Planning Pretty with Jay
At the mention of the word ‘planner,’ Jayshree ‘Jay’ Nagrani inevitably comes to life. Recently, Flair sat with her incandescent love for jazzing up ordinary planners. She gives them personalities that are unlike any other. Bubbling with joy, she enthusiastically shared her passion for the hobby, Planning with Jay.
As the interview progressed, her eyes shone brightly with each word she spoke. She admits that Planning with Jay is worth more than she had ever imagined. She is making a profit from her efforts, but Nagrani does not acknowledge it as a business. The 39-year-old only considers her brand, Soft Touch Jamaica, as an entrepreneurial venture. She offers haircare products, shower gels and hand soaps to the public that are manufactured by her partner in Turkey.
“This is my passion and it’s like therapy for me. I’ve always been into stationery just like many girls, making scrapbooks and other things. Especially while I was in high school, I couldn’t read from books that were not new or ugly. I could only learn when my things were nice and pretty,” she ardently explained before bursting into laughter.
A KNACK FOR CREATIVITY
Planning pretty! That’s another way the former New York middle-school teacher and journalist recognises her ingenious endeavour. And as she walked Flair through her personal planner, the description became clear-cut.
Nagrani’s interest in creativity peaked when she was a teenager. It was a coping mechanism that helped her settle her emotions as she dealt with an eating disorder in the early 2000s. So, she’d make attractive comfort cards and other adorable paper crafts that took her to a “different world”. Today, expressive cards, page markers, dashboards, the opening pages of the planners, fancy paperclips and other engaging charms are major characteristics of her fetching planners.
Two years ago, she attended an eating-disorder conference and that’s when she got inspired to put the books together. In no time, the endearing item captured the attention of many, forcing an imaginative Nagrani to meet the demands of these persons. Since then, she has been revolutionising the basic organising tool.
“I never thought it would be something that I would be making money from. To me, that was just unheard of. It’s weird,”she said.
This makes it even harder for her to profess that this is another source of income.
A JOURNEY OF ITS OWN
“What I like about my planner is that it is for me. I want to open it and feel inspired. I want to see colours. And I do this with each planner that I make. I personalise it to suit the tastes of its owner. So, I need to know what you’ll be using it for, because planners are just for setting down day-to-day events. You can take it to church or for budgeting. My planners are like a journey on their own. I’ll revamp to meet all your needs,”Nagrani told Flair.
Nagrani usually sits quietly, often times in bed and makes the alluring features that enliven the planners. But she gets a number of the decorative elements from other small businesses in Jamaica, chiefly to promote Brand Jamaica. Her aim is to the products entirely Jamaican made pieces, however, she faces challenges sourcing crucial materials in her native land.
Many, like Chrisantia Bartley can attest to Nagrani’s great works. She said: “I love her work!
Jay is extremely thorough and amazingly creative. She manages to capture every single request and collate them in planners that were bursting with personality. Her work is simple, beautiful and I highly recommend that you plan with Jay.”
For more information on festooning your planner, contact Jayshree Nagrani on her Instagram page @planningwithjayjm.