{Five Minutes With} Dizzy Miss James - Albert and Me
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{Five Minutes With} Dizzy Miss James

Dizzy miss James Fox

{Five Minutes With} Dizzy Miss James

Dizzy miss James Fox

Hello! It’s time for another meet and greet with another very lovely and talented designer-maker. This week I’m chatting to Victoria James of Dizzy Miss James about her bold and beautiful designs and homewares. If you like what you see, make sure you read on to the end as there’s a very special discount code for Beak up Crafts readers!

Dizzy Miss James Panda cushions


Hello! First things first, how did you come up with the idea for Dizzy Miss James and how long have you been in business please? 

Hi Kate! There’s a story behind the name. A few years ago my life took a challenging and unusual turn when I became ill with a balance disorder called uncompensated Labryinthits. This meant I felt severe dizziness and unbalance all of the time and struggled to focus on everyday tasks I previously took for granted. Unfortunately I had to give up my job and put on hold my aspirations of being an artist to concentrate on my health.

I was in recovery for many years and during this time I started sewing and made brooches from old jeans and shirts. I gave them to family members as gifts, whatever the occasion, I found it helped with my condition and I just couldn’t stop making. I began to turn my character sketches into fabric brooches and embroidery hoop art. Before I knew it I was surrounded by my creations and had run out of space! I decided to start selling them online and Dizzy Miss James was born!

(Read more about my experience with living with a chronic illness here.)

Dizzy Miss James rabbit cushionWhat is your background in design and do you run your business full or part-time?

I have a background in printed textiles and surface decoration. In 2008 I was studying for a degree in Fine Art but unfortunately I was unable to finish due to illness.  I first began making as a hobby while I was undergoing treatment.  I finally plucked up the courage to try selling online and opened my little Etsy store.  My business then started to grow and last year with help and business mentoring from Pinetree I started working full time as a designer and have never looked back!

What does an average day look like for you?

My typical day usually begins with a cup of tea, breakfast, pinning lovelies on Pinterest and replying to emails. I then pack up my orders. I love making my packages look pretty before sending them on their way. I then have a spot of lunch and browse and update my social media sites. The rest of my day may consist of designing, making, researching, blogging, admin and stocktaking. And of course cake there is always cake!

Dizzy Miss James panda tote bag

Where do you get inspiration for your designs?

I am inspired by nature and many of my designs are often based on the beautiful wildlife of my home county of Northumberland. I have a love of Scandinavian and mid-century design which you can see the influence in my work and throughout my home. Bold, colour and shapes is what I’m all about.

How do you keep yourself motivated?

I love what I do and it doesn’t feel like work.  With my condition I spent many years unable to do any work and relying heavily on others.  Now I thrive on creativity and the daily tasks needed to run my business.  I find I have the opposite problem I find it hard to know when to stop or slow down.  I think it is very important to schedule time off to recuperate when running your own business.

How do you split your time effectively between designing/making and doing admin/finances and do you have any time management tips?

Good time management is essential.  I am a big fan of lists, planning each day out into manageable bite size pieces.

I know it’s not everyone’s favourite  part of running a business but try and keep your book keeping up to date, that way you avoid having to do lots of admin all in one go.  There are a lot of great accounting clouds available out there like QuickFile. You can connect the cloud to your business and PayPal accounts so it automatically uploads your transactions, this really helps!

Dizzy Miss James Badger cushion

Set time aside to work on designing new products, making sure you have no distractions. It’s always easy to get lost in things like social media and before you know it you’ve lost a couple of hours. We all do it!

When it comes to the making streamline the process as much as possible. Once the initial prototype is refined try to make in batches, using templates for ease and consistency. Making things to order can be hard work especially if you get a larger order. It’s always good to have made up products ready to ship.

Finally, do you have any offers or discount codes that you would like to share with my readers please?

I’ve got a 20% discount code* for your readers just enter code  BEAKUPCRAFTS on checkout at www.dizzymissjames.co.uk

*Valid until end of July 2015


Victoria’s Quickfire questions

Cats or Dogs – Dogs
Instagram or Facebook – Instagram
Spring or Summer – Spring
Friday night or Sunday morning – Friday night
Killer heels or Flats – Flats
City break or Beach holiday – City break
Book or Film – Film
Cake or Crisps – Cake
Wool or Wood – Wool
Fruit or Veg – Veg


I love Victoria’s designs and I think her story is really inspiring. I hope you enjoyed reading this feature and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Lots of creative business love,

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2 Comments
  • crawcraftsbeasties

    May 03 at 7:06 am Reply

    Such an interesting story! I have to admit to being endlessly fascinated by all the different things that lead people to start creative businesses 🙂 Victoria’s designs are awesome… I love that badger pillow!

    • Kate

      May 05 at 8:06 pm Reply

      Thank you! I agree, it’s such an inspiring and interesting story. I’m like you in that I love finding out how people get to where they are, especially with creative businesses x

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