Paula & Waffle is a super sweet line of whimsical stationery designed by Paula with inspiration from her sidekick Waffle, a four-year-old Havanese pup. Based in New York City, Paula draws on the city and walks with Waffle for creative fodder. Her cards range from witty and adorable to pretty patterns and florals, with designs for all occasions. I adore Paula’s patterns (many of which can be found on her fab gift wrap!) and her script lettering.
You started Paula & Waffle in 2014 – what made you decide to make the jump from your career in online marketing to building your own stationery line?
I was always into the arts in high school. I spent my summers at art camps & classical music festivals and honestly thought that I was going to pursue a career in teaching & performing classical music. Long story short, I went to college in NYC and ended up going into ad tech right after graduation. I loved the fast pace of the industry, worked on amazing ideas and loved working with insanely smart people, but part of me always missed using the creative side of my brain. One day I woke up, thought about where I wanted to be in 10 years, and just couldn’t see myself going down the career path that I was on. I decided to take two graphic design classes at Parsons and absolutely loved them! I left ad tech a few months after that and started Paula & Waffle.
Where are some of your places to sketch and draw inspiration from?
In the summer, Waffle and I often go to Central Park, where he squirrel-watches and I sketch. I also often sketch from various cafes in NYC and outdoor museum spaces. We’re lucky to live in such a vibrant city! There is inspiration everywhere – from the conversations we have to the dramatic architecture, to the diverse art and food; there is so much that we draw from and are inspired by in our work.
Tell me a bit of your design process. How do you go from idea to finished product?
I always have a sketchbook or notebook nearby so that whenever inspiration hits, I jot down a quick note or a doodle. About once or twice a month (depending on how busy we are!), I compile all of the ideas and start putting together an informal mood board with colors, musical inspiration (a lot of the colors and themes we choose are drawn from the music that I’m listening to at the time!) and sit down and begin seriously drawing and designing. I go through periods of intense focus, so each series of 8 – 12 cards is usually created in 3-4 days. Once the drawing phase is done, I then scan all of the work and digitally color and edit the designs for production. In-between designing cards, I also do a bit of custom branding and wedding work, which is a lot of fun for me!
You’ve released a series of new designs for spring 2016, which debuted at the National Stationery Show. What is the experience of exhibiting at NSS like?
NSS is an amazing and intense experience. It’s amazing because you have so much talent and creativity in one place. I’m always so awed by the smart ideas and gorgeous collections that I see from other designers. It’s also super intense because there is so much paper and so much variety that the first time you walk the show, it can be a bit overwhelming both visually and mentally (but only because it’s so awesome!).
We usually kick off our day around 8 a.m. Waffle and I walk about a mile every morning through Riverside Park, then head to our studio in Long Island City where we might fill orders, design, or any combination of the two. We go home around 8 p.m. most days and watch some bad (sometimes good) TV 😉
Please finish this sentence: Snail mail is…
Snail mail is our favorite form of communication!
Any dream collaborations or projects in your near future?
We’re currently working on our first wedding collection, which I am sooo excited about! We’re aiming to launch it a bit later this year – stay tuned for more details!