This month, we are celebrating our fourth birthday in the best way we know how… cake, champagne and a chat with a great friend. Deborah Brett, fashion editor, style enthusiast, ceramicist with a side of mega baking talent to boot, has been a R+J cheerleader from day one, and here we sit down to chat…
Tell us how the brand has evolved since starting?
Romeo and Jules started as simply as a need for modern stationery when I struggled to find notecards that I wanted to write on. And in the four years that’s passed, a lot has transpired, both in the world and in the Studio! We are now enjoying designing all things from brand identities, event materials, hotel collateral and of course still creating personalised stationery to keep true to our roots.
What does being an entrepreneur mean to you?
I’ve seen myself through many forms of being an entrepreneur, and I feel like it’s a role that is forever evolving. At this moment, it means building a brand I firmly believe in. It means investing a bit of my soul into products that spread joy, but not spreading too much joy that I have little left for myself and my family. Being an entrepreneur means I am lucky enough to have found a lucrative creative space that I can turn into a career and that is a very proud moment for both myself and for me to show my two young boys.
When it comes to the future of R+J, what are you most excited about?
It may sound incredibly cliche, but I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next for this creative studio. We are wide open to applying our designs to most mediums and I’d love to expand further when the time is right. Dare I say homewares??
What is a philosophy that you live by in your professional life?
Make it colourful and make it fun!
Can you tell us one challenge you have had to overcome in business
My biggest challenge came about in the first year when I quickly realised that I cannot do it all. And I’m so incredibly lucky to have my fabulous team through thick and thin who have helped me creatively, spiritually and with all of the functional elements of running a business. Without Annabel and Lizzi, R+J simply wouldn’t be where it is today.
What has been your biggest lesson learnt so far?
I have learnt (the hard way unfortunately!) that my time and energy have a value and it’s important to command that. Despite my handiwork being lighthearted and joyful, it’s still my brainpower and efforts and that must be accounted for.
What’s your favourite font?
My go-to font will always be Bodoni, in all of its beautiful forms.
You made my son a bespoke pop up card based on Stranger Things. I love how you always push the boat out. What has been the toughest challenge you have set yourself?
Learning how to design a pop up card was a different dimension for me, but one that brought great joy. I am my toughest critic so creating new collections of wrapping papers can often be a big challenge for me personally.
Where do you get your creative energy from?
I’m a huge fan of walking and wondering and finding a design solution during those moments. Suddenly something I was struggling with will become apparent during those all important ‘off’ moments. Finding that balance of desk time and creative mindless moments is so important to me.
What new R&J exciting projects are on the horizon?
We are working on a beautiful wedding suite, two brand identities and a few secret projects that I hope to share soonest! I’m not very good with secrets!
What defines the DNA of the brand?
Goodness I love this question, so much so that it actually brought a smile to my face! R+J is made up of so many components, but mostly colourful moments, a bit of texture, a splash of pattern, which will usually include a stripe! Oh, and beautiful typography as well.
Do you still find designing fun?
I feel so lucky to love my job and find enjoyment in the design processes, even on the most challenging days!