Jessie Chorley is an independent designer and maker specializing in embroidery, collage and appliqué. She mainly works with paper and textiles and has a strong belief in 'make do and mend'. Jessie lives and works in East London and and co-runs  the shop J&B which is located on Columbia Road. For this week's 'Creative Mondays' feature we caught up with Jessie to find out more about her beautiful creations and how she uses social media to inspire her and to promote her work.

Image credit: Jessie Chorley

Image credit: Jessie Chorley

How has social media helped you raise awareness of your work?

Due to the fact that a lot of my current work goes hand in hand with the creative workshops I run, like the workshops of my new illustrated rubber craft stamps, I find Instagram and Facebook an amazing way of letting people all over the world know when I have a new design out.  I travel a lot to run my workshops for other creative likeminded people, therefore Instagram has really helped me not only stay in contact but is also a useful way to meet others and therefore be invited to many exciting places to run workshops.

Most of my online customers are based in the States or Australia and many of my customers have seen my blog or Facebook page and then come to find the shop and then we stay in touch through social media. I had a lovely lady and her Mum come by the shop this weekend and they left with an arm full of my Journals before heading back to Japan and this was again because they followed me on social media.

I love to use Instagram as a "daily diary" because it enables me to post pictures in progress when I’m making things in the studio and then when people follow, like and comment on your progress it’s very rewarding...especially if they then turn up at my shop to say ‘Hi’ and it’s more rewarding if they like something enough to go home with it...It's like a completion to the story

Image credit: Jessie Chorley

Image credit: Jessie Chorley

Do you refer to any blogs for inspiration?

I follow various different blogs and go through phases depending on what mood I am in and what work I am developing at the time.  Currently, I regularly follow these three all for different reasons and I think the reason why I follow them is because they are so different.

I love Puks approach to making and the colors she uses have a very different feeling to my work I find it fresh and inspiring.

Junkaholique: I always dip in and out of as many of my friends also follow Artemis Russell's very pretty and organised world with views of the home she lives in her family and also the things she makes and finds. I find it simple and somewhat calming to look at and always inspiring, I especially like her photography.

Kristin Pereres blog I find as a woman very inspiring I love the layout of the blog and the way her photography makes each woman featured seem quite powerful but in a very natural and poetic way. I have worked with Kristin myself, and as a person she is an inspiration aswell as her style and home.

- Who are your favourite instagrammers? 


- What projects have you got in the pipeline? 

Many! Too many I have had to put some on the back boiler as Christmas is fast approaching and it gets busy in the shop. I am currently madly setting up a new online shop that I want to go live by the end of October, fingers crossed! It's very simple and will house all of my rubber stamps, papers, greeting cards and project packs and also many of the things I find on my travels and re-work back in to usable items like my altered journals.

I have just designed a new range of my illustrated rubber craft stamps and they will be ready within the next fortnight and these are Christmas themed. I am then developing five new designs which will be ready to come out in the New Year.  I am excited to be running an embroidery workshop at the V&A Museum On 11th October this year as part of the current Wedding dress exhibition that they have on in the museum.

I am also working with the design publishing house Roger La Borde they are developing a journal and some of my cards. I worked with them a few years ago with good results so I am excited to see what happens this time.

Image credit: Jessie Chorley

Image credit: Jessie Chorley

Your favourite thing

I have just spent a good month working in France and still can’t get enough of Fresh figs from the local market and baked Brie with garlic...At home I am a breakfast girl I love to head to one of my local cafes around Hackney and this Saturday I had the best mashed avocado with feta and poached eggs on Rye.

Boiled eggs and spinach is another favorite any time of the day and I always have a big jar of mixed seeds and dried fruit for a little 4pm pick me up...Cooking after a long studio day is heaven and is my main way of relaxing either with friends or on one’s own is a favorite and always treasured.

Your favourite thing to…make?

Always my altered and re-worked Journals they are always on the go in the studio or sometimes on my kitchen table. But currently I am just simply loving making these "Souvenir Hankies" they are made using a vintage hankie and I use simple print and embroidery in a traditional way to create scenes and little stories on them.

I love also working with my customers  to create commissions and bespoke pieces because it gives another side and another depth to my work.  I am just starting a big embroidered sampler for a customer and it will represent her close family with her children’s names and birth dates etc embroidered around the edge including images from their everyday life stitched in the centre...creating this gives me great pleasure as a maker.

Your favourite thing to…do?

Making my work. I really do love what I do, it has become a lifestyle and I feel very lucky. I was home schooled and many of my skills have been passed down from my Mum who is herself an embroiderer and also my Gran who still today at 93 makes wonderful lace and knits during every spare minute she has. Having this tie this thread from them makes what I do even more special.

Plus, meeting talented likeminded others through my workshops and I love travelling and I regularly go to different exciting venues, and individuals homes because of being invited for one of my embroidery, collage or appliqué workshops.  I always pick up materials and other inspirations on such trips that feed my work and inspire my shop and the way I run my shop.

I also enjoy running my shop cleaning and sorting and re-sorting and generally playing around with the display this is another favorite  I could do (and literally sometimes  do) this all day or all night I guess it’s a passion. 

I also really love to write my own blog I started this recently as I find keeping a CV very dull so I love the blog as it’s very rewarding to go back and look at projects or times that have passed, this was the main reason why I started my blog. I also like to document things visually as I am a creative individual I find it inspiring to look back at.

Find out more about Jessie Chorley by visiting her website: