Ask the Retailer: Sarah Sibley, Got2Jot

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Sarah Sibley, Got2Jot
Sarah Sibley, Got2Jot

What inspired you to work in the stationery industry?


I have loved stationery since I was a little girl. This carried on through school, and at university kept me organised with my studies. When I began working in marketing, meeting deadlines and tracking projects was so important, and I loved having my trusted notebook and pen with me to plan everything. When I looked at starting my own business, I wanted to do something I had a passion for, and so really it was a no-brainer.


Your CV in a nutshell


When I left university I began working with Argos in retail marketing. As a born shopper I really enjoyed working in retail even with Argos being a very different high-street proposition. My roles included advertising manager for four years as well as being the project manager launching Argos into its first overseas venture into the Republic of Ireland.


Having taken time out to have a family, I then returned to Argos as a consultant working across many marketing projects. My recent biggest achievement was working with the customer experience team in 2016 to create and launch the FastTrack delivery service, which is helping transform their business and competing with Amazon. At the same time I set up Got2Jot, so was running corporate work alongside my own business. At the end of 2016 I took the plunge and decided to focus purely on Got2Jot.


Tell us about your company


Got2Jot was born out of my passion for stationery and being organised. Having been inspired after a trip to Australia and seeing their stationery offers, I felt there was a gap in the UK market for a “fashion stationery” brand for stationery addicts. As a brand we have always seen stationery as a fashion accessory so love to follow the trends on the high street and then source products that support style, organisation and creativity. Our online shop is supported by blogs, social media and we also do lots of corporate pop-ups around our local area.


Describe your role


How long have you got?! I focus on ranging, finding new products and suppliers, marketing and all the supporting social media, website design and imagery. Fulfilment, so we get our orders out quickly and with a personal touch, which I think is important. Blog writing, which I have to say is my least favourite part of the job, but I know works for SEO. Corporate pop-up events and extending our reach out to new locations. I could go on, but most small businesses are in the same boat. This coming year we have lots of exciting projects planned, so we will be bringing in more partners to help land these.


What’s in store for the next 12 months?


In 2018 we loved finding and working with small or young up-and-coming designers such as Sadler Jones, and Doodlelove designs. We want to offer our customers stylish, practical stationery that’s not available on the high street, so we love searching for new designers that can offer our customers something different. We will continue to use social media and trade shows to find more designers, so we can consistently offer our customers the “wow” factor. There are lots of other plans too for 2019 but that would be telling…


What are you proudest of in your career so far?


Although I had lots of success in my corporate work, seeing the sales come through from working on your own business is so much more satisfying. I am proud to have created a brand which customers now love and follow. I’m happy to have been selected as a LaunchPad judge for the 2019 Stationery Show London, as it’s a great recognition of the hard work I’ve put in.


How do you see analogue and digital working together in retail over the coming years?


We speak with customers every day and opinions are split on the subject of stationery. There are those who love paper who will always use a diary or a planner for their to-do list, and then there are those who have gone totally digital. Personally, I see more and more people coming back to paper, not only for organisation, but to bring out their creative side. For example, the Whitelines notebooks that we sell are a perfect example of where paper meets digital and have been particularly popular with graphic designers and art students.


What do you use notebooks for?


I ‘Bullet Journal’ and love it. I have been so much more organised since I started my ‘Bujo’ and things don’t get missed off the list anymore. If they don’t get completed, then they get carried forward. It also allows me to be more creative with my everyday notes, and I love using calligraphy pens to bring the spreads to life. We have a few blogs on our website about starting a bullet journal.


Do you have a favourite stationery item?


I love our range of ‘Motivationery’ products where motivation meets stationery. The sets of motivational postcards that we sell are so popular and I love using them around the office, in the kitchen and to send out to friends when they need a little boost or smile.


Who is your typical customer?


The brand pillars of Got2Jot are around: “Expressing your style”, “Spark your creativity”, and “Organise your life”, so our offer appeals to lots of different groups but we have a strong female base who are stationery addicts. They love the idea of a new notebook or diary as it will help them to feel more organised. They usually have lots of stationery already, but can’t resist something new and different on the paper front, hence our quest to find new and innovative products. Quite often they run their own businesses or have teams working with them and so our “motivationery” range is perfect to help inspire colleagues and teams.

Got2Jot's Power cards
Got2Jot's Power cards
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