“You can’t create something huge without starting small,” says Joanna Alberti, founder and creator of the custom line of cards, stationery and social expressions called philoSophie’s®.
philoSophie’s® is a line of stylish illustrations featuring the character Sophie and her inspirational thoughts on friendship, love & confidence. What began as a love for drawing the fun and whimsical character of Sophie has grown into a lifestyle and ever-growing business for Joanna.
Alberti hand embellishes every card she designs, from everyday occasions, birthdays, weddings and baby announcements to holiday cards and personal stationery, with a touch of glitter and a stroke of blush. Joanna expresses pride in saying that all her designs are made in the USA with love…and it shows.
Meet the enterprising Joanna Alberti, who launched her own small business in her mid-twenties, and find out what she has to say about launching a small business and building a brand.
Olive: Who is Sophie and where is she in her life?
Joanna: Sophie is any women. She’s ageless and represents women in a variety of life stages. Sophie is known to speak what she thinks, straight and to the point. She touts sassy sayings on friendship, love and confidence through her daily adventures and life’s celebratory occasions.
Olive: As a small business owner, what is your biggest challenge?
Joanna: Focus! I love what I do and want to continue to grow the philoSophie’s® brand. To do so, I have to take one step at a time and focus on what I do well – illustration and writing. Realizing your strengths and weaknesses early on in your business you can see where you need help to grow your business the right way and with people strong in areas you are not.
Olive: What advice would you give to Olive fans who want to start their own business or be their own boss?
Joanna: Do your research. Share your ideas with people to get a beat on their take and if it would be something people would be interested in supporting and buying. Have a plan and continue looking at it to see what’s working and what’s not. Be willing to make changes and listen. Network and build relationships.
Olive: What are your best sellers?
Joanna: Custom philoSophie’s®. I love when women see themselves or friends in the Sophie character. This season, it’s Holiday philoSophie’s®. Clients can customize cards to reflect their personal interests and hobbies.
philoSophie’s® greeting cards are also sold wherever Recycled Paper Greetings and Leanin’ Tree cards are sold. They are also available for purchase at www.ShopSophies.com.
Olive: What’s next for Sophie and philoSophies?
Joanna: Sophie will keep evolving as a character brand. I hope to create a philoSophie’s® coffee table book collection of Everyday philoSophie’s®. I also hope to work with companies to create different product lines, including accessories and apparel. It’s an honor to be featured with Olive Oyl. She is such an icon. I can only hope Sophie and the philoSophie’s® brand will see half of her success.
Olive: The honor has been all mine, Joanna! Best of luck to you!