Chanel turns a page on her previous life
CHANEL White says she may be the first terrorism analyst-turned-stationery designer.
The 32-year-old Paddington admits quite a career change.
“I’m obsessed with stationery. But, yes, it’s an unusual background for a card designer,” she says.
The career change saw White (pictured) leave her London-based job of nine years as a terrorism analyst to return to Australia and launch Amelia Lane Paper in 2014.
She says it is a “practical stationery business” selling wedding planners, greeting cards and notepads, but mostly products that inspire women.
White, who spent years studying and undertaking internships in the antiterrorism field, including experience with the United Nations, says the intrigue from it is associated with a career as a terrorism analyst didn’t live up to the day-today reality.
“I found the constant exposure to such sad and horrific events impacted my normally positive outlook,’’ she says. “I wanted to do something that made myself and others happy.”
But the transition was not without its challenges.
“A few days after turning 30, I found myself on a plane back home to Sydney, with nowhere to live, depleted savings, two useless degrees, work experience that wasn’t relevant to what I wanted to do and a dream for what Amelia Lane Paper could be,” she says..
But today White says she has a fulfilling career.
“I love the emotional pull of stationery – the potential of an empty notebook, the first page of a new diary, the promise of organisation and goal-getting with a new planner,’’ she says.
“I really buy into the psychology of the ‘clean page’ and all the possibilities and potential it represents.
“Amelia Lane Paper is about helping women get organised. Helping reduce stress … I would like to believe that my humble designs can help bring balance, peace of mind, organisation and structure to the messy, busy lives we lead.”
White creates all the designs herself with pencil and paint.
Last year she achieved a longtime goal of releasing a weekly planner which she says quickly sold out.
“I think in this digital age with apps and technology constantly buzzing about, the quiet and calm focus that things like a humble planner brings is meditative,” she says.
“A beautiful planner can help you think more clearly and creatively.” See: amelialanepaper .com.au