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Today I would like to introduce stationery brand Alfie's Studio and the brains behind it all Nicole Clark. I was initially drawn to Nicole's work thanks to the wonderful photography on her website, I always appreciate good photography and styling as both are passions of mine. Aside from the gorgeous images the actual stationery collections and bespoke design work is totally beautiful and I want it all. Nicole is obviously very prolific and so it is my absolute pleasure to introduce you to her. Let's start the interview shall we?



What made you want to work with paper, have you always loved stationery?

An old romantic view of the world perhaps? I used to write to a boy who lived three roads away from me when I was growing up and we'd spill all our angst and adventures out on Basildon Bond in the times between meeting and trading life stories in person. Those letters documented our early lives and aged and matured in a way that emails can't. Getting them out to hold them and smell them, feel the slight raising of the ink on paper, know that they were touched by the writer, it's like cosying up in front of a fire while a storm rages outside. Pixels just don't cut it when it comes to sharing life's adventures.

What is your favourite part of running your own creative business?

The flexibility to enjoy life. To be able to sack off work on a sunny day and hit the beach or hills and know that there'll be stacks of rainy ones come winter to catch up the hours. The freedom to create your own path and shape what your dream job looks like. The meeting likeminded people.... Probably easier just to say I hate the finances and taxes and the rest of it is pretty awesome.


If you could own a brick and mortar shop where would it be and what would it be like?

A tiny oasis in the middle of a buzzing city. On a recent London trip I spent time just walking the streets and found so many small places of historical value, little pockets of calm, like their old stone structures held a mute button to the outside world. I'd have a tiny frontage and either a great big long shop that stretched really far back or something with a rabbit warren of mezzanine levels in. Brick or stone walls, wooden surfaces and fittings and lush green plants EVERYWHERE (and preferably with a glass roof).


Have you got any new ranges or exciting news you'd like to share?

I always have something up my sleeve. At the minute I'm working on a project completely unrelated to stationery (check the "Outdoors-In" section of my blog for news on that) as well as off-the-shelf wedding stationery and a DIY stationery guide. I usually have client projects on that take precedence too, so new developments are fairly fluid in terms of launching and tend to take longer than they should, which is fine because things grow and evolve and I'm happy to give them the time to do that.


Any tips for my readers in case they want to get into making their own stationery?

Wait for my DIY guide, it'll make Word work for you in ways you didn't think possible (my inner design snob never thought those words would be uttered)! Also, type and paper, the things that you make an actual choice over are key. I put a lot of thought into choosing paper stock as it can transform the simplest of typographic designs with context and feeling. Likewise I think I've probably spent more on type (fonts) than I have on clothes over the years. Charles Eames said "The details are not the details. They make the design" and it really is so true.


What's the best piece of advice you've ever been given?

Mostly comes from films actually... "Rule No 32: Enjoy the little things" (which I loved so much I lost the rule part and turned it into a card design) from Zombieland - essential when you work mostly on your own to count the good things you've achieved and "Adapt or die" from Hanna - something essential for organic business growth and staying relevant but also a mantra I've found useful for the ever changing goal posts of parenting.

Thanks so much Nicole! Please make sure to check out the Alfie's Studio website and also Nicole's beautiful blog too.


4 comments

  1. Wow! Her stuff is gorgeous. I'm going to pop over to her online shop right now.

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  2. I'm really enjoying this series, are you planning more? I'd love to see an interiors post soon.

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    1. Hi Beth, I am! I'm really enjoying interviewing people so I'd love to make this a regular thing.

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