Dream & Do

#BOSSLADYDREAM Finalist: Meet Jess Wood from Willow & Ink

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Jess Wood from Willow & Ink is one of our #BOSSLADYDREAM competition finalists! Check out her 60-second video here. We're announcing the winner of the $40k Business & Branding Package on 4 July…

What drove you to start your own business?

When I quit my job of 9 years it just made sense to me. I knew there was no position out there that would fill my creativity and purpose!

Handwriting is dying out due to all the gadgets out there these days so people value it more and often are bewildered by what can actually be created with a simple pen. I began teaching myself hand lettering as a hobby and while being imensed in it all i noticed that there was a gap in the market, here in Australia. So i was like, perfect, im going to give this a go. And then my friends all started to get hitched so i delved into the wedding industry.

I’ve always been wildly independant and strong willed so i knew this would be something i could achieve on my own. 

Being able to be covered in paint each day and create one of a kind pieces sets my heart on fire. When brainstorming for new ideas/pieces, its like an energy erupts inside me and its the most exciting feeling. Haha sounds lame but, but thats me!

What has been your greatest challenge so far?

Beginning my journey and having the people I was surrounded by have the highest of doubts. I literally have taught myself everything regarding my biz; hand lettering, calligraphy, wood work, sourcing, social media marketing etc. So perhaps they were all thinking how’s this girl who failed wood work in high school actually going to make all this work! haha which makes sense to me looking back now but I was so determined and head strong, failure was far from my mind.

What has been one of your best highlights?

When I made my first 2K week! I told everyone and anyone that would listen haha. I was the happiest girl, i knew that this meant that I was on the right path and that this was something I could really make a go of. 

How do you keep motivated being a boss lady?

Definitely a good playlist on Spotify for sure! That always sets me up for a good day. 

Also being in nature allows me to unwind, recconect and think about my biz whole heartedly, coming up with fresh ideas, reassessing certain areas and creating new goals to reach. I always come out refreshed and on a high.

Also when reflecting, looking back, knowing how far I've come and what I've achieved always pushes me forward.

Who is your biggest inspiration?

Honestly all my friends who are boss ladies too. Watching them grow as people, seeing their hard work first hand and watching their businesses flourish is definitely the biggest inspiration. It's always so much fun catching up for collaborations, we just bounce off each other!

What blogs/mags or insta feeds do you follow for you business?

White white weddings! They create the most amazing weddings and its always fun to work with them to create custom pieces!

And Grace Loves Lace, they have the dreamiest of wedding gowns that we always swoon over!

Oh and Sally Mustang, she's an amazing artist, gypsy and yogi. Following her always brings a smile which invigorates creativity. 

What is the best quote, book or piece of advice that has been given to you on this journey?

When I first started my journey ‘fake it, till you make it’ definitely got me through. the rough moments. But this is the quote that has always stuck by me, written by the lovely Victoria Erickson.

‘Women are powerful and i see them stifle this every. single. day.

Stop looking to be saved and hiding your magic.

Stop tossing aside your valid emotions. 

Stop wasting your time with toxic friends, or searching for numbing cures. 

Material things, better jobs, and even other people - they won’t fill your gap. 

Only you can do that.

Life is short. Rise up and step into your own intuitive and innate power. 

You are compassion and creative force and divine life itself. 

You are a goddess.’

It really put things into perspective for me and pushed me forward to live my truth and still ignites power each time I read, for different reasons.

What would winning the #BOSSLADYDREAM competition mean to your business? How will it change things for you in particular?

Where do I start!? It would definitely mean the moon, sun and stars to us!

I branded my biz when I had no clear direction. I had the mind set of adapting and let the business take its own course with my personal style of lettering flourishing as I went on. One year on and my style is romantic, whimsical and ‘timeless’ as one client told us, so we really want to reflect that in a new logo and website. I did the website too, it’s not that great, haha help!

So with those two reflecting who we are will really reach out to potential and ideal clients.

(By the way branding your own biz when you’re a creative is one of the hardest things to do! ugh so many scrunched up papers.)

I love what I do with a passion, being able to create custom hand lettered pieces for couples on their perfect day,  just lights up my world. 

With a new line launching soon, we want to be able to reach even more brides and make their and our dreams come true. :)

So on that note, this package would definitely benefit us by not wasting any more precious time and quit learning from mistakes!