Athena London founder, Rosie Roscoe, has always been an avid stationery lover. An infamous list maker, she began 2019 with a search for the perfect planner to keep her in check. Before long, however, a problem emerged.
Rosie suddenly found herself wading through a sea of pink, glittery and cutesy products. “Boss babe” quotes and illustrations of skinny women in heels holding Starbucks cups were present on anything she could find. There were options out there for planners centred around goal-setting and productivity, sure. But they were marketed towards men and were usually corporate and plain, unless they were adorned with “Alpha” or Lion themed decor.
Why wasn’t there something designed with women in mind that didn’t infantilise and stereotype those same women? Why wasn’t there something fashion-forward and aesthetic that didn’t look like the diary of a 12 year old girl?
Why wasn’t there a productivity planner for women that wouldn’t look ridiculous under the arm of a high powered lawyer or on the table of an important business meeting?
In a London coffee shop, a chat with a friend (and fellow stationery lover) led to the discussion of how the friend, a self employed teacher, couldn’t find a planner with hourly slots that wasn’t structured around the traditional 9-5 workday.
“The planner days always end just as my actual workday is beginning! And weekends are always the tiniest blocks, squished in at the end as an afterthought. Those are my busiest days!” she sighed, sipping her flat white. Rosie took a moment of silence. “What’s up?” asked her friend.
“I have an idea,” Rosie said with an excited grin. She pulled out the notebook she always kept with her for these exact moments, and the two of them began brainstorming their ideas, burying the table under notes and sketches of their ideal planner layouts.
And so Athena London was born.
What followed was an exploration of intense market research (or at least that’s what Rosie called the extensive shopping spree of every planner and stationery related item she could find) “I know I have 500 notebooks at home, but this one isn’t for me. It’s research!” She’d declare, stacking a few more items into her basket. But it was research, for every detail from the weight and colour of the paper, the measurement of the line spacing and the binding of the pages was tested and ranked.
Then the designing began.
Pages and pages of potential layouts were sketched out, digitalised, printed and tested by real women. After hundreds of versions and revisions, the physical sampling began. The result is a product that incorporates every aspect that these real women needed. The perfect layout that can be used to suit any lifestyle. Every detail was sampled, tested and selected to ensure the final result was breathtaking.
And so The Aspira Planner was born. The holy grail of productivity planners designed to assist the modern woman in her journey to success.