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A Moment With | Jessie James

A Moment With | Jessie James

Jessie James is guided by simplicity. Her online store, Supply Paper Co. is testament to the fact that she sees beauty in simple forms - the kind of design which is timeless and utterly beautiful. Jessie's delicate and thoughtful eye is most evident in her letterpress designs, which she meticulously designs and hand creates from her lovely little home studio. We caught up with Jessie to discover more about her love for simplicity, sustainability and wabi, and her passion for measured design.  


Hi Jessie, tell us a little about the Supply Paper Co. journey - how did you get to where you are? I owe much to my upbringing on the Northern Beaches of Sydney, where my time was spent exploring the bushland, collecting flowers and rocks, drawing, writing and making things. I studied Visual Communications at the University of Technology in Sydney and eventually became a freelance graphic designer, focusing particularly on printed materials and visual experience. 

“Working as a graphic designer, I found it difficult to find paper goods I’d want to use everyday - simple, without frills, with consideration for sustainability and value placed on the inherent characteristics of process and material.”

So I started Supply Paper Co. with an idea for a very simple lid and base kraft box with finger hole cuts into the lid, which became the first piece I designed and produced on scale. It was a very steep learning curve! Now through Supply Paper Co. I offer an edit of paper goods, as well as graphic design for printed materials and found objects guided by my principles of simplicity, sustainability and wabi.

Simple and thoughtful design is at the essence of Supply Paper Co. - why is it so important? Simplicity and consideration in all things is integral to the way I am comfortable living and working. It has taken many years of process, lessons and failures for me to build my understanding to the point where I have found some clarity around what it is I can offer others - a practice built on things worked by hand or by nature, made as well as possible, but also observing and highlighting imperfection. 

“To me design is the drawing together of form, function and sentiment in equal parts.”

What are you most passionate about? The Australian landscape. I feel such an affinity for the coastal bush landscape that I grew up in and am truely at home when I am amongst it. I really want to explore more of Australia, and it is my goal to get out there as soon as possible!

Where do you go for inspiration? I typically revert to the pastimes of my childhood – drawing, reading, walking bush tracks.

 Jessie James in her studio. Photo - Trish Chong.

Jessie James in her studio. Photo - Trish Chong.

Has design always been a big part of your life? If not design as such, creative interests were always encouraged when I was growing up. 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 and works. He was an industrial chemist by trade and studied geology, lapidary and silversmithing in his spare time. He was always working on something at home.

“I think I have followed this example and similarly have constant works and projects in progress.”
 The Opal Fields at White Cliffs in New South Wales, captured by Jessie James' father in 1990.

The Opal Fields at White Cliffs in New South Wales, captured by Jessie James' father in 1990.

Full Stop

I usually wake up at: Sometime between 6am - 8am... if I'm really lucky!

My perfect day would involve: Time for reading, a walk in the bush and making pizza with the family.

I am inspired by: The Australian landscape. 

Best advice I’ve ever received: Before I left for my first after school job, my dad said to me 'Be a willing shilling', I'm not sure if it's the best advice I've ever received, but it has always stuck with me.

I couldn’t live without: My family.

My favourite daily ritual: Morning coffee made by my husband Russ and daughter, Isla.

I recently discovered: Vietnamese iced coffee - so good!

On my wish-list: A copy of the out of print book - The Woodblock Painting of Cressida Campbell.

I’m currently reading: Wabi Inspirations by Axel Vervoordt.

And listening to: Jude by Didirri.

My guilty pleasure: Vietnamese iced coffee (see recently discovered) with lots of sweetened condensed milk!

My mantra is: Do the best you can.

Thank you Jessie! | Supply Paper Co. | @supplypaperco

+ Main portrait of Jessie James by Trish Chong at Tealily Photography.

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