Plucky Pioneer No. 13


Morning my pretty neo-trads!  Today’s Plucky Pioneer is the ridiculously young and fabulous Hanna Brooks Nation of Gadabout stationery.  Her designs first stole my heart over a year ago on The Peak of Chic (Hanna was still an undergrad at the time!) and her business has grown rapidly ever since.  Gadabout’s charming correspondence cards feature interior vignettes, fashionistas and the occasional chic mammal that can be customized with one’s name and/or monogram.  She’s headquartered in Atlanta, and based on our recent delightful correspondence, is absolutely, positively sweet as pie!  Hanna also just recently launched what may be the coolest iPhone app ever by the name of POST.  The app (see below) allows you to design and send custom invitations and notes on your phone using one of Hanna’s 60+ designs.  I purchased it yesterday and am already obsessed. Seriously, the best 99 cents a girl’s ever spent!  Enough of my babbling though, here’s the plucky Hanna in her own words:


Five words used to describe yourself?

Host, planner, curious, careful, gadabout.

What inspires you creatively?

Really, anything that inspires a tangent thought. I love being interrupted. I am just as easily caught up in the eclectic as the everyday, and most of my designs start off as a “hey, those colors look great together.. what if I put that with that picture I found 3 days ago? It kinda reminds me of that fabric pattern…” It can be as simple a thing as flipping through a new magazine, or learning a new word but if it is visually or mentally interesting, whatever I was doing before that moment is out the window and GADABOUT begins. I am also more than happy to bring interruption on myself. Looking things up is one of my favorite past times and I get so lost in the effort that you could truly call it inspiration. I just love realizing there is so much that I have yet to stumble upon!


How would you describe your personal design aesthetic?

Organized clutter or casually put together. I have always been quite torn in the decision between traditional and trendy. Though it can be hard to do sometimes, I usually try to combine the two, especially in the home. I have great appreciation for what has come and gone, but I am most interested in seeing them re-done in new ways.

Who were/are your design mentors?

While it is quite the cliche, it is always important to thank the right people. My design mentors would be mother, for being able to draw the true likeness of things I only interpret and for giving me a thimble full of her gift. Magazine editors, for making me love what I have and showing me what looks pretty beside it. And fashion designers, for making it more fun to get out of bed in the morning.


What propelled you to found your own company?

Wanting to create a place to look at the things I love.

Most glamourous part of owning your own company?

Being able to do it from anywhere.

Least glamourous part of owning your own company?

Knowing there are only 24 hours in a day.


Best business advice you’ve been given?

Be considerate.

Creative businesswoman you admire?

Deborah Lloyd and Tory Burch.

What keeps your organized and on task?

A well written to-do list, my iphone and a great pen.


Moment you knew you’d “made it”?

I hope I never have it. What would I do when I got there?

Describe your typical work day…

Sleep till 10, eagerly open my computer, check email and nearly 20 blogs, select music, print, ship, find a friend for lunch, sketch, gym, dinner, try to meet deadlines, check blogs I thought I missed but didnt, make a list for tomorrow, think till 3 am.


Your dream project?

Being a creative director for a company that has a large appreciation for design.

What goals do you have for your business in the future?

I would love to get the opportunity to take my new Iphone application somewhere. It’s called POST and it allows you to design and send invitations or personalized notes to friends! I have created over 60+ designs and I would love to get more stationery vendors involved. While I cherish a proper invitation and stand for the generosity of time that create them, this application helps bring something extra to those events where there just isn’t enough time to get it all together! I am also working on a proper invitation line with hopes that it will be ready for the summer! I do alot of custom work already and invitations are one of my favorite requests!

Advice to other budding creative entrepreneurs?

Find the time, it will be well worth it.  [Below, the gorgeous Hanna…]

Be sure to stop in tomorrow for Hanna’s Plucky Pioneer Cheat Sheet, her top picks for film, fashion, and more!  Until later loves… xo Katie

40 comments on “Plucky Pioneer No. 13

  1. Kirby

    How wonderful! I just might download that app too! and I would love to get customized note cards for my friends who are getting married. I think they would love something like this.


  2. Katie Armour Post author

    Kirby — Wouldn’t they make the BEST gifts for your girlfriends? I would just die if someone gave them to me. So thoughtful and chic!

    Pink Wallpaper — I know, her cuteness kills me! Glad you’re enjoying the series! xoxo

  3. Lindsay

    Ok, I officially need to switch from Blackberry to iPhone for this app, I’m obsessed w/ Gadabout! I guess I could always make the bf download it :) xx

  4. maria

    wow, these are fantastic, love love, must get the app now!! i actually own a chair exactly like the one in the first image and posted on it today, so that stationary and me are meant to be!!

  5. Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita

    She MUST make the App available on Blackberry! PLEASE! These are too fabulous – I cannot believe I missed these – thank you so much! you know what I am doing the second I click off here. What would I do without you Kate?

  6. Katie Armour Post author

    Helena — Hope you love her store as much as I do, there’s so much to choose from!

    Lindsay — I think you need an iPhone, it’s settled : )

    Maria — It’s definitely meant to be. I adore that chair!

    Stephanie — You’re too sweet. I hope you find something perfect from Hanna’s shop. The designs are seriously adorable—I freaked out the first time I saw them. xo


    Ive been using my blackberry ever since my iPhone cracked, but today I am running out to get a new iPhone. I MUST have that app! Hannah’s designs are absolutely adorable!

  8. Bailey@peppermintbliss

    This is just what I needed this morning as I am feeling beyond overwhelmed. Not only do I like her style, but I think I really like her! I like the way she talks. Soothed my frazzled soul. Oh blogworld, you never let me down! Thanks so much for introducing me to her, Katie!

  9. Katie Armour Post author

    Keely — I broke my iPhone last week and had to buy a new one too! Having Hanna’s app will make it worth it though : )

    Bailey — So glad Hanna’s words gave you a little boost this morning. Isn’t she inspiring? So young, charming and driven! I love it. xo

  10. The Zhush

    Another truly amazing and inspirational “Pioneer”! I do remember her designs from Peak of Chic. Love those interiors with the monogram cleverly involved in the vignette! And the app…wow, will be downloading that today for sure! Finally, she seems so cool and grounded…”What would I do when I got there?” I adore this lady!

  11. Corinna

    WOW, this might be one of my favorite designers. I adore her little caricatures. makes me itch to have my own personalized line from her, though I would feel vain if I chose one of those gorgeous, long-legged drawn ladies. I would have to go with a safari animal :)

  12. Katie Armour Post author

    Sue — I also melted when I read her response to the “made it” question! So humble and yet SO talented.

    Rikshaw — She opted not to share one, but I’m proud to be her Facebook friend and I can attest that she’s absolutely gorgeous. The blonde southern belle I want to be in my next life…haha xoxo

    Emily — I know, big places!!!

    Corinna — You make me laugh. I understand though—I think the elephant would be a better likeness to me than the girls with the mile high legs…hahaha

  13. Susan R.

    LOVE this! I am passionate about paper + design and love this new app!! Thanks so much for sharing about this very talented woman. LOVE your blog :D

  14. Piper

    wow, yet another completely inspiring plucky pioneer!! i love her designs – and i can’t believe she came up with her own app – how cool is that??! she’s just so inspiring – i love her response to “when she made it”! off to check out her store :)

  15. Katie Armour Post author

    Susan — So glad you love Hanna’s work and my little blog. It’s girls like Hanna that inspire me to blog!

    Piper — I know right? I want my own app! Hanna’s is so much fun, I can’t get over all bright colors and cute designs. It’s going to spread like wildfire!

  16. Colleen @inspiredtoshare

    Katie, your Plucky Pioneers get better and better!! I am just so inspired to start my own creative business….someday perhaps. Her stationary is simple, gorgeous, and thoughtful. Off to download the app! Oh, and I love that you featured someone young and talented! xoxo

  17. Katie Armour Post author

    Colleen — So funny you asked because just yesterday a friend suggested I put together a post with my favorite apps. Coming up this afternoon!

    Stacie — So glad you love Hanna’s work. Who knows? Maybe she’ll make an entire collection of apps… xo

  18. Roxy Te Owens

    I can’t wait to read Hanna’s cheat sheet tomorrow and even more to check out her stationary…I’ve been searching for my signature stationary for months…hopefully something will finally draw me in because I have promised a dozen or so hand-written letters :)

  19. Karen

    Wow, this is REALLY making me wish I had an Iphone! :) This is definitely going to be one of the first apps to download once I do.

    Hanna seems so grounded for someone that young – it’s amazing what some people can achieve early in life!

  20. Chelsea

    um…I ran out of people to send adorable notes to! I know you love elephants as much as I do. That has to be my fave. Keep up the good work.

  21. Andrea

    Great fun interview!
    Please, please make the app for Blackberry as I can’t switch to iphone.

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