Meet the makers: Jayne Rutland

Jayne is a hairdresser who started making and selling her own hair products under the brand Hairy Jayne in 2008. Here she tells us what it’s like pitching to the Managing Director of Liberty, and how she raised £3000 through crowdfunding.

Hairy-Jayne_0059How did you get into making hair products?

I’ve been a hairdresser since 2001 – I worked in salons for ages and got fed up. So I went freelance in 2008 and found I had lots more time, and I started dabbling with potions. I did an aromatherapy product-making course at Morley College, where the tutor said I could make my own hair products. I then found Plush Folly and did lots of courses.

My first product was a hair treatment with argan oil, which I bought when I went to Morocco on holiday. Since doing the aromatherapy course I’ve stuck to using essential oils and natural products.

And how is the business doing?

It’s a tough industry to break into! I break even now on the hair products but I am still cutting hair three days a week – that funds my work on hair products for two days a week.

I took part in Brand Amplifier, which helped me think more like a business rather than “I make this, would you like to buy it?” Then last summer the law changed and I had to have all my products retested by a cosmetic chemist, which cost £3000! To raise this money I went for crowdfunding through Indiegogo. For the video my husband Karl dressed up as me in a ginger wig – it looked great with his beard! We managed to raise the whole amount!

We hear you also pitched to Liberty on their Open Call.

Yes – I registered and got there at 8am, the doors opened at 9am, and I still queued for five hours! I was interviewed by [Managing Director] Ed Burstell – I recognised him from TV! He was very enthusiastic and nice. I pitched to him and then had to do it again so they could film it. They said they would take my pack of three hair perfumes! They didn’t talk any numbers so maybe I should have been suspicious, but when you shake hands with someone you think it will be OK.

Then I got the follow-up call when they said they didn’t feel their customer base buys natural stuff so they didn’t want to place an order.

That must have been so disappointing.

The biggest lesson is it made me think would I be able to fulfil an order that size at this stage in my development. But they gave me some useful feedback and advice – they suggested I try Fortnum & Mason, which I hadn’t thought about.

How have you benefited from being a member of Makerhood?

Makerhood was the first time I tried out going to talks to learn more about business development and being part of a bigger local network. I went to the series of pitching sessions they ran – and then went on to pitch at Liberty.

Makerhood gives me a sense of everyone being team players and helping each other. I was thinking about running some workshops and then Making Uncovered came along and gave me the opportunity. I really enjoyed that – I’ve always loved teaching, even when I was in the salon.

Karl and I were on a real high after the event, walking up the hill and saying what a great place Brixton is, meeting local people who share common interests and can put on a great event like that!

You can buy Hairy Jayne products online. Jayne is also selling at the following events:

2 November West Norwood Feast
22-23 November Renegade Craft Fair
30 November Crafty Fox, Dalston
6 December Crafty Fox, Brixton
14 December Craftacular

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Making Uncovered: Hairy Jayne

Hairy-Jayne_0059Jayne is a hairdresser who brews her own range of hair products in Brixton under the name of Hairy Jayne. At Making Uncovered she will be showing the process of creating handmade hair products, including conditioner and hair perfume, using essential oils and natural products.

Tell us a bit about your work.
My work is mixing potions which are good for your hair (in between doing haircuts). I have a little studio in Brixton where I make hair care products from naturally derived ingredients and essential oils.

I’m inspired by nature, nostalgia and the traditional hair care ingredients used around the world, such as oils, flower extracts and essences, and I avoid using harsh chemicals. I make shampoos, conditioners, a hair oil and hair perfumes, which are designed to freshen up your hair between washes.

Why are you taking part in Making Uncovered?
Hairy-Jayne_0026A lot of people that I speak to about my product range are usually really curious about what goes in to making it. I’d like to show people that it’s not much different to cooking – once you have the recipe sorted, off you go measuring and melting things and stirring them together.

Also I loved the idea of collaboration, of me giving the participants a base recipe and then them personalising it with ingredients to suit their hair type and fragrances that they love. I’m intrigued to see what people come up with!

What will you be doing at Making Uncovered?
Hairy-Jayne_0048I’ll be running two workshops. The first is conditioner making, where the participants will first vote for the oils and additives they’d prefer. Then I’ll demonstrate making the base of the conditioner. The base will be divided up into little pots, and then each person will then be able to customise their pot with the essential oils that they choose and add their own labels.

The second one will be making a hair refresher or perfume from scratch, choosing the ingredients to suit their hair type and their choice of essential oils.

Hairy Jayne’s Making Uncovered workshops are at 11.30am and 3.30pm and cost £10 each – book your place here!

Meet the makers: Jayne Rutland

Maya Kar talks to Jayne Rutland of Hairy Jayne about goats’ bottoms, allergies and the challenge of working in three dimensions

hairy jayne resized

1. Tell us a bit about Hairy Jayne – what do you make?
I’ve been a professional hairdresser for 12 years now. I cut hair and make natural hair products, fragranced with essential oils. There are two shampoos and two conditioners for different hair types, plus hair perfumes for freshening up between washes. Every product comes in three fragrances: neroli (musk), geranium (floral), and grapefruit (citrus). I also sell vouchers for haircuts.

2. What makes your products special?
I hand-make them myself, and as an experienced hairdresser I have a real understanding of what hair needs. Most of all, they smell good! My emphasis is on natural products, since I myself developed an allergy to PPD, a ingredient in hair dye, especially black dye.

3. What inspired you to get started?
Two things. Becoming allergic gave me an interest in creating my own products, and when I discovered the great one-day courses at Plush Folly in making your own toiletries, I twigged that I could really create the products myself. Finally I did one of their courses explaining the legal requirements of this type of business and got started. I started looking into hair oils. I did a trip to Morocco which really inspired me. I started experimenting, creating conditioners with natural plant oils but designed not to be too heavy.

4. Did you go to Morocco for argan oil?
I did try using argan oil, but made the mistake of buying the unrefined version, which smelt like a goat’s bottom! Apparently the oil is obtained by feeding the argan seeds to a goat, and processing what comes out the other end. It’s good but very expensive, and there are other excellent plant oils which I prefer.

5. The name and logo suggest you have a humorous side – how did you come up with them?
I was after a 1960s vintage style, and Hairy Jane rhymes with Mary Jane (shoes). It amuses people, so it’s memorable. I occasionally do a market stall and I always notice that people laugh when they see it. I used to be a graphic designer so I designed the logo myself. It’s strange how hard I found it when I first started hairdressing to deal with three dimensional heads after working so long in two dimensions!

6. What attracted you to get involved with Makerhood?
I was using sites like Etsy, and I really liked the idea of having a local version, and being able to check out what other creative locals are up to. I did the Makerhood pitching workshops last year and found them really helpful.

7. What do you like about living and working in Brixton?
It’s always changing, and so busy! I was brought up in Western Australia and I first heard of Brixton out there and wanted to live here ever since. I’ve been here since 1999, and I feel very at home here. I suspect a connection with past lives, perhaps ancestors, or something more spiritual – my surname is Rutland, and I found that name etched onto an old wall in Effra Road. I hope it keeps its character. I don’t think there are any other Brixtons in the world! It has its own individual style of energy, so many different cultures side by side, letting each other get on with it.

8. What’s your hot tip for a hidden pleasure or treasure in Brixton?
My favourite shop is the stationers hidden away above the Kingshield Pharmacy – I can spend hours in there!

Hairy Jayne’s handmade hair products are available at http://brixton.makerhood.com/hairy-jayne