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One year on – Talking Top Drawer with The Completist

Back in 2017, we ran our Business Booster competition, in search of ambitious, creative businesses. The mission was to find two emerging creatives, and help them grow, with a prize package that included the opportunity to exhibit alongside at Top Drawer 2018.

One of those creatives was The Completist – set up in Summer 2017 by husband and wife team Jana and Marko (and their two cats), their bold designs and colourful style caught our eye from the get go!

That’s why, when we heard that Jana and Marko would be taking The Completist back to Top Drawer one year later (and they exhibited in September 2018 too!) we had to catch up with them and discover the highs and lows of 2018 – and what’s coming next, of course!


The completist at Top Drawer 2019

The Completist at Top Drawer 2019


Looking back, how did you find exhibiting at Top Drawer?

Exhausting, but great. It’s a really good way of getting in front of people you want to work with.

Is there anything you’d change, if you were to do it again?

Actually we ended up doing Top Drawer by ourselves last September, and we’ll be showing again this weekend (Jan 2019). There’s always things you want to change, but that’s pretty normal. We learned last Top Drawer that having a really easy order sheet was a must (especially when some people fly by with a really quick order and it’s hard to keep up) and always allow extra time for your stand build – things don’t always fit the way you expect them to!


Jana exhibiting with us at Top Drawer 2018

Jana exhibiting with us at Top Drawer 2018


What has been your biggest success(es) since Top Drawer?

Since Top Drawer last January, we’ve started working with some of our dream independent stores, like Search & Rescue and Papersmiths, as well as one of our dream department stores, Selfridges. We also started working with Goods for the Study/McNally Jackson in New York which was a really big deal for us, as it was one of the stores that inspired us to start our brand in the first place.

What’s in the pipeline for 2019?

Expanding into more stationery products!


The completist at Top Drawer 2019

The Completist at Top Drawer 2019


What advice do you have for creatives who are just starting out?

Just do it – sounds like a cliche, but the more you sit and think about it, the less likely you are to ever actually start something. Just start anywhere, you’ll learn along the way. That, and invest in good accounting/stock control software from the very beginning – it’s been a life saver!


Looks like it’s been a whirlwind year for The Completist! We can’t wait to see more of their gorgeous designs pass through our presses!

If you visited Top Drawer 2019, let us know over on social. We’d love to see your photos! Or, if Jana has inspired you to get started with your own creative business, check out our top tips to getting your creative business started, here.


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About the author

Caitlin is our Social Media guru and lover of all things food and travel. When she's not scrolling through TikTok you'll find her meticulously planning her next adventure abroad.

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