At Paper Epiphanies, our lifeblood is wholesale. Our retail partners around the globe tell our story and share our cards with their customers everyday. We love our retailers and are so grateful for their support! We are long overdue at spotlighting some of our favorites, so we decided to start a fun little series called "Shooting the Shit with our Retailers". For the first edition, we've asked three of our retailers a few questions-- some sillier than others-- and if these answers don't cause you to spit out your coffee (based on a true story), they'll at least reveal a fact or two that you don't already know. So settle in and check it out...
This week's spotlighted retailers are a special brand of AWESOME.
First up, Kristina, owner of Calliope, the brand behind, not one, but two stationery store locations in Somerville and Natick Massachusetts. This pink-haired boss lady started making invitations, cards and coasters back in 2007 and selling them at local markets. By 2014, Kristina was selling her work at craft shows, as well as online, all while maintaining a 9-5 job as an administrative assistant. In June 2016, Kristina opened her first stationery store (and we were there from the beginning!!) and the rest, as they say, is history!
Next, we have Raegan, the badass owner of Papél New York, based in Brooklyn. This paperie is like a chic mom 'n pop store, meaning that while buying stylish, family-targeted paper products, you're likely to run into Raegan herself, Francesca, her daughter and/or Parker, her poodle. Raegan used to work in corporate retail for 8 years before deciding to become her own boss and opening her store in 2009. Be sure to look her up!
Last but not least, Shandon, owner of the fabulous Alair Seattle from (you guessed it) Seattle, Washingston. Shandon used to work primarily in breweries all around the US until she decided to settle in Seattle and open Alair in January of 2017. This luxury goods boutique is not only special for its local, community atmosphere, but also for the spunk and creativity that Shandon projects at every turn.
As if you weren't hooked already, the answers that these three fantastic ladies gave in the questions below will surely sway you...
How did you name your store?
Kristina: Calliope is Greek grandmother (my Yia-Yia) and it’s also my middle name. After a couple name changes over the course of my business life, this felt right and I haven’t wanted to change it since.
Raegan: The idea was to combine my home town of NYC with the concept of a stationery store without actually using the word paperie. Having taken 8+ years of Spanish, it made sense to use the Spanish word for paper to complete the task. Enter Papel New York.
Shandon: I totally had a different name all lined up and when I went to do the LLC, it was taken. So I texted with a bunch of my friends and we decided in about 3 minutes. Alair means "happy or cheerful" and it seemed to work fine, plus I liked the way the A looked in the font. I can't even remember what the original name was now and it was pretty unorganized and not thought out well- like the rest of my life. I love the name though so it worked!
What if you HAD to sleep with a celebrity who would it be?
Kristina: Jeff Goldblum circa Independence Day (The movie. Not, like, from a specific day…)
Raegan: Well, gosh, if I HAD to, I would say Hugh Jackman. I suppose he could throw me around a bit and I would be okay with that.
Shandon: Jon Stewart. Obvs.
What is your favorite Paper Epiphanies card?
Kristina: Actually it’s a Christmas card! I love the one that says “Colored Christmas lights? You’re dead to me.” I died. Colored lights are SO. TACKY.
Raegan: “I'm so glad we finally slept together.” - enough said. and yes, I have dropped that little nugget in the mail myself.
Shandon: Happy Birthday. Consider this your blow job. Because as Tori says, "Sometimes the truth hurts"
If your life was a song what would it be and why?
Kristina: Is there a song that goes, “I wanna eat carbs whenever I want and not get fat”? That one.
Raegan: Oh that’s a tough one. Of recent, I’ve been drawn to “River” by Leon Bridges. It resonates with me; the strength, pain, clarity, and triumph. Second song would be “Freak Me” by Silk. It just makes good sense.
Shandon: Too Young To Fall In Love by Motley Crue. Because it's a long story.
What is one goal of yours for the next year?
Kristina: I just got a hot foil stamper with the intention of stamping pencils with funny things and movie quotes and maybe making cards or notebooks. Making that a success is a huge goal. I am just excited to start making things again.
Raegan: To finally sign my divorce papers!
Shandon: To hit our goal numbers: They are really modest and JUST cover the bills with no extras. I've been open two years and we aren't there yet, but in the next year I want to grow enough that I'm not in a complete money panic constantly.
If you were to get a tattoo what would be it and where?
Kristina: Probably a half sleeve with a stationery or letter-writing theme. Fuckin’ badass.
Raegan: Meh…I’m not really into tattoos. I was born with a killer birthmark on my back, so I feel like that was G-d’s way of giving me a tramp stamp, without the tramp.
Shandon: I have a lot of tattoos. I'm slowly working on a full sleeve of woodland animals but because of the aforementioned money issue (along with time... because small business owner....) it'll be a work in progress for a while.
What is the most special card you ever received?
Kristina: I’ve gotten a LOT, but when I was still just an online store, everyone knew I wanted to open a brick and mortar someday, and I had a customer once send me a note just saying she believed in me, to keep at it, and that she couldn’t wait to spend all her money when I did. I still have it, of course.
Raegan: Without a doubt, the handmade cards I receive from my two amazing little ones. Simply put, they ROCK.
Shandon: I received a lot over the past two years that are still on my fridge, around my house, taped to mirrors.... I love cards so much and the people that send them. It takes a few minutes to write some encouraging words, and then they inspire me daily for years to come. During the hard moments, it’s amazing to look around and remember that everyone is rooting for you.
Check out these fabulous ladies on their websites and social media! We’re sure you’ll love them just as much as we do!