as diverse as you would ever imagine people can be.

Our bestsellers are… our footnotes cards. They are postcards that can be personalised with your choice of over 40 different shoes and wellies. People love creating something that is totally unique to them and their family.

There is a growing fashion for… ultra-personalisation. So much of consumer culture is dominated by big brands these days that people feel a need to reclaim their individuality.

I am a big fan of… upcycling furniture. I repaint a lot of things that are either found or acquired when others are getting rid of them. Artwise, you won't be surprised to learn that I tend to rely on myself. I often give original watercolours as gifts.

My motto is… ‘Work hard, play hard, never give up.’

I am most proud of… my four beautiful children.

My biggest design challenge so far is… our new website due to launch in the New Year. It has been a real challenge to build something that captures the diversity and breadth of what we do while remaining clean and simple.

My advice to a beginner artist is… some of your best ideas will come when you least expect them. Make sure you listen to everyone; there's a lot of good ideas out there.

The most common decorating mistake is… not taking your time and failing to prepare woodwork properly. Too much strong colour is often a mistake in my view as well.

When I start a design job, the first thing I do is… turn off the phone and put on some ear defenders.

From the design scene, I love… Quentin Blake's illustrations. He is blessed with a wonderfully relaxed yet enormously expressive style.

We live in a… 600-year-old house that is stuck in a timewarp until we can afford to walk into an interior shop. 

I can gaze at Pinterest forever… There is so much lovely stuff on there and heaps of inspiration for illustrations. I spend a lot of time on font and typography websites and love my email newsletters from type foundry and small artisan font designers.

As a mother of four, my favourite interior trend is… tidiness. I encounter the most and hate chaos. We have a blackboard wall by the back door which has everyone's weekly schedule on it – that is my lifesaver.

We are big fans here of… all things hand-drawn. We have just designed a new logo combining lots of colours – it's a bit googley, but in a watercolour style.

My dream project would be… to design and build a ski chalet where I could hang out with all my family and friends for big chunks of the year while someone else does all my work.

www.thisisnessie.com

Annie Deakin is interiors writer for sofa and interior design website mydeco.com.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
News
exclusivePunk icon Viv Albertine on Sid Vicious, complacent white men, and why free love led to rape
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe best children's books for this summer
Sport
Colombia's James Rodriguez celebrates one of his goals during the FIFA World Cup 2014 round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at the Estadio do Maracana in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
sportColombian World Cup star completes £63m move to Spain
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
news
News
i100
News
people
Sport
Antoine Griezmann has started two of France’s four games so far
sport
Life and Style
techYahoo Japan launches service to delete your files and email your relatives when you die
Life and Style
Child's play: letting young people roam outdoors directly contradicts the current climate
lifeHow much independence should children have?
Arts and Entertainment
Tycoons' text: Warren Buffett and Bill Gates both cite John Brookes' 'Business Adventures' as their favourite book
booksFind out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
News
i100
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sustainability Manager

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: Scheme Manager (BREEAM)...

Graduate Sustainability Professional

Flexible, depending on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: Job Title: T...

Programme Director - Conduct Risk - London

£850 - £950 per day: Orgtel: Programme Director - Conduct Risk - Banking - £85...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, SC Clear

£100 - £110 per day: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Hampshire

Day In a Page

Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn
Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Alistair Carmichael: 'The UK as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts'

Meet the man who doesn't want to go down in history as the country's last Scottish Secretary
Legoland Windsor's master model-makers reveal the tricks of their trade (including how to stop the kids wrecking your Eiffel Tower)

Meet the people who play with Lego for a living

They are the master builders: Lego's crack team of model-makers, who have just glued down the last of 650,000 bricks as they recreate Paris in Windsor. Susie Mesure goes behind the scenes
The 20 best days out for the summer holidays: From Spitfires to summer ferry sailings

20 best days out for the summer holidays

From summer ferry sailings in Tyne and Wear and adventure days at Bear Grylls Survival Academy to Spitfires at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and bog-snorkelling at the World Alternative Games...
Open-air theatres: If all the world is a stage, then everyone gets in on the act

All the wood’s a stage

Open-air productions are the cue for better box-office receipts, new audiences, more interesting artistic challenges – and a picnic
Rand Paul is a Republican with an eye on the world

Rupert Cornwell: A Republican with an eye on the world

Rand Paul is laying out his presidential stall by taking on his party's disastrous record on foreign policy
Self-preservation society: Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish

Self-preservation society

Pickles are moving from the side of your plate to become the star dish
Generation gap opens a career sinkhole

Britons live ever longer, but still society persists in glorifying youth

We are living longer but considered 'past it' younger, the reshuffle suggests. There may be trouble ahead, says DJ Taylor