BCU graduate launches sustainable stationery business

A Birmingham City University alumna is looking to make a mark with the launch of her new sustainable stationery business.

Posted 08 February 2022

Morgan Grice's sustainable business, Odd Orange, has produced items such as this notebook.

Functional, colourful and sustainable

Morgan Grice, who graduated with a BA (Hons) in Illustration in 2020, launched the Odd Orange brand at the beginning of February 2022.

The handmade stationery business specialises in functional, colourful and sustainable stationery.

Products include handmade sketchbooks and notebooks in a variety of styles and papers, as well as hand-foiled greetings cards, art prints and stickers.

It has been a long time coming for Morgan, who has been dreaming of launching Odd Orange for nearly two years.

“I made the decision to launch the company in November 2020,” she reveals. “I’m an illustrator and bookbinder, and wanted to combine the two for a portfolio project…I loved the process so much I decided to start a business off the back of it.”

Morgan also has extensive experience of freelance illustration.

She has worked with a range of well-known clients, including pizza business Franco Manca and Title Cards, which displayed Morgan’s work on Black Lives Matter at a pop culture gallery in the United States.

Vital support in setting up a business

Bianca has also worked with BCU’s BSEEN programme, which offers students and recent graduates a startup package to turn their business idea into a reality.

While initially unsure if she would ever have the bravery to set up her own business, Bianca credits BSEEN with helping her realise her potential.

“BSEEN gave me the opportunity to learn how to turn my skills into a business,” she says.

“It was an amazing experience and I would recommend it to anyone who is considering setting up a business or going self-employed.”

Morgan isn’t the only one to seek BSEEN guidance on launching a sustainable brand.

Bianca Bryce is readying her own business, Fontein, which partners with carefully selected manufacturers to offer ethically traceable products from emerging African economies.

“The BSEEN programme provides a very detailed boot camp, going through all the elements of starting a business and ensuring you gain the mindset of an entrepreneur,” Bianca explained in an interview with BCU Advantage.

Make the most of every opportunity

The business is still new, but Bianca is excited for the future.

“It’s difficult and require a lot of work, but with lots of research and support from BCU, mentors, friends and family, it’s mostly been a matter of getting my head down and doing it.”

Bianca advises students to make the most of every opportunity possible.

“Attend the talks provided for you,” she says. “I learned so much during these sessions. Also, don’t just rely on the course. I did a lot of research alongside my studies and it improved my work so much.”

Visit our BSEEN webpage to discover how we can support you in launching a business.