Written by Helen Robinson
I first met Niccy, the award winning designer and the creative force behind Type & Story, when Gifted Local was just an idea and I was nervous to approach someone so well established (and already stocked in Paperchase!). I regularly spotted her designs on influencer walls and mantelpieces around the country so was very keen to get her on board. Luckily Niccy is a big fan of supporting local businesses and loved the concept of Gifted Local so agreed to be part of the site. Get to know Niccy by reading the interview below.
Please tell us about Type & Story
Quite simply, I create purposeful Paper Goods
Why did you start making what you make?
I started Type and Story in June 2017 purely as a creative outlet as my new identity as a Mother. I have also always loved design so was very happy to be exploring and developing ranges in my evenings / spare time whatever the outcome, there was no real mission to the brand when I started out.
In what ways are you ensuring your products & packaging are ethically produced?
I am mindful about production, its hugely important. All paper stocks I use are responsibly sourced and FSC accredited. My cello bags are made in the UK from film that has been accredited to ‘OK biobased’ and are fully biodegradable and compostable, breaking down to CO2 and H2O. If I am sending out to individual customers I don't package my products in plastic, I try to go ‘naked’ or use an eco sticker. I also reuse all packaging from our suppliers to package up my orders to send to our lovely stores and customers.
How do you feel when someone has brought something off you?
I am elated when someone buys from me. I feel so strongly about keeping our high streets alive with individual designers and makers especially in the midst of this global pandemic.
What has been your proudest moment?
Being stocked by Paperchase and being showcased in the Stylist. Both equally dreamy moments.
How did you feel when Gifted Local contacted you to be part of the site?
Very honoured and very grateful to be a part of a caring community
What are the best thing and worst things about running your own business?
Being able to be the master of your own time and design things your way is definitely up there but the lack of a stable income and being able to plan my day as things crop up constantly is hard.
Where do you get most of your work done?
Before Covid 19 you would usually fine me in Planet Organic - Muswell Hill. When this is all over, I’ll be back there surrounded by nut bars and mugs of tea.
Where do you live, what do you love about your area and what could be improved?
I live in East Finchley. It’s very beautiful and a particular highlight for me is the Cherry Tree woods leading up to Muswell Hill. Who knew it was there! I love the Parkland walk, I love La Dinette Café in Muswell Hill and Ally Pally for gigs, the garden centre and Little Dinosaurs. East Finchley without question needs a more interesting high street although I am particularly enjoying Tony's Continental which does fab fresh fruit and veg and Campbell and Syme which does lovely coffee.
How are you finding life during the Coronavirus lock down?
Because most of my wholesale has slowly died down I am enjoying shifting my focus to sending directly to consumers.
I have created a campaign called ‘cAIR MAIL’ which are is a luxury postcard which you can proudly gift to any of your loved ones with promises of what you will do when freedom is yours again! All the proceeds of this postcard will be donated to support the incredible charity SUFRA, a food bank and kitchen in NW London. The money will go to their Coronavirus Emergency Appeal. So the campaign is keeping me busy writing and posting! I have had also had some very interesting and very early conversations with a retailer who is looking to collaborate on some stationery so this could be a promising time for the brand – watch this space!
How are you supporting your local community during lock down?
I always shop local if I can so now I’m checking which local businesses are selling online, for example I buy gifts from other local sellers, cheese from the lovely cheese shop in Muswell Hill and I buy books from the local book shop - it is too easy to shop locally. These business need us now more than ever so if they sell online I try them before anywhere else!
What are you most looking forward to doing when lock down ends?
Scoot down to Planet Organic with my 4 year old, we taste some things and fill up the children trollies with items we don’t need (but buy anyway!), continue scooting to Little Dinosaurs (Ally Pally) and then catch the 102 home - its perfect. Sundays the farmers market in Ally pally is superb for breads and sweet treats!
What is your best postcode secret?
Cherry Tree Woods behind East Finchley Station. Best Yoga - The Yoga Quarter next to Holloway Road Station. Best Coffee place is La Peche Mignon in Highbury and best running route will always be the Parkland Walk!
Finally, what is your Top Local Love
My top Local love is the view from the Phoenix Bar and kitchen pub in Ally Pally. on a summers day looking out onto the city, its INCREDIBLE. I look forward to Covid-19 being over and drinking some wine in the sunshine with the world!