Shooting the Shit With Our Retailers: Episode 3

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Kicking off 2019 with another installment of our blog series: Shooting the Shit With Our Retailers. If you have read our previous posts in the series, you know we just LOVE our retailers! This time around we have asked the lovely ladies, Heather and Dani, from Rock Paper Scissors to answer some enlightening questions. Their answers spotlight their incredible business and most importantly, who they are as inspiring and creative people! Check it out!


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Rock Paper Scissors

Rocks Paper Scissors in Charlottesville, Virginia has been the go-to place for all stationery needs since its debut in 2002. But the store has really taken on a new magical glow since its revamp in 2010 when Heather and Dani entered the picture. After buying the store, these amazing ladies kept its previous charm while also adding their own brand of style. Today, Rock Paper Scissors is known both for the quality of its paper products and the unique and authentic brands that it carries. It is also know for the “Wall of Inspiration”, displaying a wide variety of the custom paper orders: the brainchildren of Heather and Dani. Learn a little more about these two awesome humans…

How did you name your store? 

Dani: Bought it, no choice.

Heather: We rock paper scissor'ed for it! Jk - we bought the store from the previous owner and kept the name, so there was no deciding.

What if you HAD to sleep with a celebrity who would it be? 

Dani: Easy. THOR during the day and Chris Hemsworth at night. Yes, they are the same person.

Heather: I feel like I'm dating myself with this answer: Brad Pitt. That would have been my answer, like, 20 years ago... I may need to rethink it! 

What is your favorite Paper Epiphanies card? 

Dani: "Self Care” (Collaboration with Chelsea Leiken) because when you go through cancer and currently PTSD from cancer, this is a GREAT reminder. My favorite cards during my treatment were encouragement cards like these! and then these too: "Curse, Laugh, Get piss ass drunk, Grief" and "Sending you Breast Wishes".

Heather: "I breastfed easily and the weight just fell off - said a liar" might have to be it. But "the only thing you need validated is your parking" is a pretty close second!

If your life was a song what would it be and why? 

Dani: Can't think of a happy life theme song, but my "cancer fighting" and "post cancer anxiety life moment" song is "Fire Away" by Chris Stapleton. I know it's a break up song about a bad relationship, but it, like, puts freakin' (I guess I can say fuckin' with Paper Epiphanies), courage and motivation in my soul. I saw him right before he exploded which was during my treatments. The song is this back and forth dance with a "bad thing for you." You can't seem to get rid of it, but it gives you strength that you never realized you had. Plus the whole "I've never been here before" stanza speaks to me about how much breast cancer has effected my family in the past and will in the future (freakin' genetics!). Stones (tumor), Razor (surgery), Cry to my grave (PTSD). Crazy how when a song OR a CARD is presented to someone at a certain time they can derive different meanings from it that can be so therapeutic and encouraging.

Heather: Tough act to follow - I don't think i have just one theme song; but anything upbeat that makes me want to dance will do!

What is one goal of yours for the next year? 

Dani: The constant search for happiness and purpose. And do more work that inspires me. And to perfect making a quiche (for reals just said this to myself this morning). 

Heather: Ugh, I'm not a good goal planner.... in general, it's to live in the present and spend less time on social media. Life is happening to us now and we're all seemingly on our phones trying to be vicariously somewhere else.

If you had to wear the same outfit everyday, what would it be? 

Dani: COMFORT, CLASSY & NEUTRAL. Slip on sneakers, yoga pants or skinny jeans and a loose long shirt, all in neutral colors, probably gray. 

Heather: Sneakers, yoga pants, workout top (not necessarily to work out, of course, it's just comfy!)

What is the most special card or note you ever received? 

Dani: When I was going through breast cancer treatment 3 years ago, I decided to freeze my eggs before chemo. I was writing this blog to keep friends and family updated, but the blog ended up being passed around to a lot of people for inspiration. {on the blog} I wrote, "should I celebrate my egg retrieval date every year?" and lamented how there wasn't a card for that… it should say something like "Happy egg retrieval day! May your eggs stay healthy and frozen so your genes won't go extinct." So the very next day, Dec 15th, I walked in for the surgery to have my eggs retrieved. The nurse prepping me, whom I had NEVER SEEN BEFORE, gave me a handwritten card with THOSE EXACT WORDS. A friend who is also a nurse had sent her my blog the day before and said if you happen to run into this chick take care of her! It was the most rewarding moment to receive {a card} from a complete stranger. I definitely felt safe, secure and hopeful going into that surgery. Not just hopeful for my eggs that they took out. BUT FOR MANKIND and for the future of those eggs to be surrounded by the kindness and community that a simple little note did. 

Heather: Tough act to follow, again! I think I'd have to say that it's not any single card that I've received that has been special; but the act of writing letters, starting at a very young age, that has essentially shaped my life in a way I never could have foreseen and what ultimately led to me running a greeting card store. It started with letters to and from my grandmother, who lived in another state; then after spending my summers with her in Wisconsin from 4th- 11th grade, having pen pals that I wrote to regularly - I guess that's what gave me the bug!

Shooting the Shit With Our Retailers: Episode 2!

Welcome to the second round of Shooting the Shit With Our Retailers. Here at Paper Epiphanies we treasure our retailers the way we treasure our Corgis (ok, maybe not that much- sorry Twinkie!) and know that without them, we wouldn’t be nearly as successful as we are today. Not only do we love our retailers for the amazing work they do, but also for who they are as people! This series is a fun way for us to share them with you! We’ve asked two of our favorite retailers to answer a variety of questions, some silly, some serious, and presented them for your viewing pleasure below:

Enjoy!

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Ecru Modern Stationer

Our first spotlighted retailer is LeAnn from Ecru Modern Stationer. This Portland-based boss lady opened her first shop in 2006 in the Pearl District after 10+ years of working in stationery. This store was born from LeAnn’s love of the greeting card: for her, it encapsulates the relationship between people, celebrated through their shared special moments in life. Today, there are three Ecru Modern Stationer stores around Portland, all offering a fantastic selection of stationery products and of course, Paper Epiphanies! Look no further for all your Portland paper needs!


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Folio

Our next spotlighted retailer is Alex, owner of Folio. Based in Larkspur, California, Alex created Folio to share her love of the timelessness of stationery. Appreciating how the action of pen-to-paper transcends modernity and technology to provide a genuine communication between people, Alex built her store in this image to provide amazing stationery products for all those who share her passion. Be sure to stop by or check her out online!

And now for the main attraction…

How did you name your store?

Ecru: I was looking for a name that related to paper but didn’t say paper...I had already been working in the paper world for 11 years and ecru was a classic color of stationery and is derived from the color of unbleached linen. My vision for the shop was keep the classic but do it with a very modern twist. Plus, Ecru looked good in a logo using the typewriter font that I liked......

Folio: I inherited the name- but I like it- so that’s good!

What if you HAD to sleep with a celebrity who would it be?

Ecru: Brad Pitt circa Legends of the Fall....

Folio: Cary Grant- I know he’s dead- but I don’t care- if I must choose a living celebrity, I would choose Robert Redford (40 years ago) or Brad Pitt (present age).

What is your favorite Paper Epiphanies card?

Ecru: ‘Gorgeously Human’ (collab with Chelsea Leifken). It is a sentiment I strive to remind myself every day.

Folio: “He was a prick” or “give anything to take off my bra right now”

If your life was a song what would it be and why?

Ecru: “Keep your head up” by Andy Grammar. In retail I think you must have an upbeat and positive attitude. Being a single proprietor, with three stores, it can be difficult to keep this prospective. I consistently remind myself to keep my head up and this helps me keep things moving forward!

Folio: “Once, Twice, Three Times. A Lady” Lionel Ritchie (no idea why that came to me first)- it was that or “Brick House” (kidding)

What is one goal of yours for the next year?

Ecru: My biggest goal is to spend more time working on the big picture! Delegate the minutia to free up my time.

Folio: More time off.

If you had to wear the same outfit every day, what would it be?

Ecru: Easy, a relaxed white T, skinny jeans and one of my comfy pairs of boots.

Folio: Jeans, boots, t-shirt, cardigan (I kind of do).

What is the most special card or note you ever received?

Ecru: The latest card or note from my husband. He writes me the sweetest notes and I save them all, as each one is a treasure to me.

Folio: Anything from my mom or pop (both in heaven).

Shooting the shit with our retailers!

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.

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Calliope

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!

 

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Papél New York

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!

 

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Alair Seattle

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!