le bonbon

Stationery shops are sprouting up everywhere and what a happy development. They're great places to buy gifts for friends. And anything that encourages people to get writing to each other again has the stamp of approval from me. I came across this shop, Le Bonbon, which is so beautiful and got chatting with the owner Donna Bosomworth.

How and why did you start Le Bonbon? I opened Le Bonbon in March 2007 but started the planning in October 2006. I was wholesaling products into gift stores and there seemed to be gap for quality gifts and stationery that were different to what every other store had on offer.

What has been the response? It took a little while for people to realise we were here and that we really had a unique range of fabulous gifts, stationery and invitations but we now have a loyal customer base that continues to grow.
How is having your own business different to what you expected? Yes and no. I expected it to be a challenge but in some ways it has been even more challenging than I had anticipated (and I hate doing the paperwork!). I had optimistically hoped that we'd be really busy from day one.
What has been a highlight? Doing so well with the designs we have created ourselves. It took a while to get Le Bonbon in-house design up and going but now it's one of the strongest aspects of the business.
Where do you look to for inspiration? I look to fashion for colour trends and constantly to the US paper market as they do social stationery so well.
What's the best lesson you've learnt so far? Patience! Success doesn't come overnight.
What are you passionate about right now? Christmas! We've got so many great Christmas cards, decorations, napkins and gifts that have just arrived from the US and I'm in love with them all.
If you could meet one person, who would it be? Martha Stewart. I aspire to have that level of creative perfection.
What are you looking forward to? Opening another Le Bonbon store (hopefully in mid to late 2008).
What are you reading? I'm always reading Vanity Fair magazine - it takes me a good month to read it from cover to cover. Am looking forward to getting my hands on a good juicy novel at Christmas!

Photos courtesy of Le Bonbon

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