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A Sit Down With Laura Jayne: Founder of The Posh Paper Co

 

After being furloughed due to the pandemic, Laura Jayne realised this was the perfect opportunity to make her side hustle a full-time business.

A blessing in disguise, being furloughed allowed Laura Jayne to put all of her focus on her blooming stationery business. We recently had the chance to chat with Laura about her experience starting the sister company The Posh Paper Co, to know more about her inspiration behind the business, and some advice on how to manage running multiple businesses simultaneously.

Tell us about your background in design and why you made the decision to go freelance.

L – “I’ve been a designer for as long as I can remember. In reality, though, I took graphics at GCSE because I didn’t fancy myself as an artist but I wanted to do something creative. It was by far the subject that I felt most comfortable in, and at A-Level I took product design which followed a similar work process.

From there, I chose to study Creative Advertising at Newcastle College which was an awarded Foundation Degree. There were no exams, only one essay a year and everything else was creative coursework. Another bonus for me was that it was only 2 years!

Fast forward to last year, I have had three in-house design roles, the last I started in late 2019. In this role, I was one of the first to be furloughed. As I came to terms with “not working” it seemed like the best idea to boost my business which I’d been using as a weekend job for a few years.

Ultimately, I knew I wanted to go full-time with my business at “some point”. We thought it might be in a few years, perhaps when we started a family of our own. The more I worked on my business, I knew I would go full-time. Then, I received the news that I was being made redundant so it made the decision even easier! It’s definitely not how I imagined the situation to have gone, but the universe works in strange ways. It was definitely the best move for me and my business.”

Pencil Set

What do you enjoy the most about being a freelance graphic designer?

L – “I love the flexibility and the variety of work. Cliche as it sounds, every day really is different. Different clients, different design work.

This allows me to take time out when I need it. I am free to work on what I want when I want. There are still certain jobs that need to be done at a particular time, but it’s a pretty fluid schedule.”

What inspired you to set up the Posh Paper Co?

L – “I was running Laura Jayne Design for a few years. It started as greeting cards, then wedding stationery and bits of freelance design.

When I went full time it was quite difficult to market all services and products under one brand and I really didn’t want to devalue the services I was providing by offering products. My business was starting to become known as the place to go for greetings cards but that’s no good when you’re pitching for freelance jobs. I also started to feel like the products weren’t a great reflection of my years of experience in the industry.

I LOVE stationery and creating wedding stationery, so I knew I needed to keep that in my work somehow – and so The Posh Paper Co was born.”

Diamante Pen

What are the most important lessons you have learned from running two businesses at the same time and what advice would you have for others who want to do the same?

L – “You can do everything, and you can run two businesses simultaneously, but you need boundaries and you need to set them up so they can work harmoniously.

I can quite happily move from a freelance task into a wedding project and then pack website orders. It’s really enjoyable for me and I enjoy all aspects. But there are times when I must solely focus on one project. My one piece of advice for anyone starting their own business, two businesses, or even five – find a circle of support!

Last year I joined MINT Business Club and it’s been the best thing I’ve done for myself and my business. The support in that group has been out of this world. Going full-time in my business in the middle of a pandemic was never going to be easy but this group of business owners has been pivotal in my growth as a business owner.

Can you name the most essential tools and software for those getting started in graphic design?

L – “There are a few out there and I know a lot of people choose based on price, but I am a lover of Adobe Creative Suite and Mac. It’s what I started out with and I can’t imagine using anything else now.

Stationery Gift Boxes

I added an iMac to my arsenal last year even though my first MacBook is still going strong. (almost 9 years old)It’s perfect for remote working! I also have an iPad Pro, which I mostly use for illustration and hand lettering work. It’s a total game-changer, no more sketching, fine lining, digitising or correcting.”

We love both of your Instagram pages – what do you feel are the most important aspects when it comes to running a brand on social media?

L – “Simply put, community. I think there is so much noise around social media now and it’s the most powerful tool for business owners. But it comes down to relationships and building a community of people that are your customers and people that will talk about you in a room full of opportunity.

I’d prefer to have a small group of supporters rather than 10,000 strangers who don’t interact with my business!”

The Christmas Greeting Card Selection

With Christmas quickly approaching, The Posh Paper Co is the best place to get your unique festive Christmas cards! Check out The Posh Paper Co here to get your goods, or visit Fenwicks to pick your card in person!

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