SDH 163: How to Leave Your Job and Chase Entrepreneurship with Joanna Alberti

How do you reflect yourself and your life through a product? Have you thought of doing so through a character? If so, how do you keep it relevant?

Joanna Alberti, founder of philoSophie's Stationery, uses the character Sophie in stationery and gift sets along with positive quotes and sassy sayings based off of the events of her and her friend's lives. With her business being 10 years old and Sophie being a few years older than that, she keeps her character relevant by branding her as an "everyday girl", making her relatable and timeless to all women.

Sophie was hatched when Joanna worked at an advertising agency in the mid-2000's. Wanting to get more into the creative side of the media department, she began making greeting cards for her company's arts and crafts fair, and Sophie was born. People loved the simplistic and cute character, and she decided to make greeting cards as a hobby.

She soon got two other jobs as a birthday party planner and a spa receptionist to nurture her budding business. As a birthday party planner, she was able to create a clientele for customizable greeting cards.  Working as a receptionist, she distributed her greeting cards at the front desk to get her product out to the public.

Joanna finally left her advertising job in 2005, and started taking her newfound hobby seriously in 2007. After creating a business plan, doing her market research, and seeing how much it would cost to print her designs, she moved to Rochester, NY to open up a small storefront.

With her new space and growing business, she began licensing her artwork onto gift products, and to other greeting card companies like Recycled Paper Greetings, and Pavillion Gift. Those companies put her designs onto 3D ornaments, little trinket boxes, statues, and mugs among other knick-knacks.

Listen in as we learn more about how Joanna has carried Sophie through the years and has developed a company with a loyal following and at her own pace!

In this episode you will...

  • Find out how to leave the corporate world and chase your entrepreneurial dreams while still keeping that door open as a backup plan
  • Appreciate how far you've come with your business and not get stressed by the day-to-day
  • Learn how to build your business off of what you have and can produce at the time
  • Figure out what your strengths are and how to delegate different aspects of your business to others
  • Know how to stop and analyze opportunities when they are presented to you, instead of jumping at every proposal
  • Learn how to customize a consumer's experience with your product and brand


"I have a core group of women and families that I've worked with over the years that have allowed me to really do what I love and it's growing and it's crazy to say that it's been 10 years in the making. I don't think I'd still be in business if I didn't grow the way that I did." -Joanna Alberti

"I think people see me first as an artist, I think I see myself that way too, but I am a business owner. So I have to be mindful [of] my spending, my growth, and how am I going to evolve." -Joanna Alberti

"If you stay true to what you're set out to do there will always be a core audience of people who will support you because they see the love you've put behind something." -Joanna Alberti


philoSophie's Stationery Website

philoSophie's Facebook

philoSophie's Instagram

philoSophie's Twitter

philoSophie's Pinterest

Joanna Alberti's LinkedIn

Essentialism: the Discipline Pursuit of Less by Greg McKeown

Amanda Boleyn