A woman who started her own writing business after impressing guests at her wedding with personalised poems, now writes in rhyme for several famous faces.
Jess Douglas, 29, from Yorkshire, was trying to think of a way to make guests feel extra special on her own big day when she decided to write 120 personalised rhymes for everyone as a wedding favour.
After being inundated with praise for the personal touch, the creative writer was inspired to launch a personalised poetry service to others.
‘Since I started Word It Rhyme I have written personalised frames for the likes of Binky Felstead, Louise Thompson, Vicky Patterson, Ferne McCann and Olivia Buckland,’ she explained.
‘And more recently I worked with Katie Wright creating personalised poems for her bridesmaid reveal party.’
She continued: ‘Like me, people take interest in what celebrities are doing and I definitely see a spike in interest if Word It Rhyme gets some exposure which, as a young business trying to spread the word, is great.’
‘I love it when celebrities enjoy the poem or I notice a frame taking pride of place in their home on their Instagram stories.’
Jess writes each poem herself from her studio and makes sure clients are 100 per cent happy with the rhyming verse before it is printed.
‘I have always loved writing rhymes, forever jotting down funny little verses about friends and family in their birthday cards,’ she said. ‘I studied English Literature at university but then pursued a career in fashion marketing.’
But it was only after a holiday to Portugal with her husband Ian in April 2017 that she came up with the idea to turn it into a business venture.
‘A couple of sangria’s got us thinking,’ explained Jess. ‘How could I turn my hobby into a business?’
‘It was so simple really – if I could turn facts about my own family and friends into rhymes, why couldn’t I do it for others? The brand name, “Word It Rhyme”, came there and then too.’
After that holiday, Jess set upon the task of building a website and started with a singular product – a framed personalised poem offered for all occasions.
‘I marketed mainly by Instagram and was so excited by my initial orders and that people seemed to love the concept.’
Jess aims to make each poem a true reflection of a loved one – and she has even penned 200 for just one wedding alone.
‘I’ve almost trained my brain to go into poetry autopilot,’ she explained. ‘Customers give me facts of who they want me to write about and I help them turn their thoughts and feeling into rhyming verses.’
‘The words are generally lighthearted and comical but I do very much tailor the style of the verse to who I am writing about. An upbeat birthday poem is very different to an emotional “in memory” poem.’
But with growing demand for her poetry business, Jess had no choice but to leave her job in marketing.
‘I worked for over seven years in marketing for GHD Hair and Accessorize with Word It Rhyme as a side job initially,’ she explained. ‘I knew I had to take the full-time leap when I was getting up at 4am to write my customer’s poems before heading to work and then getting home to pack orders all night.
And while the talented writer sells framed poems for all occasions, wedding speeches are her favourite, while ‘in memory’ poems bring a tear to her eye.
‘I love hearing everyone’s individual stories and helping them to turn them into a special rhyme, she said. ‘One that sticks in my memory was a poem written as a marriage proposal.’
‘But each and everyone is so unique and I love the variety. It’s not uncommon for brides and grooms in particular to provide funny facts and stories which has ended up in having plenty of shared giggles together.’
Now, Jess has expanded her range and her business offers a full personalised wedding, hen do and baby shower stationery collection.
‘I launched my best-selling personalised poetry favours after my wedding, then closely followed by the wider wedding stationery and speech service earlier this year,’ she explained.
‘I also offer bridesmaid proposal gifts, hen do and baby shower invitations, but I write poetry for just about anyone or anything and love the challenge of a bespoke request.’
‘I have big ideas for the future with poetry workshop events, brand collaborations and I’d love to write a rhyming children’s book.’