meet the stationeria: swanky paper

i am so excited about this month's interview -- it's been in the works for a while and i'm thrilled to be able to finally share it! i found out about the swanky paper blog and online shop through a friend and was immediately drawn to the colors and fun designs created by heather, the mastermind of the whole endeavor.

heather thought about creating her own stationery line as early as 2004, and upon creating birth announcements for her son that next year she moved into making thank you cards, personalized note cards, change-of-address cards...and the rest was history!

swanky paper has officially been around since 2007, when heather's friends and family started hosting stationery parties to showcase her designs and products. the website was launched in january 2008 and just underwent a major redesign (more on that later!). best of all, heather has two little boys and does all this on the side -- amazing! without further ado...here is our interview.

heather from swanky paper

Paper Girl: How did you start spreading the word about your business? How do you continue to share your work?

Heather: Friends & family were the biggest supporters of my designs. Having them host parties positively helped spread the word. In addition, these home parties gave me the added confidence to continue. Certainly I liked my designs, but that didn’t mean others would like them, let alone pay to have them. Listening to these women at the home parties discussing the difficulty of which ones to get because they liked so many of them was a real confidence booster. I have not done home parties in quite a while, but I am not opposed to starting up again for my southern California “neighbors”.

I have done a few giveaways on blogs to help spread the word and get the Swanky Paper name out there, but other than that I really don’t advertise. Many of my clients are from word of mouth.

Paper Girl: Where do you get your supplies for card making?

Heather: It was important for me to keep cost down. I wanted to keep my prices low, but it was also imperative that I not sacrifice quality.

Therefore, I get my supplies from several different sources. I searched the web for samples, and went to a few trade shows in order to find the right paper and the right envelopes with the right price. (I never knew there were so many different types of linen paper!). It was overwhelming at first but through it all I found exactly what I wanted in quality stationery products at prices that I am comfortable with.

Paper Girl: What motivates you to keep making and selling cards?

Heather: It’s simple. I love making pretty paper! If you love what you do, then the motivation is built in.

Paper Girl: How do you balance being a mom with your hobbies and business?

Heather: It is all about time management. As far as being a mom, most of my mornings are devoted to the kids. I often take care of errands, have playtime with friends (mommy’s friends too!), or tend to the household chores. My day to day work schedule varies. Some days are a little more demanding than others with processing orders or other custom projects. On those days, my super supportive husband is great about playing with the boys and taking over bath time so that I can meet my deadlines. In addition, I tend to keep late hours. I have always been a night owl so processing Swanky Paper orders at night works for me too.

Paper Girl: What’s the most memorable order you’ve filled or product you’ve made?

Heather: Two orders come to mind. I was contacted by a woman who wanted to order some personalized note cards to use for her Wedding Thank You cards. She wanted the “Good News” design but wanted it in one of her wedding colors. I worked with her to fine tune her exact custom color and a specific font choice. She was very gracious and such a delightful woman to work with.

Another custom order I processed a few months back was for a child’s birthday party. She ordered the “Wonder Bubbles” design. Her daughter’s favorite colors were pink & orange. So I created an invitation and matching personalized note cards in pink and an orange sherbet color. They loved it! We took it a step further and also made matching round labels with this color design for the goodie bags.

Paper Girl: What inspires you?

Heather: Everything! I find inspiration in just about anything. I love color and I try to incorporate fun color combinations into the designs. My design “Wonder Bubbles came about because my two boys and I were playing with bubbles one afternoon and thought it would be a great children’s note card.
Inspiration can come from anywhere and everywhere.

as i mentioned, the swanky paper blog recently underwent a complete re-design -- and in honor of this occasion, heather is offering 15% off any order during the month of may. hop over to her blog for more details!

all images pulled from swanky paper. thanks again for your time, heather!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the interview! and for being patient with me. xoxo