Woman in Progress: Gabi Cox, founder of Chroma Stationery
Our next woman in progress is Gabi from Chroma Stationery. We are always excited to champion young female businesswomen and so, given our ongoing stationery obsession, this week we're extra excited. Gabi produces and collates vibrant, bright and happiness inducing products for her customers in the ever popular stationery market. She's collaborated with another of our women in progress and is active in the Bristol community of inspiring women and entrepreneurs. We are glad to have Gabi and to share her story and advice with you.
I created Chroma Stationery in April 2014, whilst in my final year at University for the Creative Arts. It was my final major project and after graduating I decided to run a Kickstarter campaign before launching the brand in November 2014. I supply to both individuals, who buy through my website, and in bulk to fellow brands and businesses for things like events, workshops or gifts. Chroma Stationery is a brand all about colour and I strive to create products that put a smile on peoples faces. Each product is made to order and can be completely personalised, allowing every customer to create their dream piece of stationery.
In March 2017 I made the move to Bristol, and have fallen in love with the city. It was a big move for me personally but it has only benefited both myself, and the brand. I am constantly inspired by fellow independent business owners and women in business.
What’s the one thing in your life that makes things easier?
My parents. From things like looking after my dog or cooking my favourite meal when I visit home to being there when I need a shoulder to cry on or an ear to rant at. They have always done everything they can to help and support me and they’re the first people I ring, no matter what.
What’s the one thing you couldn’t live without?
My first thought was chips! But in reality it’s my support system of friends and family. And my long-haired mini dachshund, Toby, he makes me smile every day.
What’s one thing that you would stop if you could?
Cruelty - both towards people and animals. I don’t understand it.
What one piece of advice would you give yourself 5 years ago?
I was 21 and at a big turning point in my life. Have confidence. Wear that bikini, get that hair cut and do all those scary things… enjoy every minute.
What one piece of advice would you give yourself 10 years ago?
At 16… Surround yourself with people who will cheer for you when things go well and be there when things get tough, don’t waste your time with those who make you feel bad about yourself.
What are you most proud of?
Launching Chroma Stationery whilst still at University. I launched the brand when a lot of people didn’t understand it or thought it was a bad idea. Luckily my parents have been endlessly supportive and I have amazing people around me who’ve always been there for me. I’m proud of it’s success and how far it’s come over the last four years.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned at work?
It’s okay to not have the answers or not know what you’re doing, no-one does! Don’t be afraid to ask for help and reach out to people.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learned at home?
Definitely a strong work ethic but also to ‘never make an enemy’, always do your best and be kind - it goes a long way and people will remember how you made them feel.
Did you expect to be doing what you’re doing right now?
No way! I always thought I would work within the fashion industry, I completed various work experience placements at the likes of Glamour and British Vogue, and was always striving to work for a fashion magazine. Chroma Stationery was created by chance,
How did you end up doing what you’re doing?
It was my final major project, which developed into a fully-fledged business. It was a lot of baby steps, hard work and belief in what I was creating.
What top tip would you pass on to other women in progress reading this?
Be kind to yourself. Whether that’s taking a break from your emails and social media to not giving yourself a hard time when things go wrong. Learn from the mistakes and take note of all the positives.
Are you done yet? What’s next?
No way! Although Chroma has been running for nearly 4 years, the past 6 months has been incredibly exciting, and I’ve been given such a boost. I have so many ideas and exciting things I’m working on… I can’t wait. I’m also determined to book a holiday this year and taking note of my above advice!
We are fans of all stationery Instagram feeds and Gabi's doesn't disappoint - check it out here for stationery, Bristol life, motivational quotes and links to her products. You can keep up with Chroma Stationery on Facebook and Twitter too. You can sign up for her mailing list and receive an initial money off order - go on, sign up and start ordering! Thank you Gabi for getting in touch and for being our Woman in Progress.
Product images by Gabi.