Jessica Toole has transformed her love of upcycling into a successful vinyl business
PUBLISHED: 12:26 07 October 2020
Discover the art of vinyl and how it can transform your interior
You can spend hours scrolling through Instagram and under the hashtag ‘upcycle’, you’ll find a wide range of interior projects that have been transformed. Though it looks easy, that’s not always the case –until Jess Toole began to upcycle items found from Facebook Marketplace and showed just how easily and cheaply it can be done.
‘My passion for interiors didn’t start until I moved into my flat in Manchester,’ she explains. ‘I used to live in an old mill, which was full of exposed brickwork and had tons of character. That’s when my
obsession with interiors began.’
What first started as a hobby, sharing her interior designs and projects on social media, her Instagram @LoftNQ quickly grew. ‘I was really unhappy working in the 9-5 office system. I knew it wasn’t for me and I knew I needed a way out,’ she says. ‘I have a family who are all self-employed and I envied them for making all their own decisions, deciding when they wanted a holiday and working towards their own success. At the time I had 14,000 followers on my LoftNQ
account and I knew I could somehow divert that audience into a product.’ Her Instagram now has over 28,000 followers.
When renting, though, sometimes it’s hard, so it’s important to put your personality in the space to make it feel homely, which is what Jess focused on with her vinyl print business, Jes Rose. Vinyl has seen something of a resurgence, with colourful and affordable prints, that can quickly change the entire look and feel of a room. It’s ideal for rented accommodation or for those who change their interiors frequently.
‘I enjoy upcycling and I had heard of vinyl before, but never had the chance to use it. I found a table on Facebook Marketplace that I wanted to jazz up. After scouring the internet, I couldn’t find any design that I liked and that was where I spotted a gap in the market. I said to my boyfriend after I’d already left my job and was struggling to find something to do, that this was it! This was my new business venture and the following day I did my research, spoke to every printing company in the North West and six weeks later Jes Rose Vinyl was born. No one really believed in me and thought it was ‘too niche’ and now look... I knew I was onto something.’
The freedom of interior design, as for many of us, is what Jess loves. ‘There are no limits,’ she says. ‘You can make your home exactly how you want to whether it’s to anyone else’s taste or not. It doesn’t matter because it’s entirely your own.’
Jes Rose Vinyl features a range of different designs, with something to suit every taste and every room. You can find dalmatian designs, terrazzo, botanical and Jess’s favourite, the pink flamingo. ‘When I show someone something outrageous for my home and they say they don’t like it, I take it as a challenge to prove them wrong,’ she laughs.
The 28-year-old has had a whirlwind first year in business. Working on huge brand shoots with Primark and Nasty Gal and being invited on to Dragons’ Denmakes it hard to top, but Jess has things in the works that she’s keeping tight-lipped about. ‘I want to be the ‘go-to’ business for vinyl and upcycling. So much has happened in the first year that I can’t quite believe it.’ The next big thing for Jes Rose Vinyl is releasing window vinyl.
‘I’m also conscious that older pieces of furniture are normally overlooked or discarded when there’s so much more life in it yet, so that’s something I’m looking into,’ she says.
For those embarking on their first design project, Jess has some advice. ‘Plan how you want the room to feel,’ she advises. ‘And measure everything a dozen times before you order something!’