Bykerlass Jo Burrows was one of our very first suppliers back in 2013.
In the past five years, Jo’s range of Geordie gifts and cards has grown rapidly. She now has a vast range of products, both regional and non-regional, which sell all over the UK and abroad.
- Where were you born? Wallsend.
- Where do you live now? Hampshire in a small rural village outside Winchester.
- Where else have you lived? Brought up in Byker, Huddersfield when at Uni, London, various places in Surrey, Isle of Wight for 7 years.
- Are your products your main job? Yes.
- How did you get into making your own products? I was a designer for several high street brands via a design agent and was asked to produce some cards for a shop in Tynemouth. I had this idea about dialect based cards, no-one had done it before and I’m proud to say it was my idea and is now used all over the UK.
- What was your first product? Happy 16th Birthday Mam card – didn’t last long! Obviously not much of a market for it –just thought it was dead funny!
- What’s your favourite product? My ‘wine slut’ keyring – still on my car keys three years on – wearing well and my local garage think it’s hilarious when I put my car in for a service.
- What’s coming up for you? Christmas, Christmas and more Christmas. Currently just entering the design process for Christmas 2018 now. I’m currently doing a print course and enjoying that enormously and strengthening my illustration skills with my ICONS Keyring range. We are also expanding our overseas stockists. We now have stockists in eight different countries.
- Best and worst things about being an NE creative? Best is our dialect – loads of mileage in it – even now after almost nine years I still keep writing down new ideas based on words I’ve just remembered. Worst – being geographically removed from where my heart lies.
- Favourite NE landmark? I love the statue “Fiddlers Green” by Ray Lonsdale in North Shields – the memorial to fisherman lost at sea. I went to the unveiling of it and I love his work.
- Favourite NE restaurant/bar/cafe? Davanti – Italian Front Street Tynemouth.
- Other NE creatives/brands you love? Ebony Newton, Powder Butterfly, Amusing Jules and Northburn Home Fragrance – I’m addicted to their candles!
- Any hobbies or weird interests? Live music – see a lot of bands, visiting art galleries, entertaining and drinking wine and gin… I’m happiest whilst I’m walking my dog…