Thursday saw in my move into my new studio and the next step in my wild business journey. Mam and I tottered into the tack room under the weight of the ever-trusty IKEA furniture and 3 days later it was finished. December will mark the 5 year anniversary of that freezing cold and wet day that I stood under a marquee for NT Gibside’s Christmas Farmers Market in Rowlands Gill. Many aspects of my business have changed since those initial fairs and today Jina Gelder Illustration is flourishing and I adore my job. However, it would not have been possible had it not been for the support of my amazing, crazy and patient family.
I’ve already extolled about how wonderful my Mam is in a previous blog post but today I would like to offer a massive thank you to the other members of my family who put up with my erratic artiness and lend a hand or two in helping my business run smoothly.
I do try to be organised I really do, but the days and weeks where I decide that 5 days is more than enough prep-time to do an impromptu show my Aunty Anne, Grandma and Granddad folding cards and slipping them into those fiddly, awful cello bags saves me both time in sanity. As does the hours they spend sorting my coasters into sets, ironing silk scarves and tote bags and not to mention my granddad is the king of folding cardboard boxes (he even brings his own knife). There has been occasions where the troop have been on call for the moment the post arrives to help me cut out the decals to make the 140 mugs prior to firing in order for them to be ready for the next event. The packed lunches and Marksy’s chocolate provided by my grandma at my craft fairs are yet another added bonus.
I am sure within the next 5 years I will have progressed to buying a van and hiring minions to man my many craft fairs with me. Though in the meantime I would be lost without the use of my Dad’s long-suffering Peugeot or Mam’s van masquerading as a car. The time has long since passed that I could fit everything in my Mazda 2. Both my parents alongside my Granny, Aunty Gail, brother, cousins, best friend Rosie and boyfriend Rob have spent many an hour hawking my wares at events I’ve double booked or when I simply need a toilet and lunch break.
To every member of my much-loved family I’d like to say a huge, huge thanks and promise that I will allow them to retire…one day!