Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
I started my gift wrapping business 20 years ago after seeing a gap in the UK market. I did a lot of travelling in my youth and picked up many techniques from stores throughout Europe and the USA. After training to be a teacher and starting a business from scratch, I started running gift wrapping training courses. I now work with clients large and small including Chanel, Dior, Ralph Lauren, royalty and celebrities as well as private clients. I am also the brand ambassador for Scotch tape and have recently been filmed for the M&S Christmas advert. My biggest achievement is that I have just launched my first book, Giftwrapped.
Tell us a bit about the book?
I have always had a vision for my book, and wanted the pages to be graced with beautiful photography, and not purely a training manual. From my years of experience I have filled the book with projects, inspirations and ideas. It is also being sold worldwide and published in many languages so I had to do a lot of research into cultural traditions and history
What was the inspiration behind it?
I have always wanted to do a book and several years ago I did a photo shoot with Sophie Conran and a group of female entrepreneurs. I was the only one who hasn't done a book and knew then that I had to get the ball rolling. I approached one publisher Jacqui Small whose books I collect and admire. A year later I had a book deal
Which is your favourite project?
There are many projects which I love in the book, however I love the mood boards that I have created as I have been able to bring in lots of personal details such as my grandmothers broken jewellery and wheat from my dad's farm
What is your craft space like?
We have an office and studio in Lincolnshire and one word I would describe it as is a hive of activity. I am usually only there around one day a week so I am bombarded with messages and paperwork when I visit. The rest of my time is spent on the road or working from my home in Central London where I am based
Have you always been creative?
Art was one of my favourite subjects at school and although I didn't go to art school, I am lucky to have had the support from my mum who let me cut up yoghurt pots and cereal packets whilst watching Blue Peter as a child.
When did you first start crafting?
I started making things as a young child. One of the first things that I made was a card for my parents when I was at primary school. I started making cards in the mid-90s and soon had an agent and a distributor. When the card market became flooded I decided to pursue my real passion in gift wrapping
Who are your crafty heroes?
As a young child I loved Tony Hart on the TV. Nowadays I work with Kirstie Allsopp who has been brilliant at promoting crafts to a large audience. I recently did workshops and exhibited at her 'Handmade Fair' at Hampton Court, and couldn't believe the attendance of craft enthusiasts
Where do you find inspiration?
I look at everything for inspiration from country walks to windows in the high street. Much of my inspiration comes from travelling overseas where you can experience different sights, traditions, and cultures. Walking through a spice market in India will give me lots of ideas (although I will be sneezing afterwards!)
What's next for you?
The book is just about to be launched in the UK, and I am probably doing a USA book tour next year. Things are in the pipeline for more TV work which is exciting, plus I am eager to design new collections for Liberty and Fortnum and Mason. I have had an incredible year with people asking for autographs, so it's quite exciting wondering what will happen in the future. I have also had legal cases with my ribbon designs being copied, and would love to be a campaigner with ACID (Anti Copy in Design) to protect small businesses and designers.
In this digital age, anything tangible somehow feels more significant or appreciated, and nowhere is that more evident than in the world of paper and giftwrapping. Wherever you look, blogs or magazines offer ideas for enhancing a humble gift by embellishing it with vintage or reused materials.
Giftwrapped builds on this trend, but takes it to a new and much more luxurious level while still keeping it real. 'Gift Wrap Guru' Jane Means, who wraps for the stars, royalty and high-end companies, offers her signature style and personal take on wrapping any present so that it is transformed into a gloriously gorgeous gift.
Whether it's a simple box, a tube or an awkwardly shaped tin, Giftwrapped describes how to achieve wrapping perfection with simple step-by-step instructions and Jane's myriad tips, so that you can learn what really works for impact and elegance.
The personal touch is Jane's forte along with an innate thriftiness. She'll show you her 'tricks' on how to upcycle vintage treasures and reuse unusual wrapping papers, such as sheet music and old maps, to the best effect, as well as how to choose the perfect style for the gift's recipient.