Katrina Mendoza | Goods Gang
Goods Gang is a design and stationery studio that specializes in wedding paper and other printed goods. I wanted a name that’s whimsical but still kind of badass, in an attempt to stay as far away as possible from the typical wedding aesthetic. I thought Goods Gang hit both those notes, and the GG alliteration helps it stick in your brain. The “Goods” refers to the paper goods that we sell, and the “Gang” touches on the fact that if you are a client, customer, or even a fan, you’re part of the gang. Plus, I wanted a name with handles that were available on web and all social media platforms, without fussing around to add “co” or “nyc” (which is so not easy to find these days). I had such a long list of requirements!
Before starting Goods Gang, I worked as a UX [user experience] designer, focusing on web, software, and app interfaces. For me, the transition from digital to print is what I think gives me an edge over others who do what I do. I was originally trained as a graphic designer in school, with a heavy focus on print design. After I graduated, and up until I started Goods Gang, I only worked professionally in the digital space. UX work is not forgiving. You have to design complicated systems that accommodate unpredictable content. You really learn how to push your visual designs skills to make something look interesting and compelling (and also obviously user-friendly), while making sure it can be implemented in a feasible and practical way. These lessons (along with maybe a million others I learned in the last decade in UX) just made me a more efficient and skilled print designer, and I applied all that knowledge to what I do now for Goods Gang.
I find my inspiration literally anywhere and everywhere. I could spend hours trolling Instagram and Pinterest, looking at design, photography, fashion, art, architecture, etc. I try to travel as often as possible, visit other countries and new places (but also visit family and friends). I also love to explore the city I live in (NYC), try new restaurants, go to museums, bars, coffee shops, Broadway, just walk the streets, any and all of it. For me, inspiration comes from exposure. The more things I see and experience, the more I have to draw inspiration from.
To be totally transparent, I originally launched the Boobies collection mainly because I wanted a paper offering other than wedding stationery. Not everyone is getting married or even needs wedding paper, and I wanted another way to reach my audience. My intent with Goods Gang was always to offer stationery in general, not necessarily just wedding paper (although at the moment, my website heavily markets just the wedding related goods). For my first line of non-wedding stationery, I decided to design the Boobies because I thought they were super fun, and the idea conceptually lends itself well to using my favorite medium (and what all my products are based on) — colored paper. I’m guessing people would like to hear that the Boobies came from a place of feminism and inclusivity (that was just an unintentional added bonus), but it actually just came from a place of me wanting to design something cute so that people could buy it. I want to see more silliness in the world. Less seriousness.
My advice for literally everything is — find your own unique balance. I know that’s super vague, but the way I started and run my business is only one of many ways to do it. I choose to do things in the way that makes most sense for me, my lifestyle, my personality, my skillset, etc. There are many people I know who run their own business and literally none of us do it the same way.
This is going to sound so lame, but I have nothing on my desk! I am an insane neat freak and clutter is my worst nightmare. I keep everything I can tucked away in drawers and cabinets. And then in those drawers and cabinets are containers and containers of stuff because I like everything separated. I don’t like my pens fraternizing with my pencils.
For me, being an entrefemmeur means that I do what I am passionate about, create things that I love, and I’m lucky enough to be able to share it with others.