Having forged a career in graphic design, Jessie James has recently extended her creative eye to stationery, in particular the art of fine paper design, and her collections are as beautiful as the world she surrounds herself in. Here, everything is elegantly considered, minimal yet so cleverly detailed. Take a peek inside her beautiful Sydney home.
The philosophy behind your beautiful brand Supply Paper Co. is based on simplicity, sustainability and wabi – can you tell us a little more?
"Working as a graphic designer, I found it difficult to find the sort of paper goods available locally that I would want to use every day – simple, without frills, with consideration for material and sustainability, so I started Supply Paper Co. with an idea for a very simple craft box, which became the first piece I designed and produced on scale. I now offer an edit of paper goods, graphic design and found objects made with purpose and intention."
The Australian bushland has also shaped your design, how so?
"I owe much to my upbringing on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, where much of my time was spent exploring the surrounding bushland – I have the best memories of walking in Angophora Reserve, Avalon with Dad and around Palm Beach, where my best friend lived. For me, collecting flowers and rocks, drawing, writing and making things is what I have always done, in one way or another, since I can remember."
Did you grow up in a creative environment – how did your father inspire you along the way?
"My father was equal parts scientist, naturalist and archivist. He always carried a notebook in his top pocket and kept many catalogues of his collections, studies and extensive travels in the Australian outback. To him I owe my interest in things worked by hand, and made as well as possible, but not withholding imperfection."
And today, is there a creative theme or common thread you keep returning to in your work?
"Definitely the idea of wabi – beauty in the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete."
Style is also key – can you describe how you put your look together?
"I think I would describe my style as pared back and minimal, with a focus on construction and composition. It has taken me most of my years to feel like I really know my own style, but these days in my wardrobe I have just one or two options of well-made pieces that I love and feel comfortable wearing – for example a beautiful jacket, and a favourite pair of jeans."
Your home has so many wonderful spaces – the effect is curated but so cosy. What is your favourite room and why?
"I think my daughter Isla's room is my favourite. She has a corner where we hang her current artworks and I am so interested in what she creates and chooses to put up. Children's art and expression is so beautiful to me."
In those rare moments, how do you indulge or really reward yourself?
"By allowing myself time to do nothing."
And lastly, what is your definition of ultimate happiness?
"A self-made, simple life for our family."