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
Property search
Latest stories from i100
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

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line Virtualisation, Windows & Server Engineer

£40000 - £47000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A 3rd Line Virtualisation / Sto...

Recruitment Genius: Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Service Engineer

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A successful national service f...

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Sales - OTE £25,000

£15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Administrator - Fixed Term Contract

£17500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We currently require an experie...

Day In a Page

Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?