Woman of the Week: Sojourner Truth

This week Paper Epiphanies is highlighting an outstanding mother as our Woman of the Week in honor of our recent release of “The 4th Trimester” line. Sojourner Truth, originally Isabella Baumfree, was born a slave in New York in 1797. She spent the first thirty years of her life being bought and sold buy one New York plantation owner after another, experiencing a range of treatment including daily beatings until 1826 when she finally escaped from her last owner, John Dumont. During her enslavement, Sojourner had five children--only four of which survived childbirth. When she finally escaped, New York was on the cusp of emancipating its slaves, a process which had started in 1799, and Sojourner was only able to bring her youngest, infant daughter with her because the others were required to remain slaves until in their twenties. Sojourner and her daughter were taken in by a couple, who paid Dumont for her services but kept her and her child in their house until the official New York emancipation.

Then, in 1828, Dumont sold one of Sojourner’s sons, Peter, illegally to another owner. Sojourner took Dumont to court and was able to take her son back after months of proceedings, making history as one of the first black women to win in court against a white man (you go mamma!).  At this time as well, Sojourner began her religious journey, becoming a devout Christian and befriending others involved in the religious community. Around this time, Sojourner was accused of the murder of one of her employers and, after being acquitted she was forced to serve time for murder.

In 1849, Sojourner reentered society and became a Methodist, changing her name and saying, “The Spirit calls me and I must go.” She then began to start touring around, preaching the spread of abolition and of women’s rights. During her promotion efforts she not only met and interacted with several other activists, such as Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison, but she also gave several important speeches on women and black rights. Perhaps the most famous of these speeches was one gave at the 1851 Ohio Women’s Rights Convention where she demanded equal rights for women and blacks, a daring and powerful speech, not only because of its radical message, but also because Sojourner was both of those oppressed minorities herself. During the civil war Sojourner also worked to recruit black soldiers for the Union and after the war tried (without success) to get land grants from the government for previous slaves.

Sojourner is remembered for being an amazing activist, fighting to bring about rights for blacks and women when everything was working against her. As both a mother and an activist, Sojourner stands out as being an amazing candidate for Paper Epiphanies’ Woman of the Week.

Woman of the Week: Madam C J Walker

This week we have the pleasure of celebrating the success and advancements of Madam C J Walker as our Woman of the Week. Born Sarah Breedlove in 1867 on a plantation in Louisiana, she was the first of her family to be born into freedom just a few years after the Emancipation Proclamation. At 7 years old Sarah was orphaned and at 10 years old she moved to Mississippi to begin working as a domestic. At 14 years old, Sarah had her first of three marriages, the first of which gave her a daughter, Lelia, and the last of which gave her name, Madam C J Walker (Charles Joseph Walker).

As you can imagine, Sarah’s life was far from easy, but she was determined to make a life for herself and her daughter. In 1888, after moving to Missouri to live with three of her brothers, Sarah began working as  a laundress, making a very small wage (less than a dollar a day), but was engaged in her community, singing and being involved at her church. Sarah suffered, as many black women did at the time, hair loss and dandruff due to a variety of skin disorders originating from lack of access to good cleaning and diet. At first Sarah learned haircare from her brothers, who were barbers, but then she began selling hair-care products for the Poro Company, owned by the African-American Annie Turnbo Malone. From there, Sarah was able to start her own business for hair-care: initially selling door to door, then branching out to a beauty parlor in Pittsburgh, and, after closing that, opening an office and beauty salon in Harlem in 1913.

Earlier, in 1910,  Sarah set up her headquarters of the Madam C J Walker Manufacturing Company in Indianapolis, which later grew to be a factory, hair salon, beauty school to train her sales agents and a laboratory to develop new product. Sarah trained her sales agents in the “Walker System” of haircare and at the peak of its success, Sarah’s company employed several thousand women and had trained almost 20,000. The company grew to be well know around the states and in several caribbean and central american countries. Sarah added to her community by encouraging other black women to build their businesses and become financially independent as well as creating the National Beauty Culturists and Benevolent Association of Madam C J Walker Agents, a conference believed to have been one of the first national women entrepreneur gatherings. Sarah also was a philanthropist and donated to establish a branch of the YMCA in Indianapolis’s black community, to establish scholarship funds and to various other organizations. Sarah was involved politically as well and was part of various organizations fighting for African American rights as well as delivering several lectures towards the advancement of black rights.

Dying in 1919, Walker was considered the wealthiest African American woman in the US and is viewed today as one of the most successful female entrepreneurs of her time as well as one of the most successful African American business owners ever. As female entrepreneurs ourselves, we can say Madam C J Walker is GOALS and well deserving of our Woman of the Week.

Woman of the Week: Rita Levi-Montalcini

This week Paper Epiphanies is honoring the fabulous Rita Levi-Montalcini, a truly badass female who let neither the threat of danger, nor the restrictions of her sex stop her from doing what she wanted. Born in 1909 in Italy to a Jewish family, Rita decided to enter medicine after seeing a close family friend die of stomach cancer. She attended the University of Turin Medical School, much to the initial chagrin of her father, who was afraid a higher education would take away from Rita’s future ability to be a wife and mother (which we say good riddance to if it means giving up her aspirations). Rita remained at the university, studying the nervous system, past graduation but was eventually stopped due to Mussolini’s barring of Jews holding academic or professional careers in 1938. Not being able to work at the university anymore, Rita resourcefully set up a lab in her bedroom where she studied the nervous system in chick embryos (Oh, the classic perform-world-changing-scientific-research-in-your-bedroom phase; we all have one of those…). In 1943, when Germany invaded Italy, Rita and her family fled South to Florence and, with the help of some non-Jewish friends, disguised themselves and went into hiding. In the small living space she shared with her family, Rita set up another lab in the corner, not letting her forced situation hold her back.

Following the Holocaust, Rita was able to duplicate the experiments she had performed at her home laboratories, resulting in her receiving a research associate position at Washington University in St. Louis, which she held for the next 30 years. In this position, Rita performed research in which she discovered the existence of growth factors, or the causes of cell growth, most particularly nerve cell growth. For this research she and her fellow researcher Stanley Cohen won the nobel prize in 1986. Rita also headed several important organizations including the Research Center of Neurobiology in Rome, the European Brain Research Institute (an organization which she founded) and the Institute of Cell Biology of the Italian National Council of Research in Rome. As if Rita wasn’t already decorated enough, she even had a political career, where she became a Senator for Life (2001) in Italy and received many prestigious awards across her lengthy 103 years on this earth (the oldest Nobel Prize winner yet). Her ingenious research, a lot of it performed in high-danger (and rather sketchy if you ask us) conditions, make Rita a hugely influential figure on history and biology. Intelligent and brave, Rita is beyond worthy of being recognized as this week’s Woman of the Week.

Woman of the Week: Tarana Burke

This week Paper Epiphanies is celebrating the incredibly inspiring Tarana Burke, founder of the “Me Too” movement and fellow panel-member at the Rose City Women’s Summit May 11th (come stop by!). Born in the Bronx, Tarana started her activism young: at age 14 she joined the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement, an organization aimed at supporting and promoting young, community leaders. This trend of activism continued into university, at which Tarana earned the title of  ‘campus organizer’ after protesting the campus’s antiquated celebration of the Confederacy.

Following graduation, Tarana continued working at the 21st Century Youth Leadership Movement in Selma, Alabama, all the while noticing that women needed different treatment from men. This observation lead to Tarana’s first solo organization “Just Be,” which targeted young black women, aged 12-18, aiming to help them enter adulthood with a good sense of self-worth and a hefty self-esteem. Throughout her experiences in “Just Be,” Tarana noticed the extreme amount of sexual violence stories that women approached her with. Well-acquainted with sexual abuse herself, Tarana felt she didn’t have the right words to say to them that she, too, had experienced sexual violence and they were not alone. From this idea arose the “Me Too” movement: started in 2006 and designed to draw attention to the overwhelming amount of sexual assaults and violence experienced by women.

In 2017 the movement took off in earnest and once it sparked, “Me too” became a roaring forest fire, catching from phone to phone, twitter account to twitter account. The hashtag, #metoo, went viral and soon many women in Hollywood and beyond took up the trend. Time named Tarana, among other female activists known as the “silence breakers,” as the Time Person of the Year. In addition, at the 2018 Golden Globes, Tarana and many other female activists were in attendance, accompanying several celebrities, all wearing black to highlight solidarity for women. Tarana is one of our favorite people and the definition of what it means to make a change and a difference. Today she continues her incredible work and we are honored and delighted to be on the Rose City Summit panel with her May 11th!

Check out the event: https://rosesummit.org/

Woman of the Week: Katsuko Saruhashi

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Paper Epiphanies’ Woman of the Week this week is one badass woman who showed the world who’s boss. She not only contributed valuable scientific research to the world, but also made huge strides for women in her native country of Japan. Born in 1920 in Tokyo, Katsuko Saruhashi graduated from the Imperial Women’s College of Science in 1943. She then began working in the Geochemical Laboratory of the Meteorological Research Institute, eventually becoming its executive director in 1979.

In 1950, Saruhashi started studying carbon dioxide levels in seawater; a topic viewed as unimportant at the time, but which lead to the significant discovery of the mass spread of radiation. In 1954 the US conducted several nuclear tests  in the Pacific Ocean in what is called Operation Castle and which led to the mysterious illness of several Japanese fishermen who were downwind from the tests. CO₂ research was so undervalued Saruhashi had to create her own methods of measuring the gas (still the standard way to conduct this research today), but her results unveiled radioactivity as a serious pollutant due to infect the entire Pacific Ocean by 1969 if nuclear tests continued. Saruhashi’s research had a serious impact on nuclear testing regulations in the US and the world.

As if her resume wasn’t bulky enough, Saruhashi was also the first woman to earn her doctorate in Chemistry, the first woman elected to the Science Council of Japan and the first woman to win the Miyake Prize for Geochemistry. In addition to saving our oceans and pioneering the field of chemistry for women, Saruhashi contributed a huge amount to empowering women in Japan and around the world. She created the Society of Japanese Women Scientists and the Saruhashi Prize, which is awarded once a year to a female scientist who is a role model for other female scientists.

Geochemist; Genius; GIRL: Saruhashi died at 87 years old in 2007 from pneumonia but continues to impact the world and women with her incredible research and powerful achievements.

Woman of the Week: Tarn!

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This week Paper Epiphanies is recognizing our very own Studio Manager, Tarn, as the Woman of the Week. Coming to us almost a year ago, Tarn’s sunny personality and positive energy keep the orders and the smiles rolling.

We love Tarn for so many reasons and we think everyone else should love her too, so here’s an inside look at one of our favorite ladies:

Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, Tarn moved to NYC when she was 19 to study fashion at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). A few years ago she came to Portland and found us-- a “fun” startup that was “a change from fashion but still related in a way”-- love at first sight for all parties involved! She still misses the energy of NYC, though, and her favorite card in our line is ‘Why do you live so far away’ because a lot of her good friends don’t live in Portland.

When Tarn isn’t partying it up with us at the studio (her favorite thing to do, we assume), she enjoys hiking and skiing and generally being in nature. If the call of the wild isn’t strong enough, the sexy beckoning of the Bachelor is, among other bad reality TV shows. Tarn also loves traveling and if she could be anywhere in the world she’d be in Japan (bring us with you, Tarn!). Although she has warmed up to cats, Tarn is a dog person, and ideally would have a smaller dog, “After being around Twinkie (the Paper Epiphanies mascot), corgis are definitely in the consideration.” When asked who her biggest female role model is, Tarn recognizes the people who matter most, “I have a lot of strong women in my family.” Thanks Tarn for being a BIG part of our paper family!

Woman of the Week: Rosalind Franklin

This week’s Woman of the Week is beyond overdue for some attention. Rosalind Franklin was a physical chemist and X-ray crystallographer during the 1940s and 50s, whose revolutionary work on DNA and RNA, among other subjects, impacts how advanced we are in these fields today.

Born to a well-off English family in 1920, Rosalind was educated in a private girls school, followed by studying the natural sciences at Newnham College, Cambridge. In 1941, Rosalind graduated and earned a research fellowship at the University of Cambridge in a physical chemistry lab. By 1942, Rosalind had left her research fellowship disappointed and found a new research position studying coal. Through this research she was able to get her PhD in 1945 and, as if she wasn’t badass enough, move to Paris to begin post-doctoral research at an X-ray crystallography lab.

In 1950, using the skills she had learned in Paris, Rosalind was granted a three-year fellowship to go to King’s College in London to study proteins and lipids, but quickly was transferred to study DNA as a result of recent strides in the field. Working with her PhD student Raymond Gosling and fellow researcher Maurice Wilkins, Rosalind contributed much to the study of DNA, eventually resulting in what is viewed as the most important picture in DNA history: Photo 51.

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Photo 51 was taken by Rosalind, who used her past experience to create the clearest photo of DNA at the time and led to the determination that DNA was a double helix. She went on to make several more pioneering advances to fields such as RNA plant viruses and expressed interest in studying animal viruses. Unfortunately she was unable to follow up on this due to failing her failing health and in 1958 at age 37 Rosalind died of ovarian cancer.

And here’s where we get to the juicy part: despite Rosalind’s many achievements and contributions in all her research she received little recognition during and right after her life. Three other researchers of DNA structure, including Wilkins, received the Nobel Prize from their conclusions many of which were built off of Rosalind’s work, such as Photo 51. Rosalind was not even recognized in the accepting speeches of the three researchers and, further, it is not clear that she even gave them permission to view her research from which they were able to draw their Nobel Prize- winning conclusions. One of the researchers, James Watson, even slandered her in his book about discovering the DNA double helix. Today Rosalind is recognized much more for her achievements than she was during her lifetime, but her name still comes after those three researchers who refused to share their spotlight.

We hope to give Rosalind some of the recognition she deserves by nominating her as our Woman of the Week. Rosalind’s sister stresses she wasn’t a feminist; and perhaps she wasn’t in the active sense, but Rosalind sure held her own for a woman facing the chauvinistic barriers presented by mid-twentieth century, male-dominated academia.

Woman of the Week: Nellie Bly

We chose Nellie Bly as our Woman of the Week for her incredible achievements, most notably in writing. Badass with a pen? Sounds familiar ;)

Born Elizabeth Cochran in 1864 Pennsylvania, Nellie is best known for being a pioneer in investigative journalism, but she was also an inventor and record breaker. At 19, after writing a fiercely passionate response to the bullshit, pardon me, chauvinistic column titled "What Girls Are Good For" in the Pittsburgh Dispatch, Nellie was recruited to begin writing for the Dispatch. From there her journalism career launched.

Initially assigned to writing about 'womanly interests' (gardening, society, fashion, etc.), Nellie was not satisfied and chose instead to become a foreign correspondent in Mexico and write for 6 months about Mexican culture. After returning to the states, Nellie was again asked to write fluff pieces, but was having none of it. She instead snagged an undercover job for the New York World, where she faked insanity and was admitted to an asylum, where she stayed for 10 days. Nellie's report on the conditions inside the asylum were horrifying and led to many reforms.

Her next move was to take a page out of Jules Verne's book Around the World in Eighty Days--and we mean this most literallyExcept it only took Nellie 72 days. Which was the world record at the time. And she traveled alone. Looks like girls are good for quite a bit!

Later in Life, Nellie reported on women's suffrage movements in Europe during WWI and dabbled in inventing by patenting a new milk can and garbage can. In 1922, at age 57, Nellie died of pneumonia, but left her mark on the world in more ways than one.

Nellie Bly, you're so fly, you're so fly you blow our minds...

 

 

KISS MY PUMPS - An Office Line that Empowers Women

We are proud to share the launch of our new office line Kiss My Pumps! This line was created to inspire, celebrate and support a new wave of female leaders, entrepreneurs and BOSS ladies!

The beautiful and bold aesthetic is only topped by our commitment to charity. A portion of proceeds from the entire line will directly benefit Girl Up, a campaign of the United Nations Foundation. Additionally, 100% of profits from one signature product will be donated to Girl Up each season.

Retailers can purchase the line at the National Stationery Show starting on May 15th! The line will be available here on our website starting in June! Woohhoo!

 Rainbow Holographic Journals - Kiss My Pumps by Paper Epiphanies

Rainbow Holographic Journals - Kiss My Pumps by Paper Epiphanies

Kiss My Pumps mugs by Paper Epiphanies
 100% of profits from this art print will be donated to Girl Up. Kiss My Pumps by Paper Epiphanies

100% of profits from this art print will be donated to Girl Up. Kiss My Pumps by Paper Epiphanies

 

 

 

5 Cards That’ll Make #YoMama Laugh

Let’s be straight – your Mom deserves a good laugh after some of the shit you’ve pulled over the years. And Mother’s Day is the perfect time to show the lady who guided you through your terrible 2’s, that ‘awkward phase’, heartbreaks and everything in between, just how amazing she is.

Since ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ doesn’t quite cut it, we’ve created five cards with heartfelt and funny sentiments that are sure to put a smile and probably a smirk on your Mom’s face. 

Pick the card that best suits your Mom and share in the comments below!

For the eternally cool Mom who is your bestie: 

For the Mom who looks hot at any age: 

For the Stepmom who makes your dad very happy:

For the Mom who needs to take a load off after raising your ass:  

For the Stepmom whose closet you would raid in a heartbeat: 

Unique LA Here We Come

We were BEYOND excited to find out that we have been chosen as one of 2014 Unique LA Holiday Market vendors! We have been a fan of this creative makers market for years and are very excited to participate on December 6th and 7th!

If you're close to Los Angeles be sure to swing by and visit us! 

WHAT: The 7th Annual LA Holiday Market

WHEN: December 6th & 7th 

WHAT TIME: 11am-6pm (both Saturday & Sunday)

WHERE: The Penthouse at California Market Center, 110 East Ninth St.

DETAILS: $10 at the door (cash only), Kids 12 and under are free.  Free drinks! Free snacks! Free DIY craft projects all weekend long in The DIY Den! Free photo booth portraits. An exclusive Juice Served Here juice bar & G & B Coffee Lounge. Delicious food from the Fred 62 Pop-Up food court!

 

Paper Camp 2014

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending Paper Camp. I know – pretty funny name, right?! My husband had visions of an adult slumber party with paper…which wasn’t too far from the truth. Overall, the weekend turned out to be an incredible experience. In the course of just two days, I gained invaluable tips on how to hone and grow my business and met so many incredible, talented women. I went home with more knowledge than I could handle, many new friends and one HUGE swag bag (more on that later).  Thinking about going yourself? Here’s the scoop:

Before the event even started, the founder of Trade Show Bootcamp, Katie Hunt pumped everyone up with a pre-camp mailer. The custom surprise arrived via snail mail about a week and half before camp and really set the tone for the entire weekend. To start, let’s just say these ladies GET paper. Katie also created fun, Paper Camp branded images for us to share on social media. The branding for the entire weekend was spot on. Everything had a cohesive feel and the branding really united all elements of the event.

When the weekend of Paper Camp finally arrived, the first 20 minutes felt like the first day of school. A little bit of the “who am I going to sit with at lunch” syndrome took over and I quickly made an effort to introduce myself to the ladies around me. That newbie feeling quickly melted away as I began chatting with the 25 other talent, inspiring women in the room. Over the course of the weekend, I can honestly say I met some truly incredible women that I know I will stay in contact with for years to come!

After everyone checked and received our custom laser-printed name tags, we made our way into the conference room which was decked out in all kinds of Paper Camp swag. Each camper had a customized notepad, clipboard and of course, the highly coveted Paper Camp manual with everything you need to know about creating a kickass wholesale arm for your business. Once everyone was settled in, the camp leaders got right down to business. And let me tell you – THESE LADIES MEAN BUSINESS!

The leaders in the room were all industry experts who represented numerous sides of the paper business. Over the course of two full days, they shared their experiences, insight, secrets and pitfalls. Katie of Tradeshow boot camp served as the moderator for the weekend and helped guide the questions and conversations. Carina and Kim of Crow and Canary shared amazing insights, helped campers learn what card reps are looking for and how to prepare your business for working with a rep.  Julie of Sweet Paper in La Jolla attended to speak on behalf of what buyers are looking for in your card line. She did an incredible job of explaining the buying habits of retailers, what timeline they purchase on and most importantly, all of their pet peeves. On the designer front, Rachael of Pistachio Press, Claudia of Fig 2 Design, Amber of Fly Wheel Press, and Erika of Delphine all shared incredible information on how they “grew up” in the paper industry – DOs and DON'Ts, hard lessons learned, and more. Each of them brought something incredibly unique to the group dynamic and they all played an important role in the weekend. Often, the group leaders would strongly disagree on a topic and I thought this was one of the most genuine elements of the conference. They basically shared that there is never one “right way” to do things and these ladies were perfect examples of that. Each had very different opinions on everything from booth design to selling to consumers and the camp allowed me to see all of those different perspectives.

 Some of the fine ladies at Paper Camp 2014!

In addition to the camp leaders, we had the opportunity to meet with Ronnie of DeFrance Printing to discuss a variety of printing options, as well as meet with Carlos of Manny Stone to learn all of the various options for booth installations at NSS. During each break, we had the opportunity to browse through a "tools table" that housed example catalogs, wedding suites, NSS mailers, booth carpet and flooring samples and more. It was great to see how many options are out there and actually be able to touch them in person. It was refreshing to see that many big companies, simply do a tasteful, functional catalog and mailer and that you don’t have to go crazy to compete.

After each break, we would return to find special surprises at our table. The campers began to refer to it as the “stationery fairy” and we received everything from Poppin office gear to greeting cards and beautiful letterpress prints. And the best part of the HUGE Swag Bags we received…all of the items were created by Paper Camp Alums! Another element I enjoyed, were the numerous opportunities to socialize with the group leaders throughout the weekend in more casual settings. From a group dinner to various social/happy hours, there were many chances for great conversations to be had and additional questions to be answered.

 Our incredible Paper Camp Leaders!

Our incredible Paper Camp Leaders!

Overall, I would say that Paper Camp is 100% worth the investment in your business. If you’re serious about creating a card line or stationery company, then Paper Camp is a must! The only problem is that once someone tells you everything you need to know, you suddenly have 5,000 new questions and the process starts all over again... hopefully, there will be many alumni events to come!

Can't wait to put all of this learning into action!

- Paper Epiphanies