February 12, 2019
Q&A with Peace & Blessings
Peace & Blessings, launched in 2017 by Zakera Kali, has quickly gained international attention for its inclusive designs celebrating non-mainstream festivals and holidays. In its first year, P&B won a LaunchPad space at the London Stationery Show.
Stationery Trends caught up with Peace & Blessings to learn more about the minds behind the stationery boutique.
There are some things that are timeless—a little black dress or the perfect martini comes to mind. What epitomizes “timeless” for you when it comes to stationery?
It has to be the pen and paper for me – they are the classic items and it doesn’t matter how digitally savvy I am becoming, I find that I always revert back to the good old-fashioned paper & pen to capture my thoughts, brainstorm or draw my ideas.
What are your three top-selling products?
1. Our Pastel collection of greeting cards is our best selling cards especially the Bar/Bat Mitzvah and Eid cards.
2. Our Light collection, especially our Chinese New Year cards which made their debut at Selfridges and Fortnum & Masons this year!
3. Our faux-leather hand-bound Mono Hajj Planner & Journal that has gained a lot of international interest.
What have you learned about running a stationery and gift business that’s surprised you?
The industry is so friendly and supportive and has a real culture of collaboration. I feel so privileged to be an environment that shares the same vision of preserving stationery.
If you were a stationery product, what would you be?
This is a hard one – I would say that I am an eco-friendly design-led stapler. This is because I like to connect people, cultures, including my card collection together. I would choose the staple-free version as I’m keen on being responsible for the environment and of course, the stapler has to be aesthetically appealing, as I love beautiful things.
What is your design process when adding a new holiday/celebration to Peace & Blessings? What kind of research is involved?
I start with talking to people as I have a background in user centred design so I start with what people actually want. I have lived amongst different cultures and therefore I have a diverse user group that I research with and I start of by talking to them with my new idea or concept. I normally present a mood board ensuring that all the faiths and cultures are united under that particular collection. This is quite challenging, as we have to be culturally sensitive especially in our colours and symbolism. Then, we design the card according to our signature. I then go back to the user group and get their stamp of approval too. Sometimes we have quite a few iterations (and user meetings) before we have the product print ready.
Any tips for others in the stationery industry?
I’ve learnt that you have to think about how the products will be presented online such as social media as well also at trade shows and Popups. I would therefore suggest thinking about this at the product development stage. Also do join the organisations that provide support within the industry, they are so helpful.
Want to see more from Peace & Blessings? Visit peaceandblessings.co.uk.