Growing my lovely little stationery business...

National Stationery Week is a time to celebrate the love we have for stationery and for all the UK companies from the big boys to the little players like Sherbet Lane to shout out about what we love doing!

Stationery was not really something I thought would become part my working life, I had always dreamed of becoming a children's book illustrator and when that suddenly happened for me I thought I couldn't be any happier. I had worked in many different jobs, in shops, in an advertising company, as an insurance clerk, as a nursery nurse but always harboured a quiet little ambition to do something with my illustrating even though I left school at 16 and went straight to work instead of going to art college as I really should have.

Life had taken a turn that meant I had no job, was a single mum needing to earn some money and the only way I could think of doing that and still be around with my young boys was to close my eyes and take an unknown dive into illustrating. 

To cut a long story short I found a lovely illustrating agent who took me on and suddenly I started getting work from them, I was flying blind and had to learn the business fast but I muddled my way through and now have many children's books bearing my name - lucky, lucky me realising my dream in the end.

I did the odd greeting card design here and there for clients but then I came across the subscription box idea and the thought of starting my own little stationery subscription box was suddenly very appealing. I loved my job but I was always illustrating what other people were telling me to, with a stationery business I could dream up my own designs and work to my own deadlines.

So the SherbetBox was born a couple of years ago, launched with a Kickstarter campaign that was funded within the first day and got me 32 monthly subscribers. The number of subscribers has grown considerably since then as I have produced more and more editions for the SherbetBox Club each month.

The idea is simple, I chose a different theme each month - often with the help of the rather lovely folk in the SherbetBox Club Facebook Group - and I plan and illustrate stationery for that month. The subscribers never know what will arrive in their boxes, it is always a surprise and so it feels like getting a little present from yourself each month!

 I still illustrate children's books of course but more and more the SherbetBox Club is taking over my working week and I absolutely love it. I love sourcing out new little stationery extras to go in the boxes or searching out inspiration for all the illustrations. Having to come up with new illustrations every month is always a challenge and the packing of the boxes is becoming more of a task as the numbers rise but these are problems I am not going to complain about!

The feedback I get is incredible, I get so many messages from people who have loved getting a box arriving in the post just at the right time to cheer them up or who say the SherbetBox Club is their little treat to themselves each month. Many customers have become more like friends and the Facebook group is always so friendly. As a book illustrator you get very little contact with the people who go on to use your books and it's so nice to be in contact with people who use my illustrations on a daily basis with their SherbetBox stationery!

Claire xx

#natstatweek #stationeryaddict #sherbetbox

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If you want to get your name in the hat to win a three month membership of the SherbetBox Club then pop over here to enter!

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Claire Keay is an illustrator who has spent many years working in the children's picture book industry. With Sherbet Lane she has now branched out into the grown up world to create a truly unique monthly stationery subscription box bearing her cheery illustrations. Each month subscribers get delivery of a box packed with beautiful stationery illustrated by Claire based around a different theme every time. Want to keep up to date with her new illustrations and happy stationery? Just sign up below for the newsletter!

 

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