I’m Lily, a 22 year old model / photographer / knitwear designer / creative Jack of All Trades. I call Lancashire home, spend lots of time on trains, and am the variety of twenty-something who enjoys nights in with knitting and a rocking chair just as much as nights in a bar (with wine either way). 6 years of blogging has taught me that I have a tendency to ramble, so I’ll try my darndest to keep this introduction brief!
why Joli House?
As for the seemingly random blog name, ‘Joli House’ is actually a remnant of this blog’s original incarnation, as a craft/family blog started by my mum back in 2007. 2007! The real blogging olden days, before social media was a thing. Due to the family nature of the blog it was named after the little wendy house in the garden of my childhood home, which was in turn named after my brother and I: ‘JOel and LIly’. Absolutely nothing related to the French word ‘Jolie’ (our surname is France) or anything like that. Totally made up. Anyway, after poking my head in with guest posts from around age 12, I took over the blog in 2013 and turned it into my own fashion / travel / lifestyle blog without changing the name. It’s constantly evolving though, and I hope always will.
I began modelling at age 19 after calling into an agency on a whim and the last 3 years have been quite the learning curve. Navigating the modelling world – even part time whilst living at home – is challenging and rewarding in equal measure. I’ve never done fashion week (I have zero interest in being a size 6), but have enjoyed many opportunities to shoot commercials, campaigns, ecommerce and all sorts of other random jobs. Sometimes it’s glamourous, often times it’s absolutely not. Thus far there are only a handful of posts in the modelling category on this blog, but that’s something I’d like to change going forwards.
I absolutely love travelling, and will take any opportunity to visit somewhere new. Short, spontaneuous trips are my favourite. City breaks, solo trips, weekends away with friends… I’m always up for it. Travel posts are some of my absolute favourites to write in a personal, chatty way (and always with 50 million photos). You’ll find many a trip diary under the travel section, including press trips that I’ve been lucky enough to be invited on thanks to this blog.
Hand knitting is where it all started! It’s been a part of my life for almost as long as I can remember, and after a few years break, it’s a major focus in my life again now. I’ve designed and published knitting patterns since the age of 12: you can find all my old designs available as free knitting patterns here, and my more recent work is available to download in my Ravelry store. Regular updates of what’s on my needles can be found on Instagram, and there’s plenty crafty talk in the knitting category.
Speaking of evolving, over the last couple of years I’ve become increasingly aware of the impact fashion (and consumption in general) has on our planet, and have in turn felt a little… ‘ick’ about the world of fashion blogging. Sharing a brand new outfit has lost its appeal, you know? Hence you’ll now find a category for sustainable & local fashion underneath the personal style heading, where I share my thoughts on becoming a more conscious consumer (and my excellent charity shop finds, as I am something of a thrifty queen).
Alongside the above, I’m part way through an Astronomy and Planetary Sciences degree with the Open University, which I study part time from home. As I’m sure you can imagine this education route presents its perks and challenges, which I occasionally document here under the category Open University.
Since I don’t blog quite as often these days as back in 2013, the best place to find me is on Instagram as @lilykatefrance. Or if you’re more interested in my crafty endeavours than my day to day life (don’t blame you!), head over to @lilykatemakes for all things knitting and handmade.
One of my absolute favourite aspects of blogging is getting to know my readers, and I LOVE reading your comments. I reply to every single one, both on the blog and directly via email. Hope you like the blog!