Jessica Russell-Flint

Q: Tell me a little bit about your business and what was the impetus to startup?

I just liked drawing.  And I was getting really anxious and diagnosed pills after running the advertising treadmill for seven years working as an account director. I was getting anxiety every day dealing with stressful clients, the economic dip meant I was stretched over far too many pieces of business,  and it no longer felt motivating for me, personally working as a cog in a wheel for a big organisation. I'd always camped more in the creative den but had worked hard to suppress this and become the typical high flying and confident "account woman" - which really didnt suit my natural skill set.. I am a dreamer, a drawer, always doodling. I quite, went freelance, trained to be an illustrator at st.martins, started working freelance as an account director as well as doing illustration on the side. It grew from there.   Being trapped making decisions for other people's brands or organising other people's brands felt a bit wrong after a while - but it was so much fun for the first few years and I learnt so many invaluable skills that I'd never have got if I'd gone straight into this.

Q: What is the toughest decision you had to make in the last few months?

To spend money that I don't have in order to grow the business. Quit my lovely dollar earning freelance job and invest full time in JRF. Work from home and go mad, rather than invest money in a studio to save money for shows,  Beg for cash through Kickstarter and sell my soul,  Quit the gym (my lifeline) because i couldnt pay for it anymore...

Sack my dogwalker to save money, buy clothes from Ebay, sell my stuff on ebay. Cull my friends due to lack of time (and money to go out). You name it. Starting a business is tough.

Q: If you practise yoga, how has it changed your life and if not how do you think it would?

I don't do yoga. but wish i could. no time. no money. totally unbalanced and uncoordinated.. 

Q: As a Londoner how do you tend to centre yourself living amongst the fast paced lifestyle?

Walking my dog Betty and and my very patient saint of a husband who is opposite to me, is rational, hates anything fast paced and likes to eat his cereal very slowly in the morning. (In fact, when I first met him, I was eating chocolate bars on the way to work for breakfast, he introduced me to the concept of eating a proper breakfast in adulthood)

Q: Do you consider yourself a ‘healthy eater’ and are there habits you wish you could kick?

Quite. I have an unhealthy obsession with Mayonaise..and I try to cut this out every now and again. I mainly eat salad and not too many carbs as I find this really helps with weight management. After about 2pm I try not to eat hard carbs - ie. bread, wheat, oats  - but i still eat vegetables so it's not atkins. I would also love to cut out the alcohol - I find I drink more, the more stressed and busy I am - it's a sort of heightened cycle of anxiety and excitement - which makes me just fall out of balance  - which I embrace. Then I hit the straight and narrow again. It's something I would love to kick and just approach life in a more balanced way generally.

Q: Are there any food brands you love?

HELLMANS. I also love TREK bars - but found out theyre not great for you.

Q: How lucky are you, and why?

I am lucky in every way. and I abuse it.  Healthy (touch wood). Well educated, brilliant family, great friends, no major disabilities, no great tragedy (touch wood) and not offensively unattractive.

Q: If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

BETTY (MY DOG), My husband and some biscuits for Betty - she's always starving.

Q: What book do you think everyone should read?

"A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry. Puts anyone's life into perspective & demonstrates the strength of people in life.

Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Do unto your neighbour as you would do unto yourself. THANK YOU SUNDAY SCHOOL.. 

Q: What three pieces of advice would you give to women contemplating setting up their own business?

Think about your audience, think about how to stand out from the competition, be nice to people (SELLING Is about being a people person - not a car salesman - people like people) 

Georgina OlleyComment