Where do I begin! Over and above the amazing work that Elephantshoe produces, and the lust-worthy treasures they sell in their online shoppe – I’ve had a couple of interactions with Sam and all I can say is that she is really just one of the loveliest human ever, and I think she’ll win you over too with the fab interview below, so inspiring <3
Who are you and what do you do / make / sell?
Hello there, my name is Sam Schwikkard founder, dreamer and creative director at Elephantshoe.com. Together with my husband James we design and create custom stationery for wonderful celebrations and important events. We specialise in small business branding and love to see new ventures succeed with their new brand styling. From logos through to directing beautiful shoots we heart it all. Last year we launched our Elephantshoe baby – our online shoppe where we make and stock a range of paperie and styling products that lead to a life more lovely. Our passion lies with simple, beautiful and honest solutions. “To Life” we say as we raise our glasses.
Did you always know that you were headed in this direction – how did you get where you are today?
As a child I was in my element when I was crafting or creating homemade gifts. I loved to stamp, cut up magazines and make greeting cards for friends and family. (Looking back some of my creations were really awful!) I guess at the time I always thought I would follow in my sister and brothers career paths, a chartered accountant, a Microsoft software genius and an actuary. It was only in high school that I discovered that it was possible to have a career in the creative world. I loved art lessons and along with my studies at the Red&Yellow School in Cape Town, I learnt to be a “Sponge”. To really look at the world and be inspired by everything around me. This way of thinking has fueled most of my choices, from working at Saatchi & Saatchi in advertising through to opening my own business in design.
What makes your work / products / services unique?
We love to work closely with our clients to create a custom solution. We listen to their needs, their ideas, and their dreams and try our absolute best to insure that they are ecstatic with their personalised design or product.
Where do you look for inspiration?
As they say, “Inspiration is all around” from the wonderful things that people say to interesting things I see on a daily basis. My starting point is always to chat with our clients either over e-mail, Skype or a cup of coffee to work out their design needs. This helps me to be inspired by their end goal. I look to old magazines, spaces and places around me and of course reference imagery which I like to document on my iPhone, iPad and iMac . Yes I love apple :-)
Who are your creative idols?
Artisans from years gone by. I have a huge respect and I guess a little obsession with the way things were done in the old days. Letterers and sign writers, seamstress and tailors, calligraphers – anyone who creates beautiful things with their hands and without the modern technology of today.
Where do you like to hang out – what are your favorite spots in your town/city/country?
Anywhere that serves a good café latte. James and I love to chat away and plan new exciting ideas in small coffee shops here in Jozi.
Given the opportunity, where would you like to travel/explore?
If bucks were no problem, you would find me spending a year in France learning to cook and bake delicious things or I’d be walking with James into a cosy café in Boston city above our apartment, (a base for all our American travels.)
How does a typical day for you play out?
James is always the first up, he makes the tea and pops it next to my pillow to help me make sense of the day. We’ll eat breakfast together, get ready for the day and head to our home studio where we start with a mini meeting to discuss the plans, designs and deadlines for the day. From there we e-mail, brainstorm, design, print, create and package our Elephantshoe goodness. A trip to the gym is generally on the cards except for those crazy days where we work on some of our projects till the early hours of the morning.
With a day all to yourself (no meetings, distractions, to-do-lists) and an unlimited budget, what would you get up to?
I am a huge fan of DIY projects, (I’m sure you will see some of them on our Ellieshoe blog). There are so many cute ideas that I would love to create for James and my home that I don’t often get the time to get to. With an unlimited budget I could spend a fortune on tools and supplies and with all my free time I could make some of my dreams.
If you could have any other profession, what would it be?
Where can we stalk you?
Website : http://elephantshoe.com/
Stationery Portfolio : http://elephantshoe.com/collections/portfolio-paperie
Blog : http://blog.elephantshoe.com/
Email : email@example.com
Twitter : @Elephantshoe_
Instagram : @elephantshoelove
Pinterest : http://www.pinterest.com/elephantshoeluv/
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/ElephantshoeStationeryStudio
What does your workspace / studio look like?
Our Elephantshoe Studio (the Ellieshoe factory) is a large open space on the 2nd floor of our home. Mix a little bit of classic with a dash of new, fill a jar with love add a dollop of vintage, sprinkle some whimsy and tie it all together with loveliness. With two long wooden tables, James and I sit opposite one another. A few things you’ll find around us are; printed orders, packaging tape, washi tape, brown paper, bakers twine, envelopes, cutting mats, printers, apple macs, rulers, craft knives, pinwheels, double sided tape, scissors, paper, paper and more paper.
What it the work/design/product/project you are most proud of to date?
Our Elephantshoe online shoppe and website. It took months of dreaming and many hours to launch our new look and create a place where we could showcase our favorite projects and a shoppe where our Ellieshoe followers could arrive inspired and leave inspired.