Joanne Grubb, Founder and Owner of JG Creative
A graphic design and branding agency working across web, print and signage
Going back to live with my parents in my childhood bedroom was never part of my life plan, but I’m so glad I did. The universe put me exactly where I needed to be…
When I left to go travelling in New Zealand, I gave up my flat, sold my motorbike and put everything into storage. I was told my job as a brand manager at a big national charity would be there for me when I got back, but just three months into my adventure, I was made redundant. Once I got over the shock, I saw it as an opportunity to move back home to Cheshire.
It was an adjustment after 16 years of living independently in London, but the novelty of being around my parents made it work. I applied for design jobs, but in truth the idea of full-time employment felt restrictive. I’d carved out a niche in New Zealand – making and selling tea–themed jewellery, so I began supplying shops here in the UK.
Once friends in the charity sector heard I was back, a flurry of design commissions came my way. I used my redundancy money to buy a laptop and software… My ‘accidental’ business was up and running! I had to step back completely from jewellery-making within 12 months.
Making new friends in my childhood town aged 35 was harder than dating! Slowly, I created a support system comprising other women in business – many of whom I met through networking. From being my least favourite thing to do, it’s now the bit I enjoy the most.
Today, JG Creative is a team of four females who specialise in design for not-for-profit organisations. We’ve grown into bigger premises – renting out desks to other creatives to reduce isolation and encourage connectivity.
Family is everything to me: the one I was born with and the one I have built around my business. My sister was the first person I hired and dad is a constant source of support.
When mum passed away suddenly last year, I had two wonderful years of living with my parents to look back on and another five years of seeing her regularly.
Everything happens for a reason.