We’d love to start by having you tell us about yourself.
My name is Marissa and I started STIL with the intention of creating a planner that worked for me, organized my life and fit my lifestyle. As a self-proclaimed pen-to-paper girl with a background in design, I found myself in 2014 on the hunt for a planner that looked professional, fit my style, and was highly functional and now here we are 7 years later.
I grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada as a teenager. It was both the most difficult and best thing that’s ever happened to me. I’ve always known that I would do something different with my life after experiencing being a teenager in a country where I didn't speak the language. I never fit in and at that time that was hard but it’s made me who I am; unafraid to do whatever it takes to get to where I want to go.
I received an undergraduate degree in Communication with a minor in publishing. I then went on to complete a diploma in communication arts where I fell in love with layouts, printing, pre-press, color theory and typography. That’s really where this whole journey started; at school when I learned how to print and bind my own books. The first planner I ever created was hand-bound and it’s still one of the best skills I’ve ever learned.
For those are aren’t familiar, what is STIL?
STIL is a female-run and founded company that launched in 2015. I started the brand to empower women, like me, to be their best, organized selves. At STIL we offer organizational products to inspire all women to take charge of their busy days and buzzing social lives to make room for little moments that are just for them.
Is there a story behind the name?
STIL (German Noun // 'Der Stil') : style, class, fashion and a way of living. I was born in Switzerland where she lived until she was 14 and I’m also half Dutch so the name is inspired by my roots. The name was inspired by a Dutch artistic movement called De Stijl. They simplified visual compositions and used only primary shapes and colors along with black and white. That's why the logo only shows the essentials and has anything unnecessary stripped away. I used the German spelling to bring in my Swiss roots.
What makes STIL products so unique?
This is a 365 day conversation around being a modern woman in the working world. By choosing our products you are not only getting organized but you are joining a community of connected women who are sharing all the ways they are staying organized and what helps them be and feel successful. Some of them are running their own show others are simply looking to uproot their life and do something meaningful. Marissa has been working to expand her line in the most meaningful way by working side by side with you (her customers) to design new products and share valuable content. This process has allowed STIL to truly redefine what it means to be a direct-to-consumer brand in today’s ever changing market. “We have evolved past just being direct-to-consumer to being a brand that is direct-to-conversation” as Marissa calls it.
Is there a product that’s proving most-popular? If so, which one and why?
Our most popular product every year is our annual, dated, weekly planner. Why? Because it’s what we started with and it’s also the product I am most proud of. It’s grown so much and has seen so many changes over the years I am so proud of where we are today with the launch of our new 2022 Planner.
Do you have a personal favorite planner? If so, how has it helped you along your journey?
It’s probably the most difficult question you could ever ask me. Do I have a favourite? Yes, and no. I love them all equally and I’ve used every single of them throughout the years. I will also love using our annual dated planner but recently I’ve really grown to love the Weekly Planner in cloud. Not only because that blue my favourite color right now but also because I love the simplicity of the planner. I love that it has a smaller to-do list (I tend to make lists that are just too long) and the schedule is right next to my to-do’s. I’ve realized that I prefer having both views in front of me during my work day. I’m also obsessed with using our stickers.
What’s next for STIL?
We’ve had an amazing year and a half and sometimes I need to pinch myself. Currently we are working on expanding the line for 2022 to include more accessories geared towards home, travel and work organization that will expand beyond our current stationery realm. We will of course be doing a deep dive with you (our customers) into what you’re missing currently in your life.
What are some fun facts about you?
I have a huge love for sustainability and have been making real meaningful changes in my life to focus on being better to our planet. I became a vegetarian almost 2 years ago and I’ve never felt better. I’ve also made various changes at STIL to create the least amount of waste possible and that starts with the paper we use to produce our planners. We use post-consumer paper and some of our products are made locally right here in Vancouver.
I have 2 siblings; one of them lives in Singapore and the other is a scientist. Wild! I’m also a fanatic boarder. I’ve owned a skateboard since I was 10, I’ve snowboarded for over 20 years and I have been obsessed with surfing since meeting my fiancee 5 years ago. I’m a pretty fantastic cook and I make it a personal challenge of mine to make out-of-this-world vegetarian meals.