From Rags to Retirement; Jakki Moase, 23 years at Ian Snow's.
We look back at the last 23 years of being at the helm of the Ian Snow ship, as Jakki, our managing director heads for well earned retirement.
There have always been 3 things that she was passionate about from a very young age, making clothes, re-using waste, and one day being able to buy her own farm. To understand the inspiring journey of Jakki's working life, we first have to go back 30 years, to find the 25 year old Jakki Moase, living alone, in her factory, in a small house made from pallets, surrounded by rubbish. Jakki started a business making clothes from waste rags, it was called Scrap Scrap. She sold her wares at a local craft centre where after a few months she met an interesting hippy called Ian, who wore great clothes and sold at the local markets. Ian told her he thought Scrap Scrap would not work and she was wasting her time.
Over the next 5 years, Jakki built a sustainable and stylish business that sky-rocketed, she saw fast growth, orders from big brands such as Liberty's, Harrods, Topshop, to name a few, weekly media attention, and even dinner with Prince Charles. One day she found herself putting an advert in the newspaper to take on 17 cutters and seamstresses, in one go! Oh and that interesting hippy, he started ordering from her for his shops.
Ian dealt with someone called Kate at Scrap Scrap, she was the sales manager and is still one of Jakki's closest friends, she got to know Ian and decided he seemed quite interesting and a good match for Jakki. She arranged for them to go on a date and Jakki was enthralled by his crazy dancing, weird food and exotic home, they soon got together.
Meanwhile, with her business still going well, there was one thing she did not for-see... the country ran out of rags, in 5 years, she had exhausted all of the UK supply of cotton velvet. She decided to go to India with Ian, in search of old silk saris, by the time they went, she was 8 weeks pregnant with her first daughter, Daisy. When she returned from India she decided to close Scrap Scrap, not only had she used all the rags but the grunge look she catered for was going out of fashion, after a crazy 5 years she was ready for the next chapter. Ian helped her close her factory and she moved heaps and heaps of rags to his house in rural Mid-Wales, using her old library van, painted pink, and covered in huge flowers. After closing Scrap Scrap and before having Daisy, Jakki had promised to make Kate her wedding and bridesmaid dresses, and used silk she had brought back from India, she spent that summer sewing, cleaning the house ready for the arrival of the baby, and helping Ian with his shops.
In November 1995, baby Daisy was born, Jakki settled into motherhood and continued to help Ian with his shops. After 6 months they decided to do the festival circuit to clear a lot of dead stock Ian had accumulated over the years, they set off with a ropey Mercedes 604 and a caravan in tow. They did this for the following 3 years, until Jakki was pregnant again with their second daughter, India. Jakki was 34 at this point, and had been living away from her home in Devon for 17 years. With two young children, she wanted to be back near her mum, so they decided to look for somewhere to buy in North Devon. Scrap Scrap dealt its very last card of excitement when it enabled them to buy the farm of their dreams, 10 minutes from her parents, rural and run down, they moved in the summer of 1999.
They settled into the farm, and its many outbuildings, which soon became warehouses for bohemian Indian wares that they were importing. Jakki wanted her own project that she could nurture and push again, so started selling Ian Snow products to other shops.
She picked orders with India strapped to her back, and did the paper work in between nap times. After a few months she realised she could do with a hand, so approached a husband and wife team on the neighbouring farm, Jean came to work in the office (a plyboarded off section of the cow shed), and Chris in the warehouse (the cow shed).
Ian Snow's grew slowly over the years, selling to more and more shops and gradually taking on more people to help with the demand. Jakki focused on doing up all of the outbuildings and putting up a few new sheds, over the span of 15 years, to make room for more and more Indian treasures.
Fast forward to 2019 and there are 5 people working in the warehouse and 14 in the office. Both, Daisy and India have been involved in the business their entire lives and have worked for the business full time since leaving school, gradually taking more of a front seat as Jakki gets ready to hang up the reins. Ian Snow's is now stocked in so many incredible shops across the globe and having launched its online platform in 2013, now has a combined social reach of over 50k. The brand is committed to promoting ethical and sustainable business practise through the trade of beautiful, hand made products.
Jakki, thank you for leaving us in such a strong and exciting place. You have been the most incredible accountant, buyer, furniture fixer, sewer, leader, problem solver, teacher, sales women, designer, lorry unloader & mender. Enjoy your next chapter.