Quick chat with Alicia Jackson from Marmalade Lion.
Tell us how Marmalade Lion came about?
In 2015 my Mother passed away completely unexpectedly, and quite dramatically, it was the same week Amber (my first daughter) was due so in addition to what I can only describe as the most emotionally conflicting time of my life, to keep my focus Marmalade Lion became a tribute to my mother.
On my motherhood journey I couldn’t find any products that were my cup of tea in terms of detail and quality or that made me happy when making the purchase!
I’m quite nostalgic and sentimental so I decided to create products that depicted these ideals and that mum would absolutely love from a detail perspective.
Also, it was important to me to honour her in this way. She was very special to me, had a huge heart but was also so tough, so creative, so inspiring – a real fighter. I feel like the way she left, only days before her first grandchild was born wasn’t fair. She was beyond excited and it was supposed to be her time to enjoy the good things in life and it was taken from her, and my sister and I.
Who’s behind it and what is your background?
I was employed by a large international textiles company learning it from the ground up over the span of 12 years. In 2014 I started my own textiles business, I had lots of ideas and motivation and I wanted to give them a go. I also wanted to keep growing and challenging myself and developing a brand was on my radar as I had spent most of my career developing product and ideas for other brands and businesses.
Tell us what your brand is all about. What is your company ethos?
We are about real-life situations. We are driven by functionality and the beauty of the product is only the icing on the cake. We want to develop beautiful, practical creations that make people smile at the detail and by how helpful and thorough our creations are. We want them to be the gifts that keep on giving. In view of this, they are also all sustainably designed, ethically produced and quality focused.
How many mini me’s between you all?
Five at the moment !
Describe the moment you thought you could be onto something and the business began.
When we began we started with an influencer campaign (as you do!) and almost everybody wanted the product. It was just a feather in our cap to say we’re not the only ones that think the product is a stand out! The snowball affect happened from there!
Tell us your biggest challenge.
Time management for sure! The balance of working at the capacity that is required, grieving and being the mother I want to be to two under two – this with no unconditional support. Both my parents have left this world and my partner’s parents are in the UK.
Tell us your biggest win.
Speed of the growth and repeat orders, a lot of our customers have come back three times already and we only offered three product lines up until February! Repeat orders is one of the biggest compliments you can get and it was a KPI we set for ourselves at the beginning.
What’s the most satisfying thing about running a small business?
The feedback from the customers for sure. All we want is to make beautiful thoughtful products that make people happy and process’ a little easier. Some people are as passionate about our products as I am and it means the world as it means we are doing what we set out to achieve.
What’s your creative process like? Do you design everything yourself or have collaborators?
We go with the flow and are as flexible as can be. We allow ourselves to be guided but prefer to stay in our own lane creatively. My sister (the artistic one!) and I work really closely with a freelance designer so we put detailed briefs and colours together and go from there, but she is brilliant.
What’s your most treasured products at the moment and why?
We are about to release a set of Australian Bird Nesting Dolls and I just love them! Reason being I have a story to tell about each of the birds hence why we choose them – I think most people will have their own story about at least one of the birds in the set.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about yourself in running the business?
You can’t do everything by yourself you need to work with people who care.
Is ML online only or can we buy your product in store?
Yes, online only was part of our strategy and remains intact for now!
You can find us at www.marmaladelion.com.au