Going from working for Google to working with Jesmonite, Melissa Latto has transformed her life and our homes in the process. Like many others, the 43-year-old from Dundee, Scotland, saw the coronavirus lockdown as a way to change career. She no longer sits in front of a computer all day but instead designs, mixes, pours and experiments making Jesmonite jewellery, candle holders, clocks, lamps, planters and much more from her dining room table (for now!).
Speed is of the essence
Her business Nine Angels Home is thriving and sells products in the USA, Netherlands, Germany, and Spain – as well as across the UK.
“I just didn’t want to stare at a screen anymore,” she said.
“I played around with concrete for a couple of days but started experimenting with Jesmonite in the summer and loved it.
“I am an impatient person so the time aspect of Jesmonite is huge for me – waiting for concrete to come out of a mould and then potentially not like it, it felt like a waste of time.
“I make my own moulds so I love that with Jesmonite I can have an idea first thing in the morning, then have it made by the night time.
“The colour is great too, you just can’t get that with concrete. I have launched a neon range and that wouldn’t be possible without using Jesmonite.”
Melissa’s business has been somewhat of a whirlwind. She started selling in September 2020, by Christmas she had eight stockists and now she has 108 stockists. She went full time with Nine Angels in January 2021. The company has since appeared in British newspaper The Metro as part of a feature on sustainable Christmas decorations and Melissa has expanded her range.
“I started with AC100 but tried AC730 because I loved the granite look, I didn’t think I’d be as fond of it as I am,” she added
“I can now make moulds, try different colours and designs, and use the two different types of Jesmonite.
“There is no limit, that is a problem with Jesmonite, you have to stop somewhere but there are just so many possibilities.”
Melissa tries to make products that look good together and you could buy together. She aims to get a studio and make bigger products, scaling up her business. One of the independent gift shops which sells Nine Angels Home products is White Orchard, in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England – not far from the Jesmonite HQ.
Owner Jennifer Wadhams is pleased to be able to support women in business. She had not heard of Jesmonite before coming across Melissa’s company but has since looked into it and is amazed by the products.
She said: “I like stocking these because they are pretty and talk to a wide range of people, young girls in our town buying gifts for friends but also their parents and grandparents.
“I also fell in love with the product being eco-friendly and the designs are made to order, there is no waste as there are not loads sitting on shelves somewhere waiting to be sold.
“The fact it is made in the UK is another huge bonus as we like to be conscientious in buying from UK based companies.
“The Nine Angels Home products are pride of place in the window!”