We Love our Paper Source Moms!

Paper Source would like to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all moms! To celebrate, we’re spotlighting four mamas from our Paper Source family. Read on for their lessons as working moms, and what Paper Source item they wish their kiddos would gift them!

PS-Employee-Moms

 

Being a mom is hard! What are some of the advantages of being a working mom at Paper Source?

“There’s always lots of great ideas for quick kids crafts and class projects, plus great teacher’s gift ideas!”
–Heather H., General Manager of Paper Source Direct-to-Consumer

“When Tommy was born I was able to work one day a week from home. It’s also been nice to have an open, easygoing office with whom to share my stories about him; and people either fake that they are entertained or actually do enjoy my mom stories. People ask about him on a daily basis, which is nice.” [Editor's Note: We really do love hearing about Tommy!]
–Gretchen O., Assistant Buyer

“Having leaders who understand and appreciate the importance of work-life balance is a wonderful thing.”
–Tara K., Regional Recruiter

“I was fortunately able to adjust my role within the Recruitment Department to support the balance needed with being a new mama; including part time hours, work from home as needed and no travel. Additionally, Paper Source built out a mother’s room for nursing.”
–Leah L., Recruitment Coordinator

 

What have your learned, as a working mom, that has surprised you?

“I’ve learned that having a balance between work and home makes me focus our time at home on creating great memories with my girls!”
–Heather H., General Manager of Paper Source Direct-to-Consumer

“I’ve learned that the structure and company that work provides is good balance to the craziness and unpredictability of home life.”
–Gretchen O., Assistant Buyer

“I’ve learned that having true passion for what you do daily so important –  your happiness is their happiness!”
–Tara K., Regional Recruiter

“How important and sacred my work as a mother is, as well as how important my work outside being a mother is. The two practices support one another in making myself whole.”
–Leah L., Recruitment Coordinator

 

What items would you want from Paper Source for Mother’s Day if your little one(s) could shop?

“New desk accessories for my office, Custom Note Pads or the Mom’s One Line a Day Journal with a handmade card!”
–Heather H., General Manager of Paper Source Direct-to-Consumer

“I would love the Rifle Paper Co. Chicago Art Print.”
–Gretchen O., Assistant Buyer

“Anybody who knows me will tell you I love everything at Paper Source! But I would love some new stationery.”
–Tara K., Regional Recruiter

Greeting cards and handmade craft! Both from the great assortment we bring in and the D.I.Y. offering we have.” 
–Leah L., Recruitment Coordinator

 

Easy Mother’s Day (Paper) Upgrades

Breakfast in bed and a bouquet of pretty flowers are a Mother’s Day favorite for a reason. Kids and adults alike can participate; plus it’s a simple and cost effective way to show mom how much she means.

If you’re treating mom with these classics this year, add more detail with these fine paper finishing touches. (Hint: Pick a paper with mom’s favorite colors!)

Line her breakfast tray. Measure the surface of the tray and cut a piece of paper to size. Simply place it in the bottom for a look that screams posh & pampered.

breakfast tray

Also pictured and available in most stores: Vintage Milk Bottle with paper tape, Best Mom Ever Mug, Home is Where Your Mom Is Tea Towel and Poppies Flower Kit.

 

Wrap it up. Cover up the dingy store plastic and make your buds really shine.

boquet examples

For this look, you can use fine paper or wrapping paper. Use a wrap with a pattern mom will love, or dress up a solid with stamps or writing (especially cute from the kids). Watch our video below to see the step-by-step wrapping process. And when you’ve got the paper all set, finish with twine, a piece of washi tape or a hand-drawn tag.

Flower-Gif

We love these quick little touches that elevate the finished gift. Which will you try out?

[Pictured: Silver Dots on Slate Fine Paper with Cotton Wrapping Twine; Paper Bag Solid Wrapping Paper with Large Rose Rubber Stamp and Patch Tsugihagi Washi Tape; Sketch Flower Wrapping Paper with Black & White Baker's Twine, Scallop Punch and Paper; Paper Bag Solid Wrapping Paper with writing in White Chalk Ink Marker and Cotton Wrapping Twine.] 

 

From a Recruiter: Welcome to Paper Source

Our new “From a Recruiter” series will give an inside look at what it’s like to interview and work for Paper Source. Written by Cara Pacholski, our Field Recruitment Manager, you’ll get a sneak peek at stories, tips and tricks from our store recruitment team. 

recruitment thank you wall

 

“Welcome to Paper Source!”

These are the words our team loves to communicate to someone who is new to the company. As we begin our journey into the behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to work for Paper Source, I wanted to share what our recruitment team is so passionate about. If you ask any of our PS recruiters (Stacy and Tara)  what they do, they will most likely tell you that they strive to bring in great talent. They help people fall back in love with their careers. They find leaders that can inspire both their teams and customers to be creative; helping them with special moments in their lives such as a wedding, baby shower, 50th wedding anniversary or more.

What we don’t get to do very often though is share the impact of our work after the right person is hired. Everybody is busy, but my office wall is filled with cards from former candidates thanking me for introducing them to Paper Source. These are special to me. Recently, one of those “wall of thanks” notes came via an email from a current Store Manager to one of the recruiters on my team, Stacy Smith. This made her day and I want to share.

This is what we love to do…

Hi Stacy!

I just wanted to reach out to you today to thank you. Exactly one year ago, today, you reached out to me about exploring opportunities at Paper Source. I can still remember that first call with you only a couple of days later and how that started me on my new career path with this great company. It truly changed my life for the better. I can’t thank you enough for being so instrumental in helping me get back to my core values as a Store Manager.

You’re the best!

We look forward to beginning to share some behind-the-scenes blogs; and remember to always check our website, where we continue to post current open positions both in the stores and in our HQ offices here in Chicago.

Enjoy your week and Do Something Creative Every  Day!

Supporting Our Partners in Nepal

As a company founded on the art of handcrafted paper, we were saddened by the tragic earthquake that devastated Nepal. Our Lokta fine papers are handcrafted in Nepal, and are the soul of our organization; we consider the skilled creators part of our Paper Source family. In an effort to support the difficult rebuilding process our Nepali friends are facing, Paper Source is donating 20% of Lokta paper purchase proceeds to support earthquake relief. We hope this effort will assist our Nepali partners in both rebuilding and promoting the Nepal commerce industry.

For a better understanding of the delicate and involved process of creating a beautiful fine paper, here’s a sneak peek into the life of our Lokta paper – before it gets to stores.

 

The very first step starts with the Lokta plant! Here you can see the bark, ready for the process to start.

lokta1

 

 

The bark is cleaned thoroughly and then laid out to dry.

lokta2

 

 

The cleaned bark is then reduced to a pulp.

lokta3

 

The pulp is then poured into wooden frames, the same size as a standard sheet of fine paper (20″ x 30″).

lokta4

 

The poured pulp is then set to dry in the sun.

lokta5

 

After drying, the paper is colored an enchanting hue.

lokta6

 

Papers are then silk screened, ensuring patterns are consistent.

lokta7

 

After the design is on, papers are again hung to dry in the sun.

lokta8

 

So much work goes into each sheet of beautiful fine paper. We hope this effort can help rebuild some of the devastation and drive commerce to Nepal and its skilled artisans.

Paper Source How-To: Customized Candles

Candles group

Mother’s Day is a great time to give a personalized and thoughtful gift. We love this candle customization; it’s easy to do for kids and adults, and is the perfect present for the mom who loves to take a bath (consider gifting with bath oils and a good book), or for cute mantel decor.

 

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Sharpies
  • Scissors
  • Embossing Heat Tool
  • Wax Paper
  • Shape Punch
  • Tissue Paper

 

INSTRUCTIONS (for a candle with writing, as seen in middle)

  • Use sharpies to draw a design or message on wax paper.
  • Cut out your design, cropping it as closely as possible.
    wax paper
  • Place the wax paper design on the candle and wrap a bigger piece of wax paper all the way around the candle to hold it in place.
  • Heat set the wax paper design with a heat tool for about 30 – 40 seconds, using sweeping motions.
  • Remove the outer layer of wax paper.

 

INSTRUCTIONS (for a candle with tissue paper, as seen on right)

  • Punch shapes out of tissue paper with a paper punch (we used the Mini Flower Paper Punch).
  • Place your flowers on the surface of the candle one section at a time.
    candle flowers
  • Wrap a piece of wax paper around the candle to hold the flowers in place.
    candlewflowers
  • Heat set the flowers with a heat tool for a about 30 -40 seconds, using sweeping motions.
  • Remove the wax paper and repeat steps 2 – 4 until the whole candle is covered.

 

TIPS

  • Use a wide pillar candle, it will be easier to handle and provides a larger “canvas” for your work!
  • If you can’t decide which technique to use, try them both! Tissue paper would look great with writing on top.
  • If you’re looking for a fun way to wrap your candle, cover it in the middle with fine paper, twine and a gift tag (as shown on left).

Paper Source How-To: A Photo Card for Mom

 

mday photo card

We have some unique cards for Mother’s Day, but if you’re looking for a D.I.Y. that’s uniquely personal, here’s a quick and easy photo card tutorial.

MATERIALS

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Start with a photo of you and mom that will fit on the front of a card.
  • Measure your photo size, then allow for a border on each side. With your new measurement, cut a solid paper background. (For instance, a 2″ x 3″ photo with a 1/2″ border on each side would need a 3″ x 4″ background.) Paste the photo on the paper with a glue stick.
  • Cut a piece of fine paper or wrapping paper to size for your chosen card, leaving an approximate 1/4″ – 1/2″ border on the front of the card. Paste into place with a glue stick.
  • Adhere the photo and solid paper in the center of the card that is now covered with fine paper.
  • Punch out the front card using the Real Estate Paper Punch.
  • Stamp onto the punched out card and emboss with the embossing heat tool.
  • Adhere punched card to front of greeting card using foam squares.

Join Us in the Write_On Campaign

Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion, or just sending an everyday greeting, there’s still nothing better than getting a real piece of snail mail. That’s why we’re so excited to partner with the Write_On Campaign to promote the joy, creativity and expression that comes with hand-written correspondence.

What is it? As part of the Write_On campaign, Paper Source, along with Egg Press, Hello!Lucky and Sakura Gelly Roll Pens, is on a mission to truly celebrate National Letter Writing Month (April). We urge you to write a letter to someone daily, with the hopes of continuing the act of writing throughout the year.

How can you take the Write_On challenge? Start writing! Try to write a letter every day for the rest of April, and continue sending friends hand-written greetings throughout the year. You’ll be amazed at what a difference the personal gesture can make!

Get inspired. If you’re looking for more reasons to write, look no further! Drop a simple note to a friend, write your favorite business or give thanks to a former teacher. And search the #write_on hashtag to see what others are creating.

writeon greenblue

 

Get the Goods. Paper Source is offering two Write_On kits (one from Egg Press and one from Hello!Lucky) for a limited time in celebration of the campaign. Each set comes with 16 cards and envelopes, as well as a Gelly Roll pen.

writeon blackorange

So who’s your first letter going to?

Hello World! (A Paper Source Baby Shower)

It’s probably no surprise that we love celebrating here at Paper Source. When a fellow co-worker is having a big life moment, we see that as a great opportunity to create an event that perfectly matches their character with crafted and personal touches. We recently threw a baby shower for a member of our web team, Kristen, who has been with Paper Source for years. Kristen was expecting a baby boy, but also appreciates a subtle and sophisticated aesthetic. Because of that, this shower theme could easily be used for a boy/girl/gender neutral shower by simply using a different accent color. Here’s a look at some of our favorite touches.

We decided to hold a baby shower luncheon in one of our meeting rooms in the office. In order to make sure it felt intimate and inviting, we got rid of phones and cords, and added a Paper Bag table runner and D.I.Y. floral arrangements for a sweeping tablescape.

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We accented with small bud vases, gumballs, candy sticks and Mercury Glass Candles. We made sure to keep the accents within our neutral palette of kraft, white, and silver. Kristen’s mom added a personal touch by bringing vintage handkerchiefs (leftover from Kristen’s wedding) and labeling them with dates around Kristen’s due date. Each guest took one home as their due date guess.

For each place setting, we used Chalkboard Bracket Cards and calligraphy for a special touch. Each person also had a Hello, World! card on their plate, which carried the theme through and had a game on the opposite side to match popular baby names with their respective countries. (We made the game ourselves with a little research and self-printing on Square Cards).

place setting

The treat table was adorned with a D.I.Y. Tissue Paper Tassel garland (instructions here) that incorporated Silver and Pool tissue paper and Cotton Twine. Special touches were added with a custom chalk sign on a Chalkboard Wallie, a custom Hello, World cake topper made with the Cameo machine and treats catered for Kristen, including mom-to-be’s favorite gourmet marshmallows (which, coincidentally, fit perfectly with our color scheme).

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To serve milk, we used Vintage Milk Bottles and Gray & White Striped Paper Straws with mini powdered donuts on top for a cute little touch and a perfect accompaniment to cake.

treats

On the other side of the room we filled a table with gifts for baby’s travels both near and far (including the Book of Maps). Before the shower, we compiled our favorite places in the world (along with pictures) as a keepsake for mom and baby.

gifts

Everyone had so much fun, and the shower was made even more special by personal touches and a unique theme. Want more inspiration? Check out some of our past Paper Source baby showers from an ABC Theme, Something Sweet and Out of This World.

Paper Source Tips: A Unique Save the Date

As the first chance to show off your wedding style, Save the Dates are an important part of wedding planning. Here are some helpful tips and tricks to make your mark as a newly engaged couple.

Picture Perfect

Although Save the Dates are available without photos, we love the idea of giving your guests a sneak peek of the happy couple. No matter what style you choose for your Save the Date, the focus is on you and your partner, and a good shot will make your announcement stand out.

Our in-house Photographer, John R., has a few recommendations when striking a pose:

  • A lot of wedding photographers feature photo packages that include engagement shots. This is a great time to get some more casual and candid, but professional pictures, while also getting to know your photographer before the wedding day.
  • Dress for the occasion! Remember, these are probably photos that you will be seeing for a while (and, of course, on your Save the Dates)! Even if you choose a casual look, make sure it’s put together and timeless, so you won’t mind looking at your photos for years to come. It also doesn’t hurt to coordinate your outfits beforehand – so you’re not matching, but not clashing, either.
  • Shots often look more natural, and are more personal, when a couple visits places that are important or familiar to them. Go to a favorite date spot, or strike a pose on your front porch – if you feel comfortable, your photos will show that.
  • If you’re going to shoot your own photos with a friend, make sure you’re not staring into the sun, and try and pose in front of more solid backgrounds to ensure you pop. Late afternoon, or the “Golden Hour,” with softer shadows and warmer light, is a great time for taking pictures. Select then highest quality file setting on your camera, too.

And if you’re looking for tips on how to pose, check out these 101 Tips from The Dating Divas.

Of course the picture is the most important part – so if you find a shot you love, chances are you’ll be able to find a style to match it. However, if you have your heart set on a certain look in your Save the Dates (for instance, the ones below both feature large images with a text overlay) make sure you plan accordingly. For the styles shown, you’ll need to ask your photographer to take a shot that leaves blank space where you want the text to be (and usually darker backgrounds work best). It also never hurts to take examples with you, so you and your photographer are on the same page.

STD big photos

Brush Script and Script Top Photo Save the Dates

 

Setting Your Style

If you’re planning on personalizing a Wedding Invitation Suite, there’s a good chance you’ll find a corresponding Save the Date. This is the perfect time to give your guests a hint of what to expect on your big day.

Karen D., our Design Director, says, “It’s nice to carry a theme, color, or style through your wedding, and Save the Dates are the start of that.” The Chalk Border Save the Date and Invitation, shown below, coordinate nicely without mirroring each other, and create a cohesive experience.

And don’t be fooled – there’s still plenty of customization that can happen with your Save the Dates. Karen says, “Many people don’t realize that on many of our Save the Dates you can change text and color, and even take out lines. You can completely match it to your own style.”

Take, for example, how the small tweaks below change the look of our Swirl Marquee Save the Date.

std changes

 

D.I.Y. Your Save the Date

And finally, the craftier couple can turn to D.I.Y. for a one-of-a-kind look. Pinterest is a great resource for “Save the Date” ideas, but don’t forget that etiquette recommends you include the date and location, as well as a note that a formal invitation will follow. We love the idea of printing 4″ x 6″ photos and uniquely mounting them on A7 size cards (we have 40 exclusive colors and bulk discounts are available). You can embellish with stamps, stickersribbon and more.

Paper Source even offers Wedding Workshops, for more inspiration, ideas and tips on execution. Our next one (on D.I.Y. Wedding Invitations) is coming up in April!.

Now through April 5, 2015, Wedding Suites and Save the Dates are 15% OFF with code WED15!