Hive Highlights ft. Studio Jot

by Cayley Bolleurs

 bee festive south africa hive highlights

Bee Festive Blog

Hive highlights ft. Studio Jot

Welcome to the Bee Festive website and to the latest edition of our Hive Highlights Weekly Blog! Every week, we showcase a different local South African brand and share their inspiring story with our readers. As a platform that celebrates all things local and promotes sustainable living, we are passionate about supporting small businesses in our community. Through this blog, we hope to highlight the incredible talent and creativity of South African entrepreneurs and encourage our readers to shop locally. So, sit back, relax, and join us as we explore the amazing products and stories of some of the most exciting brands in our country!

In this blog post, let's delve deeper into Greer's journey, from a former BSc degree holder to a full-time graphic designer and illustrator. You will also learn more about the unique products and services she offers, and her future plans for her brand. Whether you're in search of branding designs or a charming children's storybook, Greer's works are sure to captivate your heart. So, let's explore the incredible talent and inspiring story of Studio Jot!

Hello Greer from Studio Jot:

Tell me a bit about yourself:

Hello, I'm Greer! Born and raised on a dairy farm in KZN and now based in the seaside town of Hermanus. A lover of tea, wine and fur friends. After finishing a BSc degree at Stellenbosch, I realised I wasn't quite going in a direction that felt right for me. That's when my creative path began and I enrolled to study Interior Design at BHC School of Design in Cape Town. After this, I was hungry for a little adventure and to see some of the world, which landed me in Hong Kong. I spent four years there, teaching English and working for a restaurant group on the interiors team, as well as assisting with the graphic design needs of the business. I moved to Cape Town at the start of 2019, gaining further experience in a combined interiors and graphic design role, and later that year, I started freelancing full time and building my own business. 

What inspired you to create this brand?

It was always my dream to work for myself and have my own design business. I've always loved building client relationships and working on an array of different creative briefs. I started by freelancing design work on the side of my full time jobs, and then as one job came to a close in 2019, and I was figuring out my next steps, I decided to give working for myself a go. It was a pretty difficult beginning - building a network of clients from scratch is no mean feat, and working under pressure to ensure the next month's rent would be covered... All challenging prospects! However, looking back, I'd do it again every time. The risk was totally worth the reward. Along the way, I've met so many wonderful people and have worked on such exciting projects! There is nothing that makes my day more than a happy client :)

Can you tell me about the products you offer and what sets them apart from similar products on the market?

I offer graphic design and illustration services. I cover all things design, such as branding, packaging, brochures and any other printed or digital material, as well as illustration work - like prints, patterns and storybooks. I absolutely love what I do, and love supporting clients on their business journeys, and hope to inject this passion into each project I work on. 

What are your future plans for the brand?

In 2018, as I was drawing my chapter of living in Hong Kong to a close, I had the opportunity to spend a few weeks in India to do a 200hr Yoga teacher training before I returned back to home soil. There, I was gifted with a Sanskrit name which contained the word "jot" - translating as "light" in English. This felt quite apt for my creative business, as I love to design and surround my spaces with light. When looking at the English understanding of this word - "jotting" down ideas, sketches and thoughts is always the first step in my creative process. Studio Jot feels like an extension of myself and my creative journey.

Are your products handmade or locally sourced?

I'm a one (wo)man show and do all design work myself. Whilst not "handmade", as I work in the digital sphere, all my work and designs are original and unique!

What are your values as a brand and how do they reflect in your products?

For all of my clients, I embrace each and every design project with fresh energy. I aspire to share my fullest and best effort when assisting a client with their vision for their new project or brand. Zooming in, I have great attention to detail and place client relations as the highest of importance in my daily interactions. 

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as a local brand, and how did you overcome it?

My biggest challenge, over time, has been the visibility of my services and offering. In a competitive marketplace, differentiation is always an exciting prospect to conquer. However, through consistency and the kind praise from previous and existing clients, I've been fortunate to grow my business organically (mostly through word of mouth) to the customer base it currently holds.

What are your future plans for the brand?

I'd love to do some courses to be able to move into web design and expand my design offerings to include this. It's always been my dream to create a range of prints, and also, hopefully, to have the opportunity to illustrate another story book! (I illustrated my first one last year with the wonderful Cecelia Stott and her sweetest story, "Gizmo and Rodney's Great Joshua Tree Adventure"). I also have a real itch to paint - most of my work is digital and I really miss the tactile nature of painting in real life.

How can consumers best support your brand and the local community?

There are so many wonderful creatives in the same space who are bursting with ideas and talent. Choosing a small business or freelancer to work with has a much more personal connection and you'll find there will be a lot more care and attention given to you. When you choose to work with someone, make sure the personal connection is there and that they truly believe in your journey and your brand - that's when the magic happens!

Who is someone that inspires you?

I'm so inspired by each and every small business owner out there, and know how tough the journey can be. I'm always so amazed by the beautiful products and ideas people create, and am so motivated by their passion, endurance and creativity!

What is your favourite song?

It's tricky to pin down just one but I do love the mellow sounds from Michael Kiwanuka (a real go to in my daily listening).

What do you love most about South Africa?

The absolute privilege of nature all around us. We have mountains, ocean and bush right on our doorstep - all of which inspire and recharge me. The incredible entrepreneurs and new business ideas being created every day. It's a super exciting space filled with so much passion and innovation! South Africans are so good at finding solutions, thinking of new ideas and creating businesses with real heart and soul, and I feel so lucky to be able to assist many of them along their respective journeys.

Is there anything you could say to someone wanting to start their own business?

I'm a great believer that your thoughts create your reality, so if that is your dream, keep manifesting those ideas and working hard to build your vision. Lean into the fear and discomfort, because it's always a sign that great change is coming! The learning curve will be steep, (what kind of journey would life be if there wasn't some uphill!?) but the growth is so rich and rewarding.

Is there anything more you would like to add?

Thank you, Bee Festive, for supporting my little business and sharing my story! It was such a privilege to share in your journey and I so loved working with you to bring your vision for your branding to life. I've loved watching your story unfold, and wish you all the success, growth and most festive adventure ahead! 

Thank you Greer! 

In conclusion, we hope you enjoyed learning about Greer and her inspiring journey to becoming a full-time graphic designer and illustrator. Her dedication to client satisfaction and attention to detail is evident in her work, and her passion for creativity shines through in every project she takes on. We encourage you to show your support for local businesses like Studio Jot and their exceptional talent. Thank you, Greer, for sharing your story and for the beautiful designs and illustrations you create. We wish you all the best as you continue to grow your brand and expand your offerings.

Don't forget to follow us on Instagram  & Facebook and show your support! 

We hope your day is abuzz with excitement until we meet again next week!

 bee festive hive highlights blog

bee festive hive highlights blog

bee festive hive highlights blog

bee festive hive highlights blog