Say a big HELLO to our dear friend Zoe! The lovely Zoe is an e-Commerce business owner + manufacturer at Saturnery, mumma, and all-round ray of sunshine. Skye first met Zoe a few years ago when our RO HQ was situated in a fabulous co-working space here in sunny Brisbane. As they say... the rest is history! We just had to invite Zoe along to one of our recent photoshoots, so that we could grab some happy snaps, have a cuppa, and a chit chat. Keep reading to learn more about this bubbly, creative and wonderful soul! #celebratingamazingwomen
RO: Tell us a little bit about yourself?
ZP: I’m a Melburian who couldn’t handle the cold weather any longer, so ten years ago my husband and I moved to sunny Brisbane and we’ve never looked back. In that time we’ve had two beautiful girls, Mila 8 and Violet 4, started an e-comm stationery business plus run our already established printing business. Life is full of fun, hard-work and happiness but it all evens out. I wouldn't know what to do with myself if there weren't 100 things happening at once!
A few more fun facts: I’m an Aquarius, I’m left handed, I love black coffee and I can drink it all day and all night without it affecting my sleep (although I try not to have more than 2 or 3 cups a day). My Grandfather was from Calabria in Italy and I love cooking and eating Italian food. My favourite celebrity chef is Genaro Contaldo.
RO: What an interesting career you've had in the publishing design industry. Can you tell us a bit about your career journey?
ZP: When leaving school I had no idea what I wanted to do. I went to uni and studied media and marketing and did a tafe course in business at the same time. After two years, I finished the business tafe course and was halfway through the uni degree but I wasn’t motivated by it. I wanted to be creative so I decided to study graphic design. I did another tafe course in graphic design and finished a uni degree in communication design, then embarked on a career in design with a couple of different ad agencies.
I soon realised that as much as I loved being the person doing the design I was better as the person working with the clients liaising closely between the designers and the clients as an account manager. By this stage I had a strong skillset of design and marketing so it was perfect and I loved it, but advertising agency life is a full-on life and it wasn’t something I wanted to do after having children.
When Mila was one I started working at Peppermint Magazine as the National Advertising Manager and I loved every second of it. I met the most incredible people while working there, the amazing staff and lots of business owners (this is where I met Skye as the RO office was next to the Peppermint office!) I was working alongside lots of small business owners and I fell in love with the idea of creating something for myself.
What I haven’t mentioned is that throughout this entire time, I was also very close to my husband’s work as his family owned a printing business in Melbourne. Dave started working for his family’s business when we were 16 which is also the year that we started seeing each other. Our careers have always complemented each other (him being a printer and I being a designer) and I have been completely fascinated by the world of traditional print and colour ever since. Honestly, how do those four inks (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) create so many stunning colours?
Fast forward several more years and Dave and I had purchased the printing business from his dad, who was ready to retire, and I knew it was my time to combine my love for print, design, sustainability and business. That was when Saturnery was born. It’s a combination of four elements that I am passionate about.
RO: What sparked your love of stationery?
ZP: I’ve always been an avid notetaker and notebook keeper. I still have some notebooks and journals from when I was a teenager, plus another I kept when Dave and I travelled Europe in 2010. It’s so nice to have a gorgeous, high-quality notebook to keep precious memories and thoughts. But on the other hand, I also love to have a pretty notebook - something I can throw in my handbag, that still looks cute but I’m not precious about - to write to-do lists, shopping lists, jot quick notes and things I need to remember.
It was this idea of creating stunning notebooks that were perfect for everyday use that was really the driving force behind Saturnery. I knew I could create notebooks and stationery that are Australian owned and made, looked beautiful and didn’t cost the earth - financially or sustainably. Notebooks that are affordable enough to keep one in all the spots you need one - next to your bed, in the car, on your desk, in your work bag or nappy bag, just about anywhere. Being the manufacturer and the brand owner ensures I am 100% across the supply chain and because there is no middle man I am able to keep costs as low as possible.
RO: What inspires the beautiful cover artwork for your notebooks?
ZP: As a small business owner I quickly discovered that I can’t do everything myself, I’m also super critical of my own designs so I enlisted the help of a close friend and fellow graphic designer to help with the cover artwork. I come up with the ideas and themes based on something I’ve seen or heard or like. I’ll create a mood board to show the style I’m envisaging and we'll have a discussion about it. She then has a magical way of reading my mind and translating my thoughts into beautiful designs. We have 5 more sets of notebooks we’ve created ready to be released next year, which is really exciting.
I have a cosmic/Saturn theme that runs through the brand. I love space and the idea that a notebook is ‘space for your thoughts’. The name Saturnery comes from the original name I had for the brand which was Saturn Stationery. This is what we originally launched with back in 2018 but I couldn’t Trademark the name so I decided to combine the two words Saturn and Stationery and voila the name Saturnery was born.
RO: You were recently one of our RO models, and we just love your style! How would you describe your style and was there a defining moment that helped shape it?
ZP: I don’t really know what I’d call my style, it’s a bit boho, a bit casual, a bit colourful. I like to be casually overdressed. Working at Peppermint Magazine I was introduced to lots of wonderful Australian designers, and I love to support Australian and New Zealand fashion. My current favourite dresses are from Ukiyo (Brisbane) and Frank and Dolly’s (Byron Bay) but I also have a good splash of Gorman, Country Road and Seed Heritage too. I also love to cruise the op shops when I can, there are so many treasures to be found!
RO: What’s something interesting, or cool that we don’t know about you?
ZP: Okay, I haven’t told many people this but I feel like it’s time to stop hiding it…. I am a huge Formula One fan. I don’t know how and I don’t know why, but I’m totally fascinated by it. I love nothing more than staying up late watching the Grand Prix in Spain, Monaco, Italy or anywhere really. I don’t have a special Formula One outfit or getup that I wear or anything like that, I just love the intensity of it, the history and the bitchiness between the drivers. Ok, there I’ve said. Don’t tell anyone...
RO: What are some of your favourite hobbies or pastimes to do as a family?
ZP: We’re a day-trip family. When we have no plans on the weekend we seem to jump in the car (stopping along the way for coffee and snacks) and end up on an adventure exploring somewhere wonderful. We tend to end up on some mountainous trail or at the beach. Fish and chips on the beach is definitely something we all love. If it was up to the kids though we’d spend the day at home playing hide and seek and painting or putting makeup on Dad, they love doing that!
RO: What are the top three things, or ‘rules’ you choose to live by?
ZP: Rule one: Eighteen months ago I discovered the amazing author Genevieve Davis and her books and mentoring sessions have had an incredible effect on the way I think. It all boils down to one very simple rule, which is:Let everything be okay. It sounds simple and totally basic but it’s actually an extremely difficult thing to do when applying it to every single situation and aspect of life, because we are not really taught to think that way. We grow up worrying about school, work, money, relationships and life, but by allowing life to happen and genuinely being okay with the outcome makes magic happen. This doesn't mean sit around and watch life go by, quite the opposite. You still have to chase your dreams and work hard (if that’s what you want to do), but by taking the worry out of the outcome by letting everything be okay, it automatically stops that awful feeling of stress and anxiety - because I am genuinely okay with whatever happens.
Rule two: Don’t complain. Complaining takes a lot of negative energy and I prefer not to do it. (Note: Don’t complain doesn’t mean don’t stand up for yourself)
Rule Three: Have fun, be kind and only drink French Champaign
RO: We are big believers in colours affecting our moods and frame of mind. What colour do you find yourself drawn to, and what colour is your all time favourite?
ZP: I love the colour green in all its glorious variations. Whenever someone asks me my favourite colour I always say green, but it recently occurred to me that I also naturally gravitate towards purple. Both of my businesses have a purple colour palette for their branding and I named one of my daughters Violet, so I guess I need to include purple as one of my favourites. (Mila’s middle name is Ivy which is a gorgeous dark green so I’ve unintentionally covered my fave colour bases with my children’s names!)
Thanks so much for chatting with us Zoe! We have absolutely LOVED learning more about your story. I also have to say that we'll be taking a leaf out of your book -- what fantastic rules to live by!
If you're interested in checking out Zoe's fabulous notebooks (we can highly recommend them - we all use them to jot down notes), click any of the links below to connect with Zoe and Saturnery.
CONNECT WITH ZOE:
Instagram - @saturnery_
Facebook - @saturnery
Website - saturnery.com