Ok – I confess I am a stationery addict.
I suppose there are worse things in life but one day it dawned on me when I looked at the ever growing pile of notebooks and pads that accumulated in my house over the years that I should do something about this.
Everyone talks about how cool it would be to run your own business and you should follow your dreams and passions, well I did it and that’s how Got 2 Jot was created. Combining my marketing experience along with my roving eye for stationery I started to scope out my business plan.
One of the things that helped me bring this to life was creating a vision of the type of customer who would love Got 2 Jot. Initially I thought my focus would be on developing a range of cool stationery just for kids and early teens. However the more I did my research I found out that there were lots of other stationery lovers out there who as soon as you mentioned stationery their eyes lit up. They would start to get animated talking about the feel and quality of paper, the excitement of starting a new notebook and keeping the first few pages as neat as possible. We all remember those days from school when it was exciting to start a new exercise book – I don’t think some of us lose that!
It wasn’t just fashion stationery however where I saw an opportunity. So many of my friends are working mums who told me they need a bit of a helping hand with organising their family lives and making sure everything is sorted. I started to look at To do lists, planners, and diaries things that we need to manage our week and everyone else’s. These products have been really popular.
I started to meet suppliers and go to trade shows which was like embarking on a huge shopping spree but then remembering customer, budget and keeping focused on the range was all important.
I have tried to source products from some smaller UK designer stationery brands such as Hotch Potch, Hearts Designs and Doodle Love, as I think it’s important to support smaller businesses as we have all started in a similar way so understand the issues we face. I also wanted to provide a range that you would not always find on the high street, such as stylish Italian stationery from Legami.
The most challenging part was creating the website. It had to be fun, colourful and reflect the brand I wanted to create for Got 2 Jot.
However with limited funds as most start ups, you have to do so much yourself and become a bit of a jack of all trades. Yes, there were a lot of late nights and tearing out of hair episodes but I wouldn’t have changed this as now I have a business that is my own, hopefully building a fan base of other fellow stationery addicts. I know you are out there.
Once the website was up and running then came the Marketing and awareness building. Understanding Google and SEO is a minefield yet is one that is so important in running an online business.
Social media, well I couldn’t avoid it any longer – thank god for my teenage children.
My daughter has coached me through Instagram and Pinterest. You start dabbling across all the different platforms but over time I started seeing what was working best for my products and my followers. I’ve now got the bug and would love to build this as a way of talking to my customers more, so if you want to follow, like or share @got2jot then please go ahead.
One of the most daunting aspects has been to start writing this blog. There are lots of bloggers out there but the best advice I have had is write from the heart about your business and the content will flow. I want to use this blog as a way of updating fellow stationery lovers on stationery trends and designs that are coming from all over the world. The US and Australia have some fantastic brands and it’s a good way to see what trends may come to the UK next so I will keep you posted.