Hillary Rose founded Paperoni Press in 2009 and has been designing stylish stationery ever since. She has many different styles, from her custom woodsy wedding invites, stationery and invites with vintage imagery, custom address labels, hand drawn kitchen cabinets and origami greeting cards. Before founding IndieMade, I was in the stationery business for many years and I love seeing such wonderful imagery on stationery products. I still have a passion for paper! Please visit her shop: www.paperonipress.indiemade.com
When and how did you get your start in the stationery business?
I was designing my wedding invitations in 2009, and found it to be the creative outlet I'd been missing since graduating college. I have a degree in photography, but never thought of myself as an artist before that. I began actively pursuing more wedding design jobs, and jumped from there into stationery. The first designs I did were the bird nest and crane, as gifts for my mom and sister.
How did you start selling your products on line?
It was actually the first place I sold my work. I currently live in a small town, and to get my stationery and custom work seen I had to reach out online. I didn't have the tools or knowledge of how to set up a website at that time, and only a few products, so an online marketplace was the logical place to start.
What role does blogging and social media play in your marketing efforts?
Every time I'm featured on a blog or in an Etsy treasury I post it to my Paperoni Press Facebook page, and then put a link to my Facebook page in the treasury comments section. I also offer a 10% discount for every one who "likes" Paperoni Press on Facebook.
I just did my first blog posting, and I hope to keep up with it! I think blogs are great ways to find amazing new products and showcase great design from others. I doubt I'll blog very much about my own work! (I'm working on my first post now)
Besides on your website, where do you sell your stuff?
I still sell on Etsy, because it would be silly to close up shop when so many customers find me there. I'm excited about being able to sell direct through indiemade though. This spring my work will also be sold in a small boutique opening in Philadelphia called Aoki.
How do you stay in touch with your customers?
Facebook and Etsy announcements are my main means of communicating with customers. My custom design clients usually email or call me directly.
What piece of business advice would you give someone just starting out in the stationery business?
Invest any money you make back into your business; don't think that the methods and equipment you used at the start are the best way, you need to give your customers the highest quality product you can. Perfecting your work flow will also free up time for you to create, the most important aspect of your craft!
Beautiful and professional looking photos of your products are also essential. Unless a customer is seeing your product in a store, those photos are the only impression they will get. Make them lush.
Why did you decide to use indiemade?
I was searching for a website template site designed for artisans that had shop capabilities, and indiemade was the best! It has a super easy interface, and I was able to customize it to fit my needs.
What is your favorite part of using indiemade?
I love how clean and intuitive the dashboard of the site is. I've managed several other websites, and indiemade is clearly mapped out. The sites you can make with indiemade also look like completely custom built sites, if you spend enough time on them. I didn't have to do any coding, but my site is just how I envisioned it to look!
Whose work do you admire?
Photographers I love are Camille Seaman, Abelardo Morell, and Alessandra Sanguinetti.
Writers I love are Jeffrey Eugenides, Jasper Fforde, and Kurt Vonnegut.
Artists I love are Mucha, Richard Diebenkorn, and Frida Kahlo.
Designers/design companies I love are Marimekko and Jonathan Adler.
What is your favorite anything?
I have a small reporters notebook on me at all times to keep track of my life. Someday I'll be able to track the course of my life by reading through them. Purple shoes are another favorite! I'm quite minimalist when it comes to fashion, but that pop of color makes me feel confident. I also buy more party dresses than I have parties to go to!