Juniper Makes: A Small Shop Feature

1. Tell us a little about you and your business. 

Hi! I’m Emily, owner and creator of Juniper Makes, a handmade clothing brand specialising in eco friendly organic fabrics, with beautiful and unique details. One glance at our Instagram page will also tell you that I’m a huge monochrome fan, I’m a little bit allergic to colour! 

I currently live in Wiltshire, with my husband, toddler and cat, and I started Juniper Makes when I was made redundant whilst on maternity leave. Working for yourself definitely has its ups and downs, but I’m finding that the rewards are worth it. I am also disabled, having Hypermobile Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia, Mast Cell Activation Syndrome and chronic migraines, all of which impact upon my daily life, but are much easier to manage now I’m my own boss. 

2. What inspired your business name?

When deciding what to name my brand I had a few criteria-

•Two words

•Something nature related

•Something that would work for both children’s wear, adult clothing or any other products I could branch into

•Not used by anyone else!

•Alluded to being handmade

In all honesty l was sitting on a bus with my little baby just running names through my head, then checking for websites etc. I kept coming back to Juniper Makes/ JM and it stuck 🤷🏻‍♀️

3. How did you first discover your passion for your craft?

I have always been creative, both of my parents are artists, and it really seemed inevitable when I was younger that I would end up doing something creative. I had a huge passion for fashion as a child, from drawing clothes, to making them, and after a BTEC in Art and Design, specialising in fashion, I went to university to study Fashion Design and Marketing. Unfortunately I did not complete my degree due to having to look after my dad. This resulted pretty much in a ten year creativity hiatus, living and working in London. We moved to Wiltshire 3 years ago to start a family, when I was pregnant I discovered PDF patterns for baby clothes, ordered a new sewing machine and the rest is history!

4. How long has your business been running?

 I have been working on Juniper Makes for just over a year, but only really launched in November last year.

5. What inspires your creations

I strongly believe that the greatest thing about handmade clothes, is that it should be better and different to what you can buy on the high street. So I look for fabrics and styles that are unique, comfy and wash well. Anyone with a Juniper Makes garment will tell you how well it washes, how soft the fabric is, and how comfy their kid is wearing it.

6. What is your proudest achievement to date?

My proudest achievement to date, is only partly related to my brand, in the fact that it involves my toddler, who was the catalyst for making children’s clothing. He was born prematurely at 35+2, and we fought hard to be able to breastfeed. He was 2 in February and he is breastfed, I have recently qualified as a breastfeeding peer supporter, and we are going to be on a billboard this summer celebrating 30 years of the Association of Breastfeeding Mothers. It is by far the hardest and most rewarding thing I have ever done.

7. What is the biggest lesson you have learned?

The biggest lesson that I have learned in running my own business is that it is ok if things don’t work as you expect. Last summer I spent all my time working on orders for ladies rompers instead of the children’s wear that I was hoping to sell. Being flexible is ok as long as you are working towards your goals.

8. What is your favourite make?

My current favourite make is my shorty rompers with the faux #LightningStruck pocket. Though that could change tomorrow! I really love doing custom orders, changing my patterns, doing different designs, challenge me!!

9. What is the best feedback you have received?

I love all the feedback that I get, both negative and positive. I’m a perfectionist, so anything I can do to that improves my product or service is a good thing. I do love hearing that something I have made is constantly in the wash because it gets worn so much!

10. Is there anything you regret?

I try not to regret anything, but I think that I can always manage my time better.

11. What are your goals for the future

In the future I hope to continue to slowly grow the Juniper Makes brand, whilst still maintaining a work life balance. I am a stay at home mum first, a business woman second

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