Jane Collings had what many would consider a dream job. She was the food editor at Donna Hay magazine. But after five years she was ready for a new chapter. The result was Emerald + Ella, which is an online store that specialises in (non-food) treats for the kitchen and home. After many years of styling (which she continues to do a in freelance capacity), Jane included a prop hire business too. The online shop has updated its collection of wares many times since launching last year, and often focuses on upcoming events, such as Valentine's Day and Easter.
Which five words best describe you? Creative, passionate, organised, hungry and right now... boiling hot!
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since? Well I studied nutrition and food science at uni but wasn't really interested in the science side of things, I just wanted to cook and eat. So I went from there to cooking for 45 kids in a day care centre which was totally crazy and fun but I knew that I eventually wanted to end up in magazines. I spent 6 months doing work experience with some great stylists and food magazines and this landed me a job at donna hay magazine. I was there as a food editor for almost 5 years when I decided to leave to start up emerald + ella. The shop has allowed me to totally indulge in my passion for all things kitchen and home and I also get to do a bit of freelance styling and recipe writing on the side which is great.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way? Always allocate a lot more time to a project than you think you will need.
What’s your proudest career achievement? I am not sure there has been one exactly, seeing a recipe you have written or styled published for the first time, with your name in print, is a proud moment. Getting emerald + ella from an idea to reality in 1 year and actually getting sales has been extremely fulfilling too.
What’s been your best decision? Deciding to leave a great job to bravely start up the shop. It was a pretty scary decision at the time but it has been such a rewarding year that it was absolutely worth it.
Who inspires you? Martha Stewart, Tessa Kiros and all the amazing craft/design bloggers out there who inspire me every day with their creativity.
What are you passionate about? Eating, Ebay bargins, reading, relaxing with friends and family.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Well I would love to meet Martha Stewart and have her take me through her houses. She has a gift wrapping room!
What dream do you still want to fulfil? I would love to write and style a cookbook full of my own recipes.
What are you reading? Well I have a couple of cookbooks I am enjoying - Food from many Greek kitchens by Tessa Kiros and Food, fashion, friends by Fleur Wood. Other than that I am working my way through a stack of thoroughly enjoyable easy-reads from my book swap group. Oh and Spaces by frankie magazine is also a favourite at the moment.
images courtesy of emerald + ella