“Flour. My friend gave me a recipe for banana bread with Rolos in (I know – yum right?) and I’m desperate to make it but can’t find flour anywhere.” Sarah Ardrey, aka Sundown Paper on the item she can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dreams continuously about)…
If the wedding planning is on FULL POWER right now, and you’re looking for some SERIOUS stationery to mail out to your guests (Save the Date’s, invites, the works) then say HELLO to Sundown Paper, an utterly cool, couture stationery brand devoted to nailing your personality with its fresh, contemporary designs. At the helm of the brand is designer, Sarah Ardrey who – with a background in fashion design and trend forecasting – to put it bluntly, knows her s***. I’m already SWOONING hard over her latest collections (to be specific: Ocean Drive and Miami), and, once you’ve clicked here, know you will be too. I caught up with Sarah to get the lowdown on her lockdown…
#1 Provide us with three words that sum-up how you were feeling about lockdown when it first started, and then three words about how you feel now:
Before: “Anxious, negative and sad.”
After: “Motivated, thankful and relaxed.”
#2 What time do you get up? Has this changed? Is life a little slower? Talk to us about your new daily routine…
“Having worked at home on my own for the past three years, I found settling into lockdown much easier than most and my routine really hasn’t changed much at all. I’m usually up by 8am and straight out with my cocker spaniel, Murphy (he has A LOT of energy so good to get him out first thing) and the morning walk is great for me too, I honestly don’t think there’s a better way to start the day – especially when the sun is shining.
I’m in my studio by 10am and ready to start work and I generally work through until 4pm when my husband finishes work and we go out together for a dog walk. I’ve always been a bit of a night owl so I’m used to working evenings quite often but I’ve definitely been doing more of this during lockdown purely because there’s not been much else to do (unless I’m drinking wine on a Zoom call with my friends). I also have a husband newly-addicted to Call Of Duty and feel like I’m living with a teenager all of a sudden, so work is a nice escape some evenings (I’m sure there are hundreds of women feeling my pain on this one).”
#3 How is lockdown impacting your business, and how can people support you?
“Lockdown has had a huge impact on my business as so many people have had to cancel or postpone their weddings and there is understandably so much uncertainty around confirming a new date. I feel so gutted for all the couples who have had to make the heartbreaking decision to postpone their wedding – I can’t even imagine how hard that must’ve been. I have been supporting people where I can by providing free “change the date” pdf’s for them to send to their guests and reassuring them that I am here to help in anyway I can.
On a personal level, I am trying to take positives out of this awful mess and have been using this time to strengthen my business and focus on areas which often get neglected due to time restraints. I’ve been able to dedicate the time to get my website to where I want it to be and I’ve also been working on growing my social media accounts and connecting with other like-minded suppliers.
People can support me (and the rest of the wedding industry) by continuing to plan, and keep the excitement going for your big day. Take this time to find your dream suppliers and pay deposits where you can to secure them for your date. The wedding industry is fantastic and it’s been so heart-warming to see people pulling together to support each other through these tough times. I can’t wait to get back to work with couples who will be doubly excited for their wedding, and rightly so!”
Follow Sundown Paper on Instagram here.
#4 Name three local businesses you are supporting or would like to support more…
No.1 “Groundworks, Hitchin (my fave coffee / brunch spot).”
No.2 “The Cricketers, Weston (our favourite country pub and they do the most epic pizza).”
No.3 “DCC (Dog Care Clinic Sri Lanka) – not a local one but a charity close to my heart and I donate every month without fail.”
#5 What’s your favourite isolation snack?
“Ooh this is a tough one – I have been eating a lot! Like the rest of the country I’ve done a bit of baking (when I’ve been able to get hold of any flour) and I made some pretty epic hummingbird vanilla cupcakes with chocolate hobnobs crushed on top – they were delicious so I think I’m going to say they have been my favourite snack.”
#6 What’s your most recommended quarantine pick-me-up when you’re feeling down?
“Gotta be an ice cold glass of Sauvignon and a good chat with someone you love.”
#7 What’s the item you can now NEVER find in the supermarket (and consequently dream continuously about)…
“Flour. My friend gave me a recipe for banana bread with rolos in (I know – yum right?) and I’m desperate to make it but can’t find flour anywhere.”
#8 What’s the strangest thing that’s happened during your lockdown period…
“I’m used to being really busy but I’ve surprised myself by loving the slower pace of life and all the free time. I’ve said to myself that when this is all over I’m going to try to stop filling my diary so I have the option to be more spontaneous.”
#9 Favourite app for keeping in touch digitally with friends and family?
#10 Name your lockdown hate:
“Not being able to see my family and cuddle my nieces and nephews.”
#11 Name your lockdown love:
“Long sunny dog walks with my husband and a beer.”
#12 The person(s) you will hug first when social distancing is no longer in place?
“That’s a tough one as I have a big family but I think it’s got to be my mum and dad.”
#13 An act of kindness towards you that you’ve really appreciated?
“My mum and dad are the most selfless people I know and they are always dropping things over that they think we might need – even though I tell them not to.”
#14 Talk to us about what’s new at your brand?
“The newest thing at Sundown Paper is that I have recently re-branded (previously called Sarah Ardrey Designs). I’d been wanting to do this for a while but being so busy I was never able to give it the time it needed, and being a true perfectionist I really didn’t want to rush it. But, I’ve finally done it and I’ve had such positive feedback – for that I can be thankful to lockdown.
I’ve also had the time to create new collections which I am so excited about as I feel they truly reflect my style and represent the ethos behind my brand, which is all about fun and bringing personality to paper.
I’m really into pastels and clashing colours at the moment so you’ll be seeing a lot of colour in the new collections. You’ll also notice a real emphasis on fun, playful wording and design as I think weddings will naturally be more laid-back and less traditional going forward. Just imagine how epic the parties are going to be at these weddings that have had to be postponed, it’s so exciting!”
#15 Name three things the lockdown has made you grateful for:
No.1 “My family and friends being healthy and safe.”
No.2 “A lovely roof over my head and food on the table.”
No.3 “My business for allowing me to keep doing what makes me happy.”
#16 Which restaurant will you dine at first once restrictions are lifted?
“Los Reyes Tapas in Hitchin.”
#17 What series have you now completed on Netflix? Any recommendations?
“I feel like I have watched everything now. It wasn’t on Netflix but my most recent obsession is The Handmaid’s Tale – it’s incredible!”
#18 What would be your quarantine book list?
“I’m ashamed to say I’ve not read a single book and I usually don’t get much time to read unless I’m on holiday. But, I have enjoyed sitting in the garden flicking through some of the many travel books I own, dreaming about our next trip when this madness is over. My husband and I are all about our trips and we usually plan our year around them so I can’t wait to get back to seeing the world when it’s safe to do so. Next on the list – USA road trip, Indonesia and Kerala.”
#19 And, finally, your quarantine cocktail/tipple of choice?
“Thanks to all the gorgeous weather it has to be a big glass of rose and lots of ice.”