About Gem & Jo
By Jo Crafts – Where it all started……. To now!
Our story, wow where do we begin? As Maria Von Trapp once said, “lets start at the very beginning”.
Welcome to By Jo Crafts. Jo is responsible for creating our products and Gem manages the business. Jo is an experienced teacher of Art & Textiles at Ringwood School in Hampshire and comes from a family of artists. She is inspired by nature and uses natural forms and the environment to influence her work, the patterns, ripples and reflections in water. Jo is passionate about her work creating hand painted, decorative ceramics which demonstrate and highlight her passion for colour and pattern.
As the business manager of By Jo Crafts, Gem is responsible for promoting, marketing and running the business. Her understanding and experience of product marketing has enabled the business to flourish. Her organisational skills, drive and motivation compliment Jo’s creativity - making them an ideal partnership.
The business started in November 2019. Gem noticed Jo having fun with alcohol ink and fire on white ceramic tiles. Knowing Jo had absolutely no knowledge of how to sell her products and with Gem having experience of running a business, the two of them decided to venture into the world of craft fairs.
3 days later, over a bottle or two of alcoholic beverages (isn’t that how all the best ideas come to light?), a Facebook Page had been created, the inaugural craft fair was booked, and an investment was granted. (Special thanks go to the Busuttil and Hayns’ children for their start up donation! 😊) Booking craft fair after craft fair, the husbands were beginning to forget what their wives looked like!
Towards the end of 2019, the pair had received rave reviews about their products and were expanding rapidly.
Just as the pair decided on their moto for 2020. GO HARD OR GO HOME! COVID 19 struck. Causing craft fairs to be postponed, huge 2+ day events to be cancelled and the economy to plummet into the unknown. But, with fight, determination and the realisation that online sales were the way to go www.ByJoCrafts.com was born.
2021 into 2022, the world was beginning to get some kind of normality back and Gem and Jo resumed attending craft fairs up and down the country whilst Gem’s husband and children were packing and sending the online orders. Gem left her job in the finance sector and followed her dream of being a self-employed business owner. By Jo Crafts became a Limited Company, and Jo leaves her teaching job at the end of this academic year.
The business now has the ‘BJC Craftites’, 6 lovely ladies, who run events for Gem and Jo across the South Coast and Hampshire, the website has just launched its 3rd re-brand (because change keeps things fresh) and G&J absolutely LOVE what they do.
2 Friends, Ordinary Lives, 1 Business.