We were delighted to chat to Julie and Emily recently. They are the editors of the fabulous new online magazine Beautifully British , and we were very happy to have been featured with one of our handbags and dog coat in a couple of their issues.
The conscious consumer is increasingly prioritising more niche, local products where provenance is easier to trace.This is becoming increasingly true in the post-pandemic world that we now find ourselves in.
Many of us would like to buy more British products but don’t know where to start so this is where Beautifully British magazine can help!
It’s lovely to see a family working together, and a mother and daughter duo. How did this come about?
In 2017, we started our first digital magazine about dressmaking called The Pattern Pages. At this time, Emily was working on this once a week whilst studying Fashion and Creative Direction at university, and for Julie, it was just a hobby alongside working as editor on a leading UK craft trade publication. When Emily graduated, she fell into a job that she didn’t like, and Julie was disillusioned with working for a large publisher, and felt we could bring something new to the table. So, with months of late nights and planning, our own little publishing company was born, Swatch Media and we came up with the idea of another magazine to champion British brands!
Do you manage to work well together and switch off from talking shop all of the time?
We surprisingly work really well together; we’ve become work best friends too, which is nice – it makes it easier that we have our separate job roles and responsibilities, so we don’t argue about who’s doing what. We’d love to say yes we can switch off, but the honest answer is no. We’re constantly talking about work, and are excited to share ideas to each other day or night !
Are the rest of you family supportive of you?
Our family is very supportive even through all the ups and the downs of starting your own business. Dad/husband, e.g. the moneyman is our mediator, whether it’s to sort a disagreement or we need some advice about where to spend money, we always go to him. The rest of the clan are our biggest fans promoting us wherever and wherever they can!
There has never been a better time to buy British, especially after the last few very strange months. What made you decide to set up Beautifully British magazine?
We definitely agree. Beautifully British magazine has been a while in the making and we published the first issue in October last year. We felt there was a gap in the market for this niche, yet modern lifestyle led magazine. We think buying British should be the norm, as there are so many amazing businesses and makers that need shouting about and that’s why we created Beautifully British magazine to show off what the British Isles has to offer.
Tell us about Beautifully British magazine.
Sure – the magazine is a curated look at everything British. We cover Fashion, Food & Drink, Lifestyle, Home and Handmade. The magazine includes new products to the market, trends,events, recipes, locations to visit, meet the maker interviews, products we love and so much more.
We also have a directory on our website filled with beautiful British businesses.
What makes your magazine different?
It’s a new concept; there are quite a few British magazines in print focusing solely on one topic such as the British countryside or interiors, but nothing which champions and supports British brands. Being digital definitely makes us different from the rest, everything that we write about has a direct link that you take you right to where you can purchase the product or learn more. Beautifully British is such such a stunning magazine and has a beautiful design so it's lovely to read too.
Why do you think readers are exploring niche magazines now rather than mass marketed publications ?
We’ve found that bigger publications aren’t as personal as magazines from smaller independents like us. We go out of our way to really find out about the brands we write about. We love getting to know the companies, fall in love with their products as well as build strong relationships with the people that we write about.
What important lessons do you think we as businesses and consumers should have learnt from this pandemic?
From talking to people, consumers aren’t missing shopping from big chain stores, and it’s definitely strengthened our resolve to buy locally and support British made companies. Hopefully, supporting British brands will continue after the pandemic too! As a business, we all know that the past few months have been very tough especially for small businesses but if you can adapt and survive to the other side, the buying British movement is as strong as ever and here to stay!
And what lessons do you think we will ultimately take from the pandemic?
Never take family time for granted
How do you predict the retail landscape will look over the next 18 months?
Hmm, tough one – we think the high street will struggle for a while with many people still unsure about going out to the shops. Online shopping will continue to boom so for small businesses, it’s important to be online too. We really hope people will think more about the provenance of what they buy, who made it, where it was made, and what’s in the product.
What is your favourite pastime in the countryside?
We love to go on long walks with our rescue Jack Russell terrier, Scout. We have a lot of countryside and forests where we live in Hampshire. Although if we are together, the walk does turn into talking business too!
Are you creative at home or as hobbies?
Yes, we’re a very creative family! We’re both dressmakers so do a lot of sewing, making and designing our own clothes. Julie studied interior design so we’re always changing and
decorating our homes. Emily loves photography and graphic design work and does some private work for clients too.
What is the best piece of advice your Mum has given you Emily?
“Don’t be afraid to fail, nothing comes easy but you will get something beautiful out of it if you put your all in "
What is the best thing about being your own bosses?
Time off for hair and beauty appointments! Joke lol, the flexibility is a plus side. I love being able to build something from ground up into something you’re proud of. Doing something you love every day is a great feeling!
And the worst?
When you put so much passion and love into the business, you care about every little detail so it’s hard not to take everything heart! We have those little moments when we scream and say, “It would be easier to work for someone else!” I’m afraid you also become a complete workaholic!!
We have all had much more time to think about the important things in our life recently. What are you most thankful for?
We’re most thankful for our health, and for family time. The simple things we once took for granted have now become important again.
Where can people go to read Beautifully British magazine?
You can read Beautifully British Magazine FREE on our website www.beautifullybritishmag.co.uk – simply pop the issues in your basket and checkout.