SPOTLIGHT : Gabi Cox - Chroma Stationery
Gabi Cox from Chroma Stationery is a driven, down to earth, fabulous lady who created Chroma in 2014 whilst completing her final year at university. Chroma stationery started as a single notebook and now there is a whole range of gorgeous products ranging from diaries to accessories.
We spoke to Gabi about starting her business, her inspirations, her struggles and her successes and her tips and tricks about running your own IN:dependent brand.
We know that you started the brand in 2014 whilst in your final year of university, what made you want to set up Chroma?
I’ve always been a stationery addict; from the youngest age I loved nothing more than new notebooks, scented gel pens & fluffy pencil cases. My uni project started out all about colour, I love the different relationships people have with colours and why people have their favourites. These two factors came together to create Chroma.
You've been running Chroma by yourself for four years now, what's the best thing about being an IN:dependent girl boss?
I love the flexibility it gives me to run my day, I’m not a morning person and prefer to work in the evening, and being an independent business owner allows me to do that, I’m not tied down to a 9-5. Despite primarily working on my own, I love the collaborative nature of my work, whether thats with fellow business owners, influencers or freelancers, I love being able to pull together multiple people on projects. Most of all I love waking up every day and love what I do.
You have been involved in so many great projects with influencers, who are the most memorable for Chroma?
The biggest one for us was our 2017 Diaries being featured in a gift guide by Zoella. Her audience fit a large portion of our target market so the mention had a huge impact on us. The first blogger to ever mention us was Lily Pebbles, so that one will always be special.
How did you connect with these influencers? And, what effect did this have on your business?
It depends on the influencer, with some I did a lot of research, created a product I thought they’d love and sent it out to them at a good time with my fingers crossed. With others I’ve created more of a collaborative relationship, often engaging with them via social media initially; over the years great working relationships have blossomed.
We know that running a business on your own can be hard work and not always plain sailing, what do you do when the going gets tough?
This is definitely true! I’ve learnt that time off is so important, as this helps prevent that overwhelming feeling when things don’t go so well. I walk my dog, Toby the miniature dachshund, which gives me a daily break from my laptop and phone. I also make time to do yoga, meditation & exercise classes. I also have a solid community of family, friends & fellow independent business owners that I can chat (& rant) to when needed.
Chroma has been involved with so many great projects and the business has come so far in four years, have you got any tips on starting your own business and making it a success?
Chroma has come a long way, from only stocking one notebook range and kitting out my friends and family to selling across 28 countries and working with amazing brands like White Stuff, American Airlines & Max Factor. My top tip would be to create a supportive, brilliant network of people around you to support you when things get tough, don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for help with the areas you’re not confident on. Always be kind and supportive, never make enemies; you never know when those relationships will become important or how you might be able to help each other in the future.
Follow Gabi on Instagram : @chromastationery
Weekend:IN creates innovative ideas to help IN:dependent brands connect, engage and grow their audiences. We help brands with social media marketing, authentic influencer marketing campaigns, and event organisation. Weekend:IN are based in Bristol, but currently work with independent businesses across the South West and in London.