Today’s career profile features Nathalie Vaandrager, the founder of Sloane Stationery. I love Sloane Stationery’s luxurious notebooks, planners, and desk accessories. The notebooks, planners, pencils, and iPhone cases are sophisticated, chic, witty, and fun. A winning combination.
I am so thrilled to have had the opportunity to interview Nathalie and share her advice and creative process with you.
What inspired you to start Sloane Stationery?
I have always loved beautifully made books, and my sister and I used to get a gorgeous leather-bound diary from our mother every Christmas. When I moved to London 10 years ago, I felt like a kid in a candy store with all the elegant stationery shops, bookbinding being such a strong tradition in England.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start her own business?
Don’t spend months on a perfectly formatted business plan – just make sure the financials work and then get cracking. The same goes for letterheads and business cards; it can be tempting to procrastinate forever under the theme, “I need to design the perfect logo.”
How do you get inspiration for Sloane Stationery’s notebook collections and accessories?
I am lucky to be surrounded by a clever little team. Together, we keep a list of ideas which at some point we would like to develop into a range. Slowly, the theme will lead to more tangible products – a line of books or more recently phone cases, pencils and note pads. Only then do the titles start to fall into place, and these tend to come at the most random moments: out with friends, during a tennis match, when stuck in traffic…
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
What is one thing you wish you’d known when you started your career?
You’re not going to be good at some things. Get help in those areas, and kick ass where you can.