My name is Jenny Maxwell, I’m the sole owner of Nordic Muse, an own-label jewellery and branded Nordic lifestyle collective established in Manchester. My degree was ‘Design Management’ for fashion retail and my career background has been in retail head office roles, in which I worked with some of the UK’s largest retailers. This gave me a good foundation to launch my own lifestyle brand, I’d always had a passion for good design and a vision to build a brand that reflects Nordic simplicity and good craftsmanship.
In my previous roles, I experienced first-hand the effect that an increasing emphasis on digital media and e-commerce was having on the shopping experience. I felt this approach lacked a personal touch, and what I’d previously regarded as a hobby when I first started developing Nordic Muse began to become much more significant to me. Face-to-face interaction, along with product and price were the reasons behind my success at Markets around Greater Manchester. As the business grew, I took the decision to focus my attention on Nordic Muse and go into business full time. In June, I launched a pop-up shop at Hatch, which is an exciting new retail & leisure pop up space on Oxford Road in Manchester.
Carrying out all roles within my business is one of the most engaging and thrilling parts of launching my own business, but it’s also the most demanding and challenging aspect. Since starting my journey, profitability is something that’s had to be at the forefront of my growth and before I opened a physical space at Hatch, working from home initially felt like my only option when it came to keeping costs low. Whilst my experience has supported me through the development of my branding and how I manage my business day to day, my working environment has a huge influence on how productive I am. So Central Library quickly became my ‘office’ not only in pursuit of silence, but also the resources available to advance my business model. Decked out with superfast WIFI, plenty of space to spread out, and a broad catalogue of business books specific to my sector, the library was much better suited to getting work done than seeking counter space in a noisy coffee shop or at home where I might have otherwise been distracted. Manchester library also offers a communal space with a café, art exhibitions and a modern environment. It’s inspiring to see all kinds of people using the space to do all kinds of things – working out of the library isn’t just a way of saving money, it’s a public space that’s there to be embraced.
Having the residency at Hatch on Oxford Rd in Manchester is the final pillar for my business, offering customers the best form of communication (to chat with me to get a sense of who I am and what Nordic Muse is about), along with the ability to touch and view the collections in person to scale. Nordic Muse sells jewellery, home-living, gifting, well-being and more through four core avenues; Artisan markets, In-store at Hatch MCR, Wholesale and Online.
Growing and managing the business alone across so many avenues with the inclusion of markets, online and wholesale means that there continues to be a place within the library that attracts me, to enable personal betterment and support the growth I am achieving. The library can be one of the best aides available to a start-up business, not only during the research and development phase, but also by means of a physical space to incubate your start-up in a co-working, innovative space. If you are looking for a practical, budget-conscious approach, the library offers a wealth of benefits to share.