5 Star Inspiration: British Countryside With A Twist!

5 star inspiration: British countryside with a twist!

Jojo Bradley

Imagine: carefully hand-crafted bespoke furnishings from the countryside made specifically for your city flat at affordable prices. Hard to believe. That is, until you see the marvellous creations by a girl brought up in a small Yorkshire village who grew up with a love of fabrics and interiors, left to study the art, and then decided to return to her hometown to start her own business, Jojo Bradley Interiors & Bespoke Upholstery.

“I have always loved upholstery, fabrics and interiors,” Bradley says on her site. “Whilst restoring our Cheshire barn conversion we couldn’t find the exact design of headboards we wanted without paying a fortune. So, I decided to study how to produce my own, in the exact fabric, size & style we were looking for.”

Though it started off small with commissions from friends and family, Bradley soon realised there was a real demand for bespoke furnishings at sensible prices.

YCB partner, Exquisitely British (EB), published the following interview with this young vibrant entrepreneur, wife an puppy mum, revealing a woman whose talent to take something raw and rural and transform it into something rustically perfect is truly spectacular.

EB: Tell us about yourself Jojo?

JB: I was brought up in a small rural village in Yorkshire and have always loved upholstery, fabrics and interiors.  I was always very practical so decided to study upholstery and interior design. After my studies I relocated to rural Cheshire where I now live with my husband and 2 miniature dachshunds.

EB: Where did the idea to start Jojo Bradley Interiors & Bespoke Upholstery come from? 

JB: Whilst restoring our Cheshire barn conversion we couldn’t find the exact design of headboards and footstools we wanted without paying a fortune. So, as I had the skills, I decided to produce my own headboards and footstools, in the exact fabric, size & style we were looking for.  My first commissions came from friends who had admired my pieces and wanted me to produce bespoke footstools and bespoke headboards for their homes. Demand grew very quickly and from that the business has grown and grown.

EB: Who is your ideal customer?

JB: We have lots of lovely customers and there is nothing more rewarding the clients who keep returning to buy more pieces from our product range.  All our commissions are handmade, with meticulous attention to detail using locally sourced materials and frames. Every product is bespoke and is customised in any fabric to suit individuals’ taste and schemes. Our products stand the test of time and I like to think this is why clients keep coming back to us.

EB: What’s been your biggest challenge?

JB: With anyone who runs their own business, my biggest challenge is fitting everything in. There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

EB: What’s been your biggest highlight?

JB: Without a doubt it has to be satisfied clients, receiving positive feedback and knowing I have captured what they were looking for. I love what I do and believe this is reflected in my work. It was a great honour working on Chester Cathedral and Lady Daresburys’ interiors.  Also our bespoke headboards were featured on 60 minute makeover and that was very rewarding seeing my products on TV!

EB: What or who are you inspired by? 

JB: My inspiration & passion for interiors comes from my mother, who, throughout my childhood built and renovated our beautiful family homes. I always admired the way she co-ordinated fabrics alongside lovely antiques. This sparked my initial interest in interior design.

EB: Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs?

JB: Be brave and use your inspiration to inspire others. Things might not always work out the first time but eventually you will find your niche. Be prepared to work long hours, much dedication is needed and sadly in the early years it leaves very little time for yourself, family and friends which can be tough.  It is the most rewarding thing when it all everything comes together.

EB: What does your “typical” work day look like? 

JB: My day starts at the crack of dawn with a little walk with my two miniature Daschund’s Millie and Mia followed by a cup of coffee then off to the showroom. I like to be there by 8am and always start by making a ‘to do’ list.  The workday can vary so much from exhibiting, creating new products, sourcing new fabrics and appointments with clients.   I am regularly visiting Pinterest for concept pictures and inspiration as well as using my favourite books – The English Country house, Classic English Interiors and keeping up to date with my magazines such as Period Ideas.  I try to leave the showroom by 6pm to do usual household chores and make supper for my lovely husband, I normally fall into bed by 11pm!

EB: Do you have any favourite British fabric brands?

JB: One of my favourite brands has to be Abraham Moon for their country wool plaids which we use regularly. I try and support home grown companies such as Milton & Manor, Flohr & Co and Peony & Sage. All of which offer beautiful linen fabrics with country prints.

EB: What do you think is important in developing a successful British brand?

JB: Good customer service is vital when making a brand successful, along with quality materials and competitive prices.  All our commissions are handmade, with meticulous attention to detail using locally sourced materials and frames. Our products stand the test of time and this is why clients keep coming back to us.

EB: How do you manage work/life balance?

JB: Separating work and pleasure is very important, I always make time to do the things I love, these include travelling, country pursuits such as shooting, stalking and skiing.

EB: What are your plans for the future?

JB: After five years of much dedication, I’d like to think Jojo Bradley Interiors is now a household name in Cheshire and is rapidly growing. We have expanded the range and are currently supplying interior designers across the country, including London. In the future we’d like to grow the business by having more stockists across the UK and eventually expand the showroom where clients can pop by and browse the latest collections.

It’s clear that Jojo Bradley loves what she does. It undoubtedly shows in the care of her work.. For a full view of her finished pieces, visit her collection.

Megan Broussard

Megan Broussard is a storyteller from New York City. She credits her talent for balancing big hand gestures and a glass of red on her Cajun roots. When she isn’t covering women in career/business, fashion, lifestyle and culture, she’s playing with her pup – the inspiration for her doggy daycare business.