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
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Sport
Thiago Silva pulls Arjen Robben back to concede a penalty
world cup 2014Brazil 0 Netherlands 3: More misery for hosts as Dutch take third place
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
life...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Sport
Joe Root and James Anderson celebrate their record-beaking partnership
cricketEngland's last-wicket stand against India rewrites the history books
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
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

Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, Accreditation, ITIL)

£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...

C# Developer (HTML5, JavaScript, ASP.NET, Mathematics, Entity)

£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...

C# Integration Developer (.NET, Tibco EMS, SQL 2008/2012, XML)

£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...

Biztalk - outstanding opportunity

£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport