maree oaten & nikki buckland
Paper is having a renaissance. While it never really went away, it is being celebrated and re-conceived in all sorts of ways. There is now a class of artists called paper engineers. Paper is being used for craft, art, illustration, and so it follows that there is a paper magazine. Meet the founding editors of Paper Runway, Maree Oaten and Nikki Buckland:
Which five words best describe you?
Maree: Passionate, perfectionist, determined, caring, tired.
Nikki: Perfectionist, honest, committed, tenacious, kind.
How did you get your career start and what path have you taken since?
Maree: I studied design in Brisbane. Not long after graduating I moved to Sydney and worked with a design and advertising agency in Sydney for five years working across a range of "desirable" brands. Towards the end of this time I moved to London with my husband to work and travel. We ended up being there for six years and loved every minute of it. After returning to Australia I started freelancing; in the meantime an old friend and colleague, Anna Johnson, had moved back to Australia from New York and we started "Little Branch". While working on Little Branch I met Nikki, as she had an online store "Paper Scissors Rock" and became a stockist. A few strange coincidences propelled our friendship along to the point that after one particularly long telephone conversation Paper Runway was born.
Nikki: I dabbled in a cupcake business, which was fun but too time-consuming with three young children, before starting an online stationery store, Paper Scissors Rock, which hit the ground running and I loved. But when Paper Runway was born something had to give so Paper Scissors Rock was left behind. A hard decision as I had invested a lot of time building the business but a great decision in hindsight. I also work in family law for half the days and Paper Runway for the other half. It’s a challenge but rewarding.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
Maree: You need to believe in yourself, trust your instincts and get in and make it happen. No one is going to do it for you. Do what you love!
Nikki: Absolutely believing in what we do. Trusting in our instincts and each other. Be careful there are some sharks out there who are willing to take advantage of you.
What’s your proudest career achievement?
Maree: Watching Paper Runway grow.
Nikki: Opening the first box of printed magazines.
What’s been your best decision?
Maree: Marrying my husband Bruce, and working for myself.
Nikki: If I have to choose one it would probably be deciding to surround myself with loved ones (friends and family) that I want to have in my life and letting go of those that I don’t.
Who inspires you?
Maree: My children, my husband, my mother, my family, my friends, life...
Nikki: In no particular order Todd; my mum; family; friends; the beach; nature; books; my dear friend Kerran who was with us for too little a time, who taught me patience, strength and the meaning of true love; my sister; creative souls.
What are you passionate about?
Maree: Paper in all its forms.
Nikki: Honesty is big on my list; watching Paper Runway reach its potential; paper – of course.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet?
Maree: To have had more time with my Granny and 'Pop', they have been a huge influence in my life, no matter how brief they were in it.
Nikki: Audrey Hepburn – she is the epitome of style and grace.
What dream do you still want to fulfil?
Maree: To discover the secret to having the perfect work/life balance.
Nikki: I have to agree with Maree on this one.
What are you reading?
Maree: InsideOut, Frankie, Wrap, Vogue Living, lots of emails and I have been reading Fancy Nancy and Thomas the Tank Engine.
Nikki: Wrap, Uppercase, Isla the Ice Skating Fairy, Yen, Made to Play, Teaching kids to care, Queen bees and Wannabees and 1021 unread emails (at last count).
images courtesy of paper runway