Member Feature: A Paper Paradise

Contributor post by Natalie

Please join us in welcoming A Paper Paradise, our featured member!

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Tell us about yourself       

As my three children prepared to leave the nest for college, my hobby of card making transitioned into a small business making hand stamped cards and custom invitations

When did you open your business and what make you decide to do so?

I opened my shop in February 2013 when, with only one child left at home, I had enough time to really try and make a professional job of it.

Tell us a bit about your products           

I make hand stamped cards and custom invitations, they are clean, simple and elegant.

What inspires your work?           

Everything! I may get a layout from the pattern of coasters on the side table, a color scheme from a cushion and a design from a passage in a book. Often a customer will say something like ‘can you make me a pink baby shower inviting with a beach theme?’ And I go from there.

What are your future goals for the business this year? What is your dream for this business?         

My first year of business made enough money that I could buy some major pieces of equipment without raiding the family finances, this year I would like to actually make a profit!
My favorite part of the business is working with customers to get their dream invitation – I would love to do more weddings and local events

What makes your business stand out from businesses that sell similar products?

I provide a quality hand finished product using the highest quality paper and inks. My customer service is second to none. I work hard with my customers to make sure they get exactly what they want. -even if they didn’t know to ask for it at the start!

Tell us a bit about your work space. Do you have a separate studio?

For a couple of years I have been using my eldest daughters bedroom as a studio – and vacating it every time she came back for a vacation. This Christmas my family got together and refitted the room as my studio – out went the bed, soft toys and books, in came extra work surface, ikea storage and best of all, from my son, lots of custom storage for paper and ribbon. The business is now pretty much contained to the one room and I can quickly find everything.

Where can people find out more about you and your business?

My about page, my Facebook page – www.facebook.com/apaperparadisebykarencrisp

Why do you believe people should buy handmade, such as your products, vs buying mass-produced products from box stores?

My products have the personal touch, often designed just for the customer. These days, when a large amount of communication is by email, twitter and Facebook, I think it’s worth taking the time to choose a card or invitation that is as special as the occasion itself

Any advise for those thinking about selling on Etsy?

Just do it! I spent a year between setting up an Etsy account and actually putting anything in it – I wanted everything to be perfect. When I actually got started I just did one thing at a time, joined a local etsy support team and learned as I went along

When you’re not working, what do you like to do to unwind and have fun? Do you have any hobbies?        

You are joking? My biggest fear when I started this adventure was that I would suck the joy out of my favorite pastime. I am pleased to report that given an unexpected hour on my own, I am still likely to creep upstairs and create – without agenda.

Otherwise, I can be found cooking, enjoying my family or out on my tandem with my husband.

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If you would like to be featured, please go to the CIJ Etsy Forum and fill out the questionnaire. Please note you must be a member of the CIJ Etsy team to be featured.

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