Nina Thomas Studio is a small-but-perfectly-formed design house, specialising in beautiful bespoke stationery, gifts and gold foil nursery prints.
I began designing in 2014 whilst still working my usual 9-5 job, but when I had my daughter I decided to take the leap and go full time with the business when my maternity leave ended. There are times when running the studio with Violet in tow can be overwhelming, but it’s now 2 years since I made that decision and I’m lucky enough to be able to relish in her milestones, watch her grow and provide for my family doing something I truly love.
I began my journey working exclusively with brides on their wedding stationery, but since Violet was born I’ve been inspired to create special gifts for little ones. These range from beautiful gold foil nursery prints to floral baby milestone cards and I’m continuously adding more exciting gifts to the range.
What was the reason behind you starting your business?
I started designing wedding stationery in 2014 after I married my husband, but things really got going once I was pregnant with my little girl Violet. Her arrival encouraged me to branch out into nursery prints and baby gifts, as after all, she is now my ultimate inspiration!
Design, innovation? What makes you tick creatively?
It’s all about the design for me. I’m obsessed with pretty colour palettes, so when I create something that I find beautiful and would want to hang in Violet’s nursery, I know that customers will love it too!
Passion lies behind each one of our products. What is your favourite product and why?
My absolute favourite product is my “I got it from my mama” blush pink and rose gold foil print. It was one of the first I designed as part of the range and the message behind it means a lot to me. My own mum passed away when I was young and having similar features and personality traits as her has given me solace as I’ve gotten older. It’s beautiful from both a daughters and mothers perspective; the sentiment is a special one.
Describe yourself in a sentence
I’m an ombré loving northerner whose love of family, friends and chocolate digestives is immeasurable!
Boy, Girls, Pets, Partners. Who makes up your tribe?
My tribe and partners in crime are my husband Alex, my over-excitable ginger cavapoo Lily and of course, the little whirlwind that requires no introduction, my little 18 month old girl Violet.
We are all working towards finding the perfect family / work balance. How do you retain stability with your own business?
This is a tough question! I don’t currently have the answer in all honesty, I’m still trying to find that magic formula. Whilst trying to give 100% to all aspects of my life, it’s also important to avoid burn out. Striving for perfection is impossible, so I just try and do my best work whilst giving Violet the attention that she deserves.
Whether it’s from the kitchen table or a garden shed, where do you get most of your work done?
My studio is situated in what used to be the dining room, although now that my business has started to grow there isn’t much space for anything that’s not stationery related. It would be lovely to one day have a space away from home for the business, but for right now it’s a great space for my work and of course Violet’s ball pit!
Dreams can come true, can’t they? What are your dreams for the future?
I’d love to grow my product ranges, offering more uniquely designed prints and gifts and be able to invest in specialised equipment. Most importantly I want to provide as much as I can for my family whilst still being able to be at the school gates when Violet’s ready in a few years time.
There are so many newbies in business, just starting out. What two tips would you give them for their onward journey?
The first piece of advice which I wish I had known when I started is actually the quote, “Comparision is the thief of joy”. Don’t dwell on other businesses success. Whilst it can be looked at as motivation, it can also hinder your own progression. Focus on your work and what you want to do, always! Secondly, don’t rush it! Everything moves at such a fast pace these days that it can make you feel like you don’t want to be left behind. It’s so important to carefully consider your brand aesthetic, what you stand for and the products you’ll be offering. I learnt the hard way with an incredibly rushed initial brand logo and business name. Changing it all after a year was a huge headache!
Bath, wine, boxset, family? How do you find time to relax and unwind?
My husband and I are Netflix obsessed (who isn’t?!) so the perfect night is settling down with a cuppa and some dunkable biscuits and binge watching the latest boxsets! I work most evenings but I make sure that at the weekend I try and switch off and enjoy a slower, less frantic pace!
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