Cat Arambulo's Catastrophe Is Perfect For Women Who Love Stationery
Even in today’s fast-paced world, no email or Instagram post can beat heartfelt messages written on beautiful stationery, believes mom blogger, PR girl, lifestyle columnist, interior designer, style influencer, and socialite Cat Arambulo.
“People think that the digital generation doesn’t write anymore. But there are a lot of people who still prefer writing,” said the founder of Catastrophe, a chic lifestyle line featuring stylish office materials and more that infuses fashion and personality into the everyday.
Catastrophe offers well-curated office and lifestyle products.
“We have prints for everyone. Students love it, girls on the go love it, grandmothers love it, and even men love it. There’s something for everyone,” adds Cat.
Despite her busy schedule, the Metro.Style team snagged an exclusive interview with the entrepreneur at her trunk show in Lanai, Makati (over aperitivo, of course). Keep scrolling for more.
Photo from Cat Arambulo; photographed by Daniel Tan
Metro.Style: How did Catastrophe begin?
Cat Arambulo: Everything in my life happened by chance. Before I started blogging, I practiced interior design. I created my website (catarambulo.com) to merge my interior design work and my fashion in one platform. In 2015, my blog started to generate traffic and endorsements, and I commissioned Spain-based artist Isabel Gatuslao to create prints that I can use as a background for my site.
I wanted to incorporate fun prints to show my readers a part of me that they don’t usually see whenever I dress up. You see, despite my colorful personality, my daily wardrobe is black and white—I only wear those colors because they’re classics, and they’re really easy to style. With black and white pieces, I don’t even have to spend too much time thinking of what to wear!
After getting good feedback from my readers, I realized that I could create something tangible with my prints; something that people can actually take with them home. And because my daughter loves stationery (we would spend hours in Target just looking at cute notebooks and papers), I thought there must be something we can do with paper!
I worked with my daughter and her friends (all of them are in school) in creating Catastrophe. They gave me insight on what they look for in notebooks—the line size, how much space there is, how durable the pages are, etc. All those little details came from them.
Catastrophe was officially launched in November 2016. We started with printed notebooks and eventually added printed pens. Later on, we added rose gold staplers and tape dispensers. We’ve also released marble clipboards, which are really cute.
And now, because it’s the holidays and people love to give ang pao, I made cute money envelopes that are big enough for cheques to fit in.
I’m also excited to share that we will be releasing home and travel products soon. It takes at least 6 months to produce a product, so it might take a while, but we’re already working on them now.
Catastrophe also offers quirky accessories, including a selfie ring light that you can attach to your smart phones.
MS: What makes Catastrophe different?
CA: For one, it’s the personal touch. All our patterns and prints are trademarked, so no one can copy them. Each Catastrophe item makes a statement because it’s very colorful and vibrant—it’s really for anyone who wants some personality in their life.
MS: What are three things you would recommend as Christmas gifts?
CA: 1. The marble clipboard, definitely! It’s so cute and you will never find anything like it. The rose gold metal gives a pretty finishing touch. And it will definitely last long because of the high quality.
2. The rose gold stapler and tape dispenser, because they’re very unique products. It took us forever to develop the actual color of the rose gold and to get our logo in the acrylic.
3. Just get a set! If you have a desk, you’d need to get everything—from the stapler, the tape dispenser, the pens, the paperclips. And the prints are meant to be mixed and matched too so that they will look good together.
MS: What advice can you give entrepreneurs starting a business?
CA: It’s important to be passionate in what you’re doing. Without that passion, the drive and motivation won’t be as strong, and that will reflect on whatever work you develop.
Find Catastrophe in the following stores: National Bookstore Shangri-La, National Bookstore Rockwell, National Bookstore Glorietta 1, Noteworthy Podium, Planaforma, and Lanai.
Follow them on Instagram at @catastrophe.ph.
Visit their website at www.catastrophe.ph.
Cover photo taken by Daniel Tan