Inspirational Female Founders – Gabi Cox

Introducing Gabi Cox…

Meet Gabi. Founder of ‘Chroma Stationery’, an online stationery brand that provides colour-loving personalised and branded stationery.

The idea of Chroma Stationery was sparked in 2014, when Gabi was working on her final-year University project.

Since its launch, Gabi has sold in over 28 countries and supplied, in bulk, to the likes of American Airlines, Boots & ITV for things like employee and client gifting. Gabi was recently named as one of the ‘Startups 15 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch in 2018’, ‘Insider South West42 under 42’ and a finalist at the ‘Great British Entrepreneur Awards’.

How did you come up with your business idea?

I launched Chroma whilst in my final year of University. I was working on a project all about colour, and I was fascinated with why people had favourite colours and why they hated others. It started with greetings card ideas but evolved into notebooks and stationery. I was aware that personalisation was often offered as an expensive extra, rather than something which was accessible to everyone and I wanted to change this.

Who has been your stand out business mentor?

I’m part of the NatWest Entrepreneur Accelerator scheme which has been an invaluable help. I have a mentor there who is brilliant, and the community is also fantastic. Having a hub of fellow entrepreneurs and business owners, who you can call on for help and advice has been amazing.

What advice would you give to a promising business founder?

Ask for help. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others, discuss ideas and ask when you need help. You can’t be the best at everything, so reach out to people for the bits you’re not so good at.

How would you define your leadership style?

I’m really quite relaxed and have a very collaborative approach to building the Chroma team – we’re all individually working on our own things and roles but we are all on a common mission. I’ve hired people great at their job and trust the team.

How can businesswomen support other businesswomen?

I’m a strong believer that there is space for everyone and someone else doing well does not diminish or lessen your own work or achievements. Supporting each other’s work and creating a positive culture and conversation is crucial. Amplifying one another’s voices and building strong networks is incredibly important.

” Failure is part of becoming successful ” – What has been your memorable failure and what did you learn from it?

There is always so many hurdles along the way – failure is just a normal part of growing a business. The biggest thing for us which didn’t go to plan, was launching a subscription box service – it did well at the start but was very hard to keep the momentum going. It was a lot of work and became a burden rather than enjoyable. It made me realise that we can’t be ‘everything for everyone’. We need to do what we’re good at and do it really well.

What three things do you absolutely need to help you through your toughest work days?

Time away from the laptop and phone, I normally walk my dog to get away, along with some good music!


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