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Featured Artist – Nichole Robertson of Little Brown Pen

I came across Nichole’s work first via Etsy than through some of my favorite blogs. And let me tell you, I think (hands down) she and her hubby are not only talented but geniuses, my friends! Nichole and her husband, Evan, have an Etsy shop called Little Brown Pen where they sell PDFs of paper goods, from stationery to calendars to sweet little notes. Nichole also keeps a blog which recently I have had a crush on. You see, she is currently living in Paris just because she is that cool! Well, let me just introduce Nichole to all of you via this interview which she so kindly accepted to be part of. So, here goes sweets….

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I am married to a man I miss when he goes to the store, and we have two sweet little boys. I’m also a writer, and have spent the past 10 years writing for a number of beauty and fashion brands and a smattering of other small projects for print media and the Web. I really can’t believe I get paid to do what I do sometimes. I honestly love my job. My husband Evan and I also have an etsy shop, Little Brown Pen. It started out as a combination side gig/dare and it’s grown into a fairly successful little business. Evan does the illustrating and I handle everything else.

You currently live in Paris, France (Oh la la!). Was it an easy decision? Is it job related?

It was a very easy decision actually. Both Evan and I work from home (he is a business development consultant), so we are free to live where we like. In addition, we had put off buying a home during the boom years (people thought we were crazy), so we didn’t have that holding us back. I’ve always wanted to live in Paris and I have an obliging husband. So it’s not job related, but it’s nice to be close to my main client, Amala–an organic skin care line from Germany.

How do you run a business while being a mother to young children?

I work about 4 hours a day (we have a sitter) and the rest I do at night. I am a night owl and work best then, so it works out for me. It’s definitely hard to juggle some days. I may have a conference call that runs over or a crazy deadline, but somehow I am able to manage it. It certainly will be easier when they are in school, for sure.

Do you have a studio/work schedule? What works for you?

Currently I work from our bedroom or occasionally the dining room table. I am living in a much smaller space than I am used to, but all I need is a laptop and a place to rest my coffee (need copious amounts of coffee to function). I answer emails and work for about an hour in the early morning, then I am with the kids until about 1pm (which is 7am US time). I work from 1-5, break for dinner and bedtime, then I am back to work at 7:30.

Where do you look for inspiration?

Blogs! I am utterly addicted and have at least 50 favorites. I’m also inspired by Paris and all of its charm and beauty. Gum on the sidewalk is charming here.

How do you separate working on your growing business from spending time with the family? Any tips you would like to share with us?

I adore working with or near my husband. We are best friends and laugh just about every minute of the day. He is incredibly smart, and I like working alongside someone who keeps me at the top of my game. I can’t write an insipid headline with him near. Ever. We are pretty good about divvying up responsibilities so when I am busy, he picks up the slack and vice versa. I don’t think my lifestyle would be possible without the support of my husband.

What’s your idea for a perfect day?

Sleep! I rarely get to sleep. I would stay in bed all day. Beyond that, I would love to spend an entire day talking about Shakespeare or Phillip K. Dick or any other of the authors or books I would discuss ad nauseum before I had kids.

Do you keep/have a wish list? What’s on top of the list?

Simple pleasures. I live a fairly minimal existence. I hate stuff, and I champion memories over material things. Coffee, petting my cat, smelling fresh laundry, hearing my children laugh. That’s the good stuff.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?


What makes you smile?

My family for sure. I love them more than chocolate. And that’s saying a lot.

Thank you Nichole for this great interview! To check out some great pictures of their life in Paris, head over to her blog…you will be inspired to dream :) Who said a girl can’t dream!!

The post Featured Artist – Nichole Robertson of Little Brown Pen appeared first on Le Papier Blog.