Success Worldwide : The One With The Friendly Paper Co
Success Worldwide : The One With The Friendly Paper Co
Here at House of Coco we love stationery, so when we stumbled across The Friendly Paper Co, we were instantly obsessed!
Here at House of Coco we love stationery, so when we stumbled across The Friendly Paper Co, we were instantly obsessed! Founded by Emma during the pandemic, the business is going from strength to strength, despite launching in turbulent times, which is a testament to the type of woman she is.
We spent some time with her to find out more about her plans to expand in the US, what self care means to her and we got some insight in to her travel bucket list. Read on to find out more…
Tell us about the journey that lead you to launching your brand The Friendly Paper Co…
Like a lot of great businesses, launching The Friendly Paper Co was a bit of an accident. I’d spent a few years as a freelance branding designer and to be honest, I had completely lost my passion for it. As a wedding gift to two of my closest friends, I designed their invitations, seeing their reaction and the creativity involved in designing all aspects of wedding stationery, it really triggered my love for design again.
After losing the majority of my client base due to the pandemic and suddenly having a LOT of free time, I decided to use it to my advantage and I spent most days designing products, setting up Etsy and growing my social media presence. A lot of people probably thought launching an events based business during a global pandemic was slightly mad, however I had a hunch that when weddings were allowed again, business would be booming…thankfully I wasn’t wrong!
Currently you do wedding stationery but do you have plans to branch out into other areas?
There are definitely a lot of plans in the pipeline for branching out into other areas. I’ve done a lot of custom work for birthdays, christenings and even office parties so I’m really looking forward to exploring those sectors. Recently, I did a pet party which is a really interesting avenue! So watch this space.
Starting a business during lockdown wasn’t easy for anyone. What was the biggest struggle you faced?
The biggest struggle was definitely the fact that weddings and events just weren’t happening! Pouring time and love into something with not much reward for a year and half was a little bit disheartening, however without having all that free time, I don’t think the business would be as successful as it is today. It was hard to keep motivated at times but you have to continue to work towards your goals and focus on the bigger picture.
Looking back since launching the brand, is there anything you would do differently?
I actually think I should’ve designed even more products at the beginning because now I absolutely don’t have the time! One of my goals for 2022 was to keep uploading fresh designs each week and growing the product catalogue but it is proving difficult with all the projects I have going on.
Talk us through an average day in your life…
My day starts at 5am with making the bed, some exercise, shower and breakfast. I will then set out the tasks for the day and head out for a walk to get some fresh air before beginning the work day.
Throughout the day I listen to podcasts, make sure I am engaging with my audience on social media and at the end of the day sit on my sofa with a turmeric latte and debrief the day in my head.
More recently, I’ve been trying to make sure that I have regular breaks during the day as I feel more productive coming back to the screen with fresh eyes. I always make sure I give myself plenty of time to eat too so that I am well fuelled.
What do you do when you are lacking creativity?
The most important thing for me when lacking creativity is to remove myself from the office for a bit and just clear my mind of all things wedding and design, even if it’s just for 30 minutes. Sometimes you just need to take yourself out of the work environment to recharge and declutter your mind. Even squeezing in a quick 20 minute HIIT workout can help to get those endorphins going! I definitely believe exercising first thing in the morning (even if it is a struggle some days) is how I manage to remain incredibly productive throughout the day.
How much has social media played a role in the success of your brand?
Social media has played a huge role in the development of the brand as it was all I could really rely on initially to build a following as I didn’t have any sales coming in. I spent a lot of time during the pandemic engaging with brides to be, wedding venues and wedding planners and many have become repeat customers which I am so grateful for. The work I do is so visual so Instagram and Pinterest have been invaluable platforms for the business.
Although I don’t have thousands and thousands of followers yet, the ones I do have are high quality and always engage with the brand. The online wedding community is a really lovely place to be!
What is your go-to quote when lacking motivation?
I have a couple of go to quotes actually! The first is “dreams don’t work unless you do”. It keeps me disciplined and focused. At the end of the day the success of The Friendly Paper Co. rests on my shoulders and the amount of effort I put in.
The second is “old ways don’t open new doors”. This one is especially helpful when I feel stuck in a creative rut and it reminds me to innovate, think outside the box and if something isn’t quite working then it inspires me to find a new way!
Our readers love to travel, what destination is on your must visit list?
100% Marrakech. It has always been a dream to stay in a beautiful Riad, spend hours wandering the Medina and eating and learning about all the delicious Moroccan food. For as long as I can remember I have been captivated by the architecture, colours/tones, patterned tiles and cuisine of this beautiful country and I cannot wait to visit!
What does self care mean to you?
To me, self care means nourishment. Cooking and nutrition is a huge passion of mine and I love to spend an hour or so rustling up something healthy and delicious in the kitchen. I am a firm believer that you get out what you put in and I know fuelling my body with the right food provides me with the energy to excel in all areas of my life.
Where do you see the brand in the next 5 years?
I’m at a bit of an exciting stage at the moment as I’m just launching the business into the U.S! I’m opening a base in Los Angeles with my U.S business partner who lives in West Hollywood. She is extremely passionate about the brand so I’m delighted to have her on board. The wedding market in the States is so huge especially in California where they have year long sunshine and stunning diverse scenery. We’ve actually just been invited by @belledejour_floral on a styled shoot in Hawaii at the end of April which will be incredible!
The aim is to provide a full print service in many countries just like I do in the U.K because it really alleviates a lot of the stress for customers when somebody just takes care of everything for you rather than having to spend precious wedding planning time hunting for a print shop.
Where can people find out more?
To find out more about The Friendly Paper Co. visit www.thefriendlypaperco.com or explore our instagram @thefriendlypaperco. To get in touch email us firstname.lastname@example.org.
Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.