Today I’d like to introduce you to Naira, founder of creative stationery business, Graceful Avenue. She’s here to talk about her label’s monthly subscription box service called Mishka Mail, which started in August 2016 and will end with the July issue next month.
So pour yourself a cup of tea and escape for a few minutes into the world of Graceful Avenue and Naira’s passion for all things stationery.
Hi everyone! A big thanks to Zara for featuring me on her blog today. Throughout this post you’ll be seeing photographs of Mishka Mail’s February kit with the theme “Wonders of Travel”. Over these last 11 issues I approached my fellow bloggers to review Mishka Mail for every single month and very soon all the reviews from our past kits will be posted on our website for you to read. For now you can just Google the term: “Mishka Mail”
Hi Naira! Please tell us about Mishka Mail.
Mishka Mail began out of a yearning for me to push myself both creatively and professionally. It’s our monthly stationery subscription box, which delivers cute, illustrated paper creations to customers on a monthly basis and is a surprise right until you open the parcel! I wanted to create something that would be a great treat for a person to receive and over these past kits we’ve included everything from stickers, gift tags and wall prints right through to greeting cards, postcards and bookmarks. The world always needs more snail mail, right? It’s been such a joyful project and I’m certainly sad to see it reach its end but it’s the right thing to do for now. Perhaps in the future we could revive this idea, we’ll have to wait and see.
How did the idea of Mishka Mail come about?
Recently there’s been a real trend towards subscription boxes. We’ve seen them popping up here and there overseas with food, cosmetics and jewellery boxes being the most popular. Although this concept is still relatively new to Australia, I really wanted to see what launching a stationery subscription box would be like and have enjoyed every second of this chapter in Graceful Avenue’s colourful book. There’s a lot of work that goes into such a concept. There’s months of planning ahead and designing, coming up with themes and then taking care of the marketing side of it. I’m so pleased that we’ve come full circle with a subscription box for each month of the year. It’s been a lot of fun!
What has been your favourite edition of Mishka Mail?
I’ve loved creating each and every single edition of Mishka Mail this past year. If I had to choose, my favourite would probably be the not-yet-released July issue because of the Gratitude theme. We’ve got a massive edition out next month to show our fans how grateful we are for their support. There will be a lot of quirky paper goodies for everyone to enjoy and it’s going to be epic.
What’s the story behind Graceful Avenue?
I started the brand six years ago when I was a fresh university graduate with an Interior Design degree in my pocket and very slim job prospects. I wanted to do something creative and began illustrating and sewing pouches for sunglasses. I drew Mishka the panda for the first time when I was a shop owner in the UK from 2012-13 and haven’t stopped drawing him since!
What does a day-in-the-life of a stationery label owner look like?
I usually start my day by checking emails and packing orders in the morning. After breakfast and a quick dash to the post office, it’s back to the studio where you can find me planning future Mishka Mail kits, illustrating, taking photographs for social media and blogging. I usually go for a late afternoon walk and unwind with a cup of green mint tea in the evening. I feel so fortunate to have the freedom to mix it up on a daily basis. If I feel like staying in bed in the morning and replying to emails, I can do it. If I want to take a day off and do anything I like, I can. I love being my own boss so much!
What are your plans for Graceful Avenue in the future?
Well I certainly hope my label can continue to grow and gain more fans along the way. Our new Online Shop will continue to stay open with more and more products being added regularly. I hope to get creative with videos showing the design process I go through and give an insight into who the girl behind the brand is. I hope to collaborate with my fellow bloggers, continue to be inspired by my fellow illustrators and never stop the creative juices flowing. I’m excited about what the future has in store for us, that’s for sure.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Yes, I’m pleased to announce that we’ll be hosting our second giveaway very soon where one lucky winner will receive the entire July Mishka Mail kit as the prize! If you’d like to follow us on social media with the handle @gracefulavenue you’ll be the first to hear about when we do this and how you can enter.
Secondly, I’d like to thank everyone who has bought a Mishka Mail kit, reviewed it on their blog, hosted a giveaway with us, spread the love on social media and followed us over the years. I feel so blessed to be able to do what I love for a living and hope you continue to support my small business.
You can follow our blog on WordPress here: http://www.gracefulavenue.com.au
Subscribe to our final Mishka Mail kit and visit our Online Shop here: