Sydney based surface designer Katrina Angel creates beautiful stationery, including notepads, planners and gift wrap. Her business is called Ginja Design and her range of tropical designs and radiant use of colour are sure to brighten your day.
1. When and why did you decide to start your own creative business?
I have always wanted to run my own business and have had a passion for travel and stationery for as long as I can remember, so I decided to combine the two. You could say I’m obsessed with repeat patterns!
2. Tell us about your business – what products do you create and why?
Ginja Design is a travel inspired stationery business combining two of my favourite things – travel and stationery. Our bright, colourful designs are inspired by unique international locations. We design and print our gift-wrap, gift tags, gift pockets (new product!), notebooks, notepads and planners here in Australia. We also do special commission work for people who want their own patterns for stationery and other products.
3. What motivates you to run a creative business?
After years of working in the corporate environment and then starting a family, I wanted to be around for the kids as well as fulfilling my creative side. I love the different aspects of running my own show and choosing the direction it goes in.
4. What has been the hardest lesson you have learnt so far about working for yourself?
Oh, that’s an easy one – focus and time management!
5. Roughly what percentage of time do you spend on the creative side of your business?
I would like to say 100% but it really is only a small percentage. It takes a whole lot of time and energy getting your product to market.
6. What part of your business have you/would you like to outsource?
I have a wonderful team of people helping me with my website and social media. I am not technical and these guys know exactly how to get the Ginja message out there.
7. What is your top tip for someone thinking of starting an independent design business?
Just keep moving forward even if it’s only a little step each day, and grow a thick skin! It is hard not to take it personally if people don’t buy your designs, but remember that there will always be people who do.
8. What’s the most fun/satisfying part of your working day?
When the sales happen! I love packaging my products and sending them on their colourful journey to our lovely customers.
9. Who would you most like to collaborate with and why?
I have done a few collaborations so far and it is always rewarding to know that other people believe in your products. I would love to do some designs for American stationery brand ‘May Designs’.
10. What are you working on for the year ahead and do you have anything new coming up?
I have plans for new notebooks and travel-related stationery products and some new designs. I’m always thinking of what the next pattern will be!