Inside the colourful Notting Hill home of former British Vogue art director turned creator of the chic bespoke stationery brand, Romeo + Jules…
Jennifer moved from New York to London 11 years ago for her husband’s work for “the classic – just two years”. It’s now firmly become their home with children, Harrison and Oscar, and ‘fur baby’ Archie, who is definitely part of the family. Merging her love of fashion and colour with British good manners and a dash of American preppiness, designed with “a sense of whimsy blended with strength”, Romeo + Jules is a dreamy go-to for bespoke stationery, and a dream come true. “I adored my time at British Vogue, where I was able to combine my love of fashion, and tactile textures and where my creative juices flowed,” recalls Grant. “But as they say, all good things must come to an end and following the birth of my second son, I was craving creativity in my own right and thus Romeo + Jules bespoke stationery was born.” Jennifer is inspired by the strength of the female creative and entrepreneurial community in London, travel near and far, and so much of the beauty around her, loving to create and celebrate, whatever the reason or season… “I’ve certainly got the creative bug and I often inject that into everything I do,” reflects Grant from her beautifully styled home, “from pancakes with the kids, to birthday celebrations and stationery of course. I recently completed a labour-of-love project in which I hand-painted each of the tiles on our terrace. Then, I flooded every ounce of open space with huge potted hydrangeas and we planted sunflower seeds from Harry’s school project.” Becoming a mother, though, has been her greatest inspiration and teacher, “Motherhood has taught me that I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be. Raising two humans, and in the process reevaluating myself along the way, has been life’s greatest and most fulfilling challenge.” We caught up with Jennifer at home in Notting Hill to talk candidly about life after Vogue, the strength of female friendships, raising two very different sons and how she makes time for self-care (hint – chakra balancing and cocktails!)… Photography: Helene Sandberg | Go to www.romeoandjulesstationery.com
When did you move to London?
My husband’s job brought us to London for the classic ‘just two years’. This was eleven years ago, so I believe we’ve found a home! I never envisioned us living outside of America, or even leaving New York for that matter! London was a bit of an adjustment at first, but now I’ve learned the British phrases, so Bob’s your uncle to take a page from the British phrasebook.
When did your art direction career begin?
From a young age, I knew I wanted to be involved in the arts. At the age of six, I announced to my mother that I would no longer need to attend school, as I wanted to be a ‘colour-er’. And just in case that didn’t work out, ‘Plan B’ business cards were created by hand to be the first woman President of the United States. But, I persevered and studied Graphic Design at university. Fast forward to an Art Director role at GQ in New York City and eventually a role as an Art Director at British Vogue.
Tell us about your time at British Vogue…
I adored my time at British Vogue, where I was able to combine my love of fashion, and tactile textures and where my creative juices flowed. As an Art Director, I was able to literally bring my visions to life by working with some of the most talented photographers and creative teams out there in the world right now. One of my favourite shoots had to be in Venice with Carmen Kass, where our make-shift location van was a rail of clothing floating along the beautiful Venetian waterways alongside gaggles of tourists. A beautiful sight indeed, not to mention the imagery and the resulting story that was created. But as they say, all good things must come to an end and following the birth of my second son, I was craving creativity in my own rite and thus Romeo + Jules bespoke stationery was born.