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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Celebrating 10 Years in Business: An interview with Akamuti founder Lindsey Hedges & illustrator Jenny Lloyd

Lindsey Hedges hired illustrator Jenny Lloyd to rebrand her ethical skincare range after seeing her illustrations on these very pages. To celebrate Akamuti's 10th birthday we catch up with both ladies and give our readers an opportunity to get 20% off all products.

Written by Amelia Gregory

akamuti-advert-by jenny Lloyd
People come to this website both for inspiration and to find talented creatives to work with, so my illustrators will know they are doing their best if they get some lovely jobs as a result of their hard work. I particularly love it when a job comes about as a result of a collaboration within the pages of Amelia’s Magazine, which is exactly what happened when illustrator Jenny Lloyd answered a callout to illustrate an image to accompany an interview with Lindsey Hedges, founder of ethical skincare range Akamuti. Her beautiful image so perfectly captured the essence of the Akamuti brand that Lindsey had no hesitation in hiring her to rebrand her entire range. As Akamuti celebrates its 10th birthday this month, I caught up with both Lindsey and Jenny to find out a little bit more about this wonderful partnership.

akamuti-organic virgin coconut oil-label by jenny Lloyd
Lindsey, what prompted you to redesign your entire product range and how did it come about? I believe I can claim some responsibility?
In the early years we tentatively asked a design studio to help us, only to be shown designs that were as far removed from our brief as was possible! So the project was shelved until 2010 when we spotted an illustration by Jenny Lloyd created for our story in Amelia’s Magazine. I loved the colours and the style and I knew immediately that we might have found what we were looking for, especially as Jenny’s image was done without any intervention from us. We have been working with Jenny ever since! Jenny has been able to capture the colours, the warmth and the simplicity which we feel our philosophy evokes. Thanks to Jenny, our range now looks beautiful too. It is always a pleasure to unveil the new labels and they genuinely make me very happy when I see them! 

Jenny Lloyd by Sara Gelfgren
Jenny Lloyd by Sara Gelfgren.

Jenny, what brought you to Amelia’s Magazine and what made you get involved in my open callouts for illustrators?
When I first started following Amelia’s Magazine on Twitter, I was excited to see that Amelia posted regular call-outs for images to accompany articles for the magazine. At the time I was (and still am!) a regular visitor to the site and its beautifully illustrated posts, and started looking for tweets from Amelia on subjects I wanted to illustrate myself. When I spotted a call-out for designs to accompany an article about Akamuti, it really caught my imagination and I replied right away; I felt that this would be a good opportunity to apply the more feminine, natural elements of my style to an honest, lovely, organic brand whose sustainable, planet-loving ethos I really support and admire. I was delighted when I heard from Amelia that Akamuti liked my illustration, and even happier when Lindsey approached me to create brand-new label illustrations for their Shea Butter/African Black Soap ranges, as well as design a new logo and branding for the company.

akamuti-buttered rose and almond hand cream-label by jenny Lloyd
Lindsey, Akamuti remains very much a family affair, what’s it been like to work so closely with an outsider: Jenny Lloyd? 
Jenny really feels like part of the Akamuti family even though we’ve never met in the flesh!  It’s nice to share ideas with someone who appreciates our philosophy and understands where we are coming from when we put together a brief. In that way, the Akamuti family is never restricted to the team at HQ!

akamuti-organic honey and chamomile lip balm-label by jenny Lloyd
Jenny, what has been the process of working with Akamuti on their label designs?
Since that first illustration, I have designed over sixty labels across fifteen different product ranges, as well as creating images for Akamuti‘s website, posters, and advertising campaigns. I love working with Lindsey; taking on board her briefs and suggestions for each design – whether it be a colour palette, ingredients list, or overall atmosphere she’d like each label to evoke – and using those as a base for my own creative ideas has been a real pleasure. At this stage we have been working together for so long that designing new labels feels more like a collaborative effort than a client/employee one, which is something I really enjoy, and I’m delighted to continue to be involved in designing for an evolving and expanding company with gorgeous new products in the pipeline. For me, the proudest moment of my ongoing relationship with Akamuti so far came when I received a parcel from them last year full of pots of indulgent, fragrant, glorious organic creams and oils, each one with one of my illustrations on the top. My ambition is to one day have a bathroom full of them!

Lindsey Ann Hedges from Akamuti by Janneke de Jong
Lindsey Ann Hedges from Akamuti by Janneke de Jong.

Lindsey, you’re a seasoned entrepreneur with 10 years of business behind you and you’re only just turned 30. What on earth possessed you to start Akamuti so young?  
Even at 14 I was dreaming about opening a shop! I’ve always been keen to start my own business from an early age. As a family, we’ve always leaned towards being a bit self-sufficient and self-reliant which I think has been a big influence. I knew years ago, that even if I got a job with someone else, I’d just be saving up until I could get cracking with my own projects! I think it’s in my blood now and I can’t imagine doing anything else!  

akamuti-lavender and geranium body moisturiser-label by jenny Lloyd
Jenny, how long have you been working as an illustrator and what kind of projects do you work on when you are not creating Akamuti labels? Can you talk us through a typical day working on your illustrations?
I’ve been working as an illustrator since I graduated in 2004, and since that time I’ve been lucky enough to have worked on a wide range of different projects with a variety of different clients. Commissions I’ve completed have included book covers, poster design, editorial illustrations, branding, packaging design, visuals for advertising and exhibitions, and more recently, designs for wallpaper. My illustrations also feature on products as diverse as iPhone skins, t-shirts and even as throw pillows over at Society6. It’s tough to describe a typical day illustrating since it varies so much from project to project, but it always starts with coffee!

akamuti-soft peach baby moisturiser-label by jenny Lloyd
Lindsey, can we expect anything special, now that you have been in business ten years?
As it’s our 10th birthday I wanted to bring out some new, special products to mark the occasion! I have a lot of product ideas to turn into reality, including two beautiful perfumes that pay homage to what we’re all about – fusions of fragrant botanicals with nothing else added in. I can’t wait to unveil them when they’re all done which will be very soon! The perfumes are ready, we just need to finalise packaging and paperwork. I think they will be a fitting tribute to ten years in the business! <<<ooh, exciting>>>

Akamuti products
Jenny, what can we expect from you next? Any new projects on the horizon?
At the moment I’m designing a range of greetings cards which will be available to buy in the Autumn; I can’t say too much about them at the moment, but they’re very different to anything I’ve worked on before, which has been really enjoyable. It’s really nice to do something different, to keep things fresh. But I have plenty more labels to design for Akamuti, which I’m delighted about, as Lindsey is, and continues to be, one of my favourite clients.

akamuti-oils- by jenny Lloyd
My lucky readers can get 20% off the entire Akamuti range by quoting the code AMELIASMAG. As a long time fan of her products I cannot recommend them highly enough, but the offer ends on 24th July so get in there quick!

Visit the Akamuti website here and see more of Jenny Lloyd‘s beautiful illustrations here.

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One Response to “Celebrating 10 Years in Business: An interview with Akamuti founder Lindsey Hedges & illustrator Jenny Lloyd”

  1. Dori says:

    oh my, congratulations to both ladies! The designs are breath-takingly beautiful, I just love the lush colors and the simple shapes! I don’t know Akamuti’s products and yet I can tell how much the designs fit! Great job :)

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