A Day In The Life of Anna Bond of Rifle Paper Co.

annarifle
I was not at all surprised to discover that a typical day in the life of Anna Bond starts early and ends early the next morning. In the past few years, Anna has taken her company, Rifle Paper Co., from a one-woman show to a thriving multi-person team that designs not just stationery but all sorts of paper goods, kitchen designs, phone cases, a collaboration with Garance Dore and a soon-to-be-launched wallpaper collection with Hygge & West. Along with her husband and business partner, Nathan, Anna is constantly working, designing and meeting with her team to oversee their latest product release. What I loved most about getting a peek inside her busy day wasn’t just a renewed appreciation for all of the work that goes into a design company, but getting to see that Anna still devotes a huge part of her day to painting and creating. She has to stay up pretty late (early?) to find time for it, but she makes the time nonetheless. Thanks so much to Anna and everyone at Rifle for taking the time to share a peek inside her busy day. xo, grace

Click through for the full post after the jump!

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9:30am (Waking Up): I went to bed at 4am the night before and I’m woken up at 9:30 to respond to text messages from my designer Joanna who is on press with our printer. We text back and forth to approve colors for a run of greeting cards.

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10am (Getting Ready): After dozing in and out of sleepy texts I am up and getting ready for the day.

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11am (Coffee Run): By 11am I’m rushing out the door to make a meeting so I sacrifice my intended trip to the local coffee shop. Instead, I swing by my neighborhood Starbucks where my favorite barista Mike chats with me for a few minutes about Rifle and an update on his job search.

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11:30am (Arriving to the studio): I arrive at the studio to find our meeting is delayed so I check emails and wrap my head around the day’s tasks.

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12pm (Creative Team): I pass off a few urgent tasks to the creative team, touch base with Carrie (my Director of Creative Development), and prep for a phone call at 1pm about an upcoming design collaboration.

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1:30pm (Wallpaper Review: We’ve just received new wallpaper samples for our upcoming collection with Hygge & West and I take time to review colors.

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2pm (Website meeting): We finally have our meeting with our web designer Mike where we go over what still needs to get done before the launch. The new site has been in the works for a long time and we’re trying to wrap up every little detail in order to (hopefully) go live next week (everyone crosses fingers and knocks on wood).

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3:30pm-6pm (Wallpaper reviews and meetings): I review our wallpaper samples in depth with my designer Erica and we decide which to approve and which ones need tweaks. I then have a performance review and creative team meeting (today is full of meetings!) where we talk about what projects are on the horizon and preparations for the National Stationery Show in May.

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6pm (Weekend to do list): I make final rounds to the creative team to review some of the day’s tasks and then go over my to do list with Carrie. We discuss emails, make decisions and talk about how to make packaging better on a few products. I realize i have a crazy amount of work for the weekend.

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7:30pm (Meeting with Nathan): Most of the office is gone by now and I get a chance to work on a few of my own design tasks. I also meet with Nathan (my husband and business partner) and Mike about website changes and plans. We talk through issues and tasks that we’ll be working on over the weekend and into next week.

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9pm (Dinner): Nathan, Mike and I all realize we’re starving beasts because none of us have stopped working all day to eat (other than the donuts someone brought to the office) and after a lengthy debate on which local Thai place is best my pick wins and we eat until we stuff ourselves.

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10:30pm (Painting): I head home, change into something comfortable, pour a glass of wine and start painting. This is the first moment I have gotten all day to get to what I really need to do. I plan to paint until around 4am as I work on new products for the Stationery Show.

amanda

ahhhh what a fun series! love the look of their studio/office (not surprising, considering). also! i didn’t realize rifle paper co is based in winter park. best part of orlando!

jaclyn

{sigh…} I met Anna a few weeks ago and good lord that girl is great! She’s so gracious and down to earth but (obviously) bubbling over with talent. She will be definitely be a name people will be talking about decades from now!

Chloe

What a fun peek inside Anna’s busy busy day! I got to see Rifle’s studio when I was passing through Winter Park – it is gorgeous!!!!

Taylor

I love Rifle Paper co! I can and can’t believe how many hours she puts into it! That’s a crazy long day to go through, but her work is incredible!

xoxo
Taylor

Alecia

it is amazing to see all the work that goes into her brand. And, I cannot wait to get my hands on some of that wallpaper! It looks incredible (which I expected nothing less than).

Katie @ Red House West

I love Rifle Paper Co.! It’s amazing to see how the business has grown in the last few years. Anna’s style is incredible and her art is unique and so inspiring. I’m saving up for when Rifle Co.’s collaboration with Hygge & West line is released (fun to get a sneak peak here!).

Frances

It has been amazing to watch Rifle grow! There is something so elegant yet down to earth about Anna and Rifle. Loved this feature.

Bee

I fell in love with Rifle and Anna the first time I received a specially hand-signed NEW YORK drawing she did for Pink Olive and then pieces for TheOliveBox. Everytime there are new release they’re more beautiful. I’m in love with flowers so her work makes me happy. Thanks Anna for giving us a look inside your empire.

Miranda

oh my goodness, you have to really love your job to put in that type of hours (and i’m talking the employees, not anna and nathan). love her work!

Darcy

I love this! Rifle Paper Co. is fantastic and it is so fun to see a day in Anna’s life. Yeah!

Rachel

Thanks for the insight into Anna’s world. I love her work and she is such a talented painter and business woman. This series is awesome!

susan (@fleurishing)

I love this glimpse into her daily life…she is so inspiring! I’m obsessed with the recent Garance Doré collaboration, and can’t wait to see the Hygge & West collection!

Natalia

I love the her illustrations and products. Seems like a very productive and busy day. Does anyone know what brand of paints she uses?

Emmy

This is awesome to see! I have loved Rifle for years and just ordered a bunch of cards from them yesterday :) I also have their teal leopard iPhone case and get compliments on it all the time. Everything they make is so wonderful and it’s cool to read about a day-in-the-life.

Renee

I would love to see a Sneak Peek of Anna’s house based on this glimpse of her lovely bedroom.

Susannah

I love this! Rifle Paper Co. is one of my favorite indulgences and Anna does such beautiful work. Thanks for sharing this day in her life!

Jacqueline

I’ve been in love with Rifle Paper Co’s products forever and Anna Bond is such an inspiring woman. :)

Susannah

This is an amazing post! Thanks for sharing a glimpse into Anna’s life. Her stationery products are one of my favorite little indulgences.

Michelle

Thanks for this. Admiring her work for a long time. Love the peek into the everyday routine!

Patricia

Everything that she and her company creates is so pretty! What an incredibly hard working woman, but when your doing something you love the hours just seem to fly by.

Jin

There’s a reason Rifle is incredibly successful, talent isn’t enough. Look at Anna’s work ethic! Painting till morning hours.. Talent + hardwork = success :) She’s truly inspiring to me.

Heidi

This is an excellent series, Grace. Truly inspirational.

Megan @meandwee

Congratulations Anna! You’ve really built something great! This post was also a wonderful way to show that you really have to work long and hard to make your dream happen. She’s working through each day and night with very little break! You have to have a lot of passion, commitment and drive.

Anouk

I am such a fan !! Thanks for sharing this Ana and Grace ! I think this is a brilliant category ! Now I admire Ana Bond even more !

Karen E

Great post. I too am a long-time supporter of Rifle. I particularly appreciate her connection to the technical work of the local print studios she works with and the fact that her press checks allow her to control the color and design even at scale. I buy boxes of cards every season at the Isabella Stewart Garden gift shop and they always go fast because the paper stock is as thoughtfully chosen as anything else – so it’s a pleasure actually to write on them. And that is good design.

Rachael

It is nice getting a look behind the scenes but I feel like Anna needs to think about how she is portraying success. Yes, we all need to dedicate ourselves to work and creativity, but getting 5 hours of sleep a day is actually having an opposite effect. We don’t need to work around the clock to be successful and I feel like this article is sending the wrong message. How can you forget to eat? People are most creative when they take care of themselves first! Sleeping and eating are essential to creativity. Imagine what Anna could be creating if she didn’t stay up until 4am every day! I think she should take an hour or so for herself and read Arianna Huffington’s book ‘Thrive’. I couldn’t disagree more with Megan’s comment… ‘you have to work long and hard to make your dreams happen’. Rifle Paper Co. has taken off over the last 4 years… that isn’t very long. In fact, that is SUPER fast to go from a small company to a worldwide brand. Success with this company should be seen through the product, vision, and creativity… not by bragging about being so busy you can’t eat or sleep.

Grace Bonney

Rachael

I understand your point of view, but I’d like to make the distinction that I don’t feel Anna is “bragging” about her lack of sleep. I think she’s telling her day as it is right now. I think the responses in the comment section have done a bit more to glorify that way of working here than her actual text has.

Grace

Amandinette

Anna and her husband are definitely an inspiration for greeting card/illustration enthusiasts and image of what hard work plus good design looks like! Bravo to you both. To make it from a freelance illustration firm to an international design brand in a little less than 4 years is certainly a testament to that. While I do agree that her hours seem crazy right now, who can say that her art would be better if she had her schedule any differently? I know a number of artists and designers who stay up until 4am and get up around 10ish. And hours and schedules change, and for their sakes, I hope their schedules get a little less hectic as time moves on. But what a fun read this was! Thanks Anna and Nathan for sharing your day with us on DesignSponge. I can’t wait to see what you come out with next!

Anile | Girlfriday

I really enjoyed this peek into a typical Anna/Rifle day, thank-you Design Sponge! I adore Anna’s work (as well exemplified by the case on my iPhone, the coasters on my dining table, and my desk drawer full of Rifle cards for every occasion ;) I can’t imagine the pressure and intensity that most of Anna and Nathan’s days are filled with. While I am in awe of her talent and success and the way that she has developed and maintained such a beautiful, unique style and vision, as a freelancer I can appreciate the sacrifices and compromises I know she/they must make. Since I have a chronic illness, I have no choice but to take things slower than I want to – it can be very difficult at times and I don’t wish this kind of scenario on anybody, so I really hope that Anna can find some more time for rest and nourishment in the future – but this is just from a place of genuine hope that she continues to thrive and succeed and that she is permitted a little more balance as she continues to forge her path. Well done Anna, you are a true inspiration – all the best to you :)

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