Monday, January 17, 2011

an interview - little paper lane

Each week in 2011 we will interview our lovely stockists, find out their stories and how lovely it is to own your own shop. I am always interested in hearing people stories about how they ended up behind their counter, brands etc and it's a lovely way to ask lots of questions and hear great stories about very clever and creative people

Jayde from Little Paper Lane is first up.
little paper lane is a streetfront store in mona vale is gorgeous with fabulous window displays, plus a collection of items. It's the perfect place to discover wonderful things to give for presents

How did you come to start your business?
I have always been very passionate...maybe you could call it obsessed
with paper products, mainly notebooks( I still am) and since having my son
Iggy in 2007 I was searching my soul for something I could do and throw my
whole self into. I had been to my very favourite Paper boutique in the city
early 2009 and a light inside me just turned on!
We didn't have any unique shops in my area that simply sold stationery and
paper gifts and I knew I could do it. I have a quite a few magazine
subscriptions and knew I had been religiously studying these for years for a
reason, and the reason was product knowledge, which was very handy when I
was first collecting all the products I wanted for the shop! I was worried
that all the beautiful products I loved and thought were simply amazing
would also be what others thought were wonderful, Thank goodness people love
paper products as much as I do
I chose Mona Vale as the location because it is becoming more of a shopping
destination for not only Northern Beaches residents but people from all over
the place! Its much more central for people to get to, its not too far for
people in Palm Beach to travel too, and it was important for me to have a
place that was in a good spot for all Northern Beaches people to be able to

How long has your business been running?
We opened the doors May 20th 2010 and it took about 6 months before that to
get things started,

Can you describe your average day
Each day is very different!
I pretty much get up with my Iggy(3.5yrs) he sleeps in til 8-8:30 which is
good for a night owl like me, we just get ready and he goes off to kindy or
stays home with Daddy if he is working from home that day and I get to the
shop for opening at 10am Once the doors open, its just a constant stream of
lovely customers browsing and purchasing and having a chat. Because its such
a small shop I am lucky enough to be able to have good relationships with
my customers, a lot have started to become my friends and sometimes will
stop by just for a hello.
Most days there is an order delivered so I have to make sure it gets entered
and put out on the shelves, My Mum works 2 days and has become quite the
impressive little merchandiser so she plays an important role in how
wonderful my shop looks.
I am on my computer all day everyday pretty much with enquiries and orders
and i and keeping updated with facebook and twitter which I would like to be
a bit more diligent about this year and also blogging I started last year
and will get into that a lot more this year! Its hard trying to balance the
computer stuff as well as being hands on in the shop! But I have my Mum and
husband who do a lot around the shop to help as well my little Worker
Rocky(Karen) who all help to make life a lot less stressfull.
After a day in the shop til about 5:30-6 its home time to cook and be a mum,
well I get to do the fun stuff like baths and reading, my husband is a much
better 'Mum' than me at night! And once Iggy is in bed its laptop on and
pretty much ordering and searching searching for products or helping design
invites with my husband(we do custom invites) until bed at like 12!!! But
each day is so different!

What is your favourite part of little paper lane?
I really love everything I do, I don't think I would do it if I didn't
totally love it all!! but I think just chatting with customers everyday is
such a joy, and discovering new products makes my heart flutter! Its so
awesome finding something new and knowing its on its way to the shop, its
like Christmas when I get deliveries!

Your least favourite task?
Bookwork, I am someone that is not that organised...I am trying though
and bookwork is something that I am not great at, but I have a very very
talented Mum that is not only creative but is also very organised and great
at bookwork...she is my savior

Do you have story about a day or customer you would like to share?
Each day I meet lovely people, and I am always asked if I get a big head
from how much people gush and are in awe when they come in, I am always so
chuffed at how people respond to the shop! Its a good feeling and also gives
me a sense of security knowing people like the shop and the amazing products
I have. The true stars are the talented people who create the products. I
wouldn't have this shop if it wasn't for them(you)
I have one very special customer that has come in since day one and she
probably visits about every 2-3 weeks. She is in her 70's and still works in
a nursing home as a nurse, she is the most gentle lovely lady, and softly
spoken and doesn't open up much at about her life and when she does she
whispers her story so softly to me. The first day I met her, she was in my
shop and just so loving the shop and the products and I was chatting to her
for a while and she opened up to me about how her and her mother had been in
a concentration camp when she was four and she didn't remember much, but her
mother was a designer in Paris before they were in the camp. One of the
things she remembers about her mother when they were in the camp, was that
to try and lift her spirits she would draw dresses on leaves and any debris
or bark or anything she could find because she didn't have paper, only had a
pen, and she would draw little dresses for her that she was going to make
for her when they got out of the camp!
She bought a fashion sketchpad from me, because although she could sew and
only design a little, she knew her mother would love it and every time she
drew in it she would be reminded of her mother's love and passion for
fashion design
All my customers are lovely though, I am pretty lucky