Live Your Best Life: Jules Hogan

Live Your Best Life: Jules Hogan

Jules Hogan knitwear designer

I'm delighted to bring you the next in my Live Your Best Life interview series where we focus on what living the life you want, contributing to the world in a way that works for you and being the best version of yourself each day, means for each of us. There's no one size fits all and the inspiring women I talk to here don't have perfect lives, they're simply doing what they can to live the best life they can.

This time I'm very happy to tell you I have talented knitwear designer and maker Jules Hogan sharing what living your best life means for her…

Hi Jules! Can you share with us a bit about yourself, what life is like for you and how you got to where you are today?
I am a knitwear designer/maker living in Berkshire. My studio and creative haven is at the end of the garden, a place I spend much of my time. I enjoy the simple things in life, country walks, reading a good book or magazine, spending time outdoors particularly in the garden.

Creativity began at an early age with my mum teaching me to sew and knit, plus I was always drawing in sketch books usually from life of my surroundings. After A levels I took a foundation course in Art and Design thinking I wanted to be a graphic designer but during that year my love for textiles was reignited. It was around this time technology was changing and the use of computers was becoming more prevalent – this was not for me. Knew I wanted to craft with my hands and textiles was the perfect fit!

What particular words or quotes hold meaning for you?
These are my favourite words from Eleanor Cheetham, the editor and publisher of Creative Countryside, and I read them every day as a reminder:

"Strive to live more slowly.
Keep watch for the first snowdrop, walk outside in the rain, and listen for the return of the swallows.
Share stories and seasonal feasts around campfires.
Scribble ideas and illustrations on an adventure in the woods, on a mountain hike, or on an early morning stroll around your garden.
Choose local, handmade and sustainable.
Try your hand at weaving, whittling, foraging and bottling.
And every day, venture outside and celebrate the seasons."

They are beautiful, thank you for sharing them. So, how do you recognise when life’s getting on top of you?
My energy levels falter when life is getting on top of me. I suffer with IBS which flares up causing extreme tiredness and fatigue, plus waking in the early hours of the morning, and a busy mind, increases the symptoms.

So then what do you do to get back to how you want to feel?
I usually try to scale things back workwise and focus on mind, body and wellbeing. This involves getting plenty of rest, taking relaxing baths, listening to podcasts, eating well and cutting back on sugar.

What can you share with us about your plans, hopes and dreams for the future?
Being self-employed allows me to have more balance day to day, years of commuting and working long days took its toll. So I'm hoping my business continues to thrive so that I can live the life that suits me best. I am taking baby steps so that I grow at a pace that is manageable. My dream is that I can continue to live this life as it's the happiest and most content I have been in years!

My last question to you, Jules, is what does living your best life mean to you?
Having time to create. Being thankful and content. Spending time with friends and family. Good health. Kindness. Designing and making a collection that brings joy!

Jules Hogan is a knitwear designer for people who like to make a quiet statement. All of her beautiful knitwear is made in Britain and most of it is knitted and hand finished in her garden studio in Berkshire. She is inspired by the surrounding countryside and she's also drawn to tradition, sea-views, striping and re-worked Fair Isle patterning, updating them with the use of colour. You can check out Jules' stunning knitwear on her website and connect with her on Instagram and Twitter.

gabrielle april 2021
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