Morning lovelies! Hope your weekend was swell. Quite frankly, I don’t think today’s Plucky Pioneer needs much of an introduction. You’ve surely seen her whimsical illustrations all over the blogosphere and in the holy bible of nuptials, Martha Stewart Weddings. That’s right, today we have for you the darling and oh-so-talented Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co.! Jane and I were like giddy little children when she agreed to the interview—to say we’re huge fans of her designs would be an understatement. Anwyho, for those of you that aren’t familiar with Anna’s work, she is the creative director and founder of Rifle Paper Co. based out of Winter Park, Florida. Her online shop is brimming with the most darling stationery and prints you ever did see and she also does tons of drool worthy custom work (like the charming save the date above—swoon!). Oh and I must mention that she sent her responses to us at 4:30am this morning. Talk about work ethic! Thank you Anna!!!
Five words used to describe yourself.
quiet, determined, caring, creative, observer [Above, Anna in Rifle’s temporary studio. Isn’t she gorgeous?!]
What inspires you creatively?
There are so many things that inspire me. I love to look at everything from nature to architecture to film and beyond for inspiration. I try not to let anything pass me by.
Who were/are your design mentors?
My mentors have been everything from fellow students to businessmen to books. There’s also a long list of great designers and artists that I feel like have inspired or taught me something one way or another. [Above, botanical calling cards by Rifle.]
How would you describe your personal design aesthetic?
I love a timeless quality to a design, classic fonts, whimsical illustrations, and eclectic mixes styles.
What propelled you to found your own company?
After working as an art director I went freelance to focus on illustration. My company sort of grew out of that and has gone from working out my bedroom into an official business collaboration with my husband nathan. [Above, a DIY Anna did for the ever inspiring Once Wed blog]
Most glamourous part of owning your own company?
Being my own boss and doing what I love.
Least glamourous part of owning your own company?
The hours. I’ve only taken two days off since Christmas and my kitchen is sadly collecting dust. [Above, a custom save the date by Rifle.]
Best business advice you’ve been given?
Your speed of growth is key. Growing too fast or too slow can ruin your business.
Creative businesswoman you admire?
Martha Stewart and Kate Spade. Martha is just pure genius and I look up to her so much in how she has developed her business and her brand. Her consistency and aesthetic is amazing. I admire Kate Spade for the way she started her business with her husband and quickly grew it from her apartment to a worldwide brand. [Above, a work in progress.]
What keeps you organized and on task?
I’m definitely a list maker and I try to stay organized through an online project management program that I use. I honestly could be much better so I’m hoping the new assistant I just hired will help whip me into shape. :)
Moment you knew you’d “made it”?
I don’t feel that I’ve “made it” just yet but having the opportunity to design something for Martha Stewart Weddings was a really exciting thing for me. I’m a huge Martha fan so that was a big dream come true. [Above, Rifle Paper Co.’s soon-to-be new studio/storefront in Winter Park, FL]
Describe your typical work day…
I’m still in the mode where I am working 14+ hours a day to try to get the business going and keep up with the momentum. I’m usually all over the place between drawing, emailing, and running errands for the business and do the bulk of my illustrating late at night when things quiet down.
Your dream project?
I have a long list of dream projects but one of my favorite’s is to design a postage stamp. [Above, Anna’s custom work.]
What goals do you have for your business in the future?
We’re launching a few new product lines this Spring and my goal is to make sure our goods continue to do well. I have lots of ideas but my main goal for the year is to make sure our growth is manageable and while I continue to do what I love, I’m also happy and enjoying life.
Advice to other budding creative entrepreneurs?
My advice is to just go for it. Taking the first step is often the hardest but if you want to try something you should dive in and not be afraid of failure. That, and be your own person. Find your unique voice and what it is that makes you different from everyone else. [Above, a screen shot of the Rifle Paper Co. website. How sweet are the personalized calling cards???]
Be sure to check in tomorrow for Anna’s Plucky Pioneer Cheat Sheet—her top picks for film, fashion, and more! Oh and don’t forget her awesome blog here! Thanks again Anna!