Chatting Business & Brands with NoIssue
We were honored to be a featured Customer Story on the NoIssue blog recently! NoIssue is a super cool company that makes eco-friendly tissue paper -- we collaborated to create a custom Sightsee print that you'll find in any of your online orders.
Check out our Q&A below and definitely check these guys out if you're in the market for some paper!
Tell us a bit about yourselves, and why you decided to start Sightsee; what is the vision of your brand, and why is this important to you?
From a basic bio standpoint, is Joel Sadler and Allyson Sutton. Joel is an entrepreneur and designer. Allyson is a writer and PR professional. We’re engaged and live in Charleston, South Carolina with our two pups.
We have a mutual love of travel, craft coffee, SoCal vibes, telling great stories, being a part of our community, and trying new things. Sightsee is a retail store and coffee bar concept that grew out of those combined interests.
Do you have a business/life mantra?
Our tagline for Sightsee is also a business/life mantra of sorts: “The coast is clear.”
For us, this is a playful reminder to go for it, whatever ‘it’ is. The mantra is part mischief, part chill -- you might say it to an accomplice as you’re about to pull off some sort of hijinx (like starting a business!), or you might use it to suggest great weather at the beach. Sightsee is kind of the intersection of the two.
What is it that you do to ensure a cohesive brand identity?
We firmly believe that consistency is the most important quality in any brand. Whether the branding is good or not is secondary to it being consistent. We spent a lot of time narrowing down exactly what we want Sightsee to represent and we try to hold every branding decision up to that definition.
The selection of noissue paper and the particular design we used is a perfect example. We want Sightsee to be full of pleasant surprises, to be fun, lighthearted, and “SoCal.” With every order, our customers get to experience the pleasant surprise of totally unique tissue paper with a carefree, hand-drawn pattern that represents what we’re all about. It helps us get the energy and mission across in a really fun and subtle way.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking of starting a small business?
It’s true what they say, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” -- so long as what you love is unemployment. Starting a small business -- no matter how much you love the idea -- is mostly work. Unglamorous, grind-it-out work. For every hour spent designing a cool brand pattern for custom tissue paper, there are ten hours spent troubleshooting emails not being received, cataloging inventory, or connecting Quickbooks to your checking account.
We recommend asking for help, whether it’s finding a partner who you trust and who shares your vision, or seeking out mentors and local business resources. We’ve met with (and continue to meet with) experts and fellow entrepreneurs to ask for advice and feel supported in the journey. If you’re not sure where to start, check out SCORE or find a nearby co-working space that offers mentorship opportunities!
Why did you choose noissue? How has custom packaging helped your brand?
We chose noissue because it is incredibly easy and affordable, two critical benefits for a small business like ours. Like we mentioned above, we want to create pleasant surprises wherever we can, so custom packaging is a perfect fit. It helps us bring a bit of the spirit behind Sightsee into every order. Not to mention, people really respond to it -- we even had someone put it on the wall as art.
Where do you hope that Sightsee will go in the future?
We would love for Sightsee to grow into an empire of discovery and positivity, including not just a shop with coffee but travel services, a publication, a product line, and - who knows - maybe even a boutique hotel one day.