Posts Tagged about paper source

Behind the Scenes at Paper Source

We absolutely love hearing about your crafts, projects, and inspirational ideas. But, this time, we’re turning the camera on ourselves. Follow Paper Source Intern, Christina, as she takes you behind the scenes at the Paper Source home office…

Upon entering our front doors at our Chicago-based home office, a large paper wasp on a brightly colored wall greets visitors.

Why the name?

Founded in 1983 by Sue Lindstrom, Paper Source was created because of her love for the papermaking artistry of Japan. Sue opened the first Paper Source store in Chicago to showcase beautiful handcrafted papers from around the world, and since then Paper Source has grown to more than 60 locations around the country, with new stores opening every year!

Why a paper wasp?

It was Sue’s tribute to a fellow paper aficionado. Read more here.

As you walk down our halls, a wall of cards (a favorite of many) provides anything from a cry to a chuckle. And, if the cards aren’t enough to get you motivated, our open, loft-like office space is like a candy store of inspiration. (Our building is literally located across the street from a chocolate factory, but we feel like the real sweetness is here!)

The interior of Paper Source is designed with hints of vintage touches. We’re always bustling with new products, crafts, and designs, so it’s fun to walk around from department to department! Read the rest of this entry »

What a HOOT?!

Paper Owl Costumes

On Monday, Paper Source Facebook fans got a peak inside the Halloween festivities that took place at our Corporate Office. We were not surprised when comments poured in over the wiley owl costumes created by our Custom Print & Invitations team – everything from the colorful paper to the unique details of each winged character left everyone in awe.

To let you savor the magic we experienced in person we snapped photographs of the parliament and asked Betsy Campbell, manager of Custom Print & Invitations, to tell us how they came up with this idea.

Here is the story…

When the Paper Source Halloween Costume Contest was announced in mid-October, our Custom Print Team decided – This year, we will NOT be beat! Each person was asked to come up with a group idea (If we dress as a group, then we had a better shot at winning!) and a prize was determined (free pizza, of course!). After a week of thinking, we all got together and tossed ideas around:

Zombie Wedding: Too cliché and had nothing to do with what we do, except for wedding invitations of course!

Paper Source Colorscope: Each of us dress as a Paper Source color from head to toe; unfortunately, we did not have enough people to create our whole color palette!

Paper Gnomes: Turns out the Machine Room staff was already dressing as our Holiday Gnomes (BUMMER!)

Paper Elves: But, come on, elves are so Christmas. This is Halloween!

And then it hit us when I flipped to the calendar spread in our fall catalog – OWLS! We could totally dress as owls! How fun would that be?! Everyone seemed in agreement – though we had a few people who were a little wishy-washy at first, within an hour it was coming together! Read the rest of this entry »

On display now: PS Christmas tree at the Chicago Botanic Garden

The ever-busy gnomes at the Chicago Botanic Garden have just unveiled the 2010 PS Christmas tree at the annual Wonderland Express Walk. Our tree theme this year? Elves!

And not just cookie-cutter elves. My own elfin PS Crafts team and I started with our new Holiday Elf Kit and crafted 100 individual elves. Like snowflakes, every single one is different with his or her own personality. They’re all nestled in a garland made from our Holly A7 Leaf Cards.

A special gallery of trees is decorated by invitation only, to feature local designers and businesses. Paper Source was honored to be asked back by the curators of the world-renowned 385-acre living green museum just north of the city. Read the rest of this entry »

Work at Paper Source for the holidays!

Happy Holidays! Yes, here in the Paper Source Recruitment Department I am focused on getting our stores staffed for the busy holiday season. I love reading blog entries written by our staff that start with “I have the best job ever!” I have to agree, and in my role as Field Recruiter, I get the fun of speaking about this amazing brand to many people each week. My job requires reading lots and lots of resumes, and what keeps this routine task fun and exciting is finding cover letters from our best candidates who often become employees – OUR CUSTOMERS. I can feel the passion when someone writes that they just attended a workshop and quickly got online to apply for a position – they tell me, “I just have to work here! I was so inspired by the creative process and all of the associates look like they have so much fun at work with the customers.” It makes me goosepimply, if that is a word!

When I interview candidates I look for PASSION, INSPIRATION, CREATIVITY and SERVICE! We truly hire people with a passion for our beautiful product, those who can inspire others to be creative, and most importantly, understand that the customer is always the first priority! We invest in our employees with great training and a culture that promotes from within. What other small retailer will have opened up 8 new stores this year, and has 12 more planned to open in 2011?


I recently interviewed a customer for a position – sitting in front of me, she was all jittery and I thought she was just nervous, but the first thing she said to me was, “I cannot believe I am interviewing with Paper Source.” It had been a dream of hers to work here, but she had heard that it was a difficult place to get into. In part she is correct – it is a difficult place to get into, but let me tell you, that’s what makes our store staff so successful.

So I ask you, wouldn’t you want to surround yourself with our beautiful, expressive and quirky product, and be touched by what you can inspire others to create? Wouldn’t a generous merchandise discount during the holidays be just JOLLY?

Stop in at your local Paper Source store and speak with a member of their management team about seasonal hiring opportunities or apply online for your favorite store location.

PS colors: chocolate & persimmon
Latest fave: Monsters Place Card Kit

Hometown Pride & Two Grand Openings this Saturday!

This weekend is a biggy for Paper Source, and for us Chicagoan’s – being the home base for the company – it’s a moment to pause and celebrate a bit of hometown pride! When I joined the company eight years ago, we had 9 stores. Today marks the opening of our 39th store in Studio City, California and tomorrow we celebrate the Grand Opening of our 38th and 37th stores, Santa Monica, California and Southport here in the Windy City! Seeing a new store open is really exciting for us old timers, and I know I feel a lot of pride in seeing us open again in Chicago on such a wonderful shopping street as Southport.

Paper Source Chicago SouthportPaper Source Santa Monica
Southport (left) and Santa Monica (right)

Come join us at either of the Grand Openings – we’d love to see you!

– Cindy
PS colors: persimmon & paper bag
Latest fave: 2011 Paper Source Booklet Calendar

Ask Annie

For my last blog entry as a summer intern at Paper Source, I interviewed someone who embodies creative inspiration – Annie, our Craft and Visual Merchandising Designer.

What do you do on a typical day at work?
Everyday I brainstorm new kits, how-to ideas for the stores and our blog, as well as physically work on numerous craft assignments. I make samples for our stores such as cards, invitations and paper kits. I even make birthday banners for PS employees!

Paper Source Designer_AnnieWhere do you get your inspiration?
Ironically, I rarely use paper craft books for inspiration. Instead, I like to look at kid’s catalogues, knitting books, kid’s story books, and store window displays. These sources usually provide simple shapes that can be easily translated into paper crafts.

How would you describe your crafting/artistic style?
My style is mostly whimsical and quirky. My crafts usually appeal to the light-hearted person who is a child at heart.

What is your favorite type of project to work on?
I like projects that form organically from kits that we’ve created in the past. For example, the flower petal shape from our Gerbera Daisy Flower Kit served as inspiration for our new Mums Wreath Kit coming out this fall. One day I noticed that after curling the daisy petals and playing with different shapes and colors, they transformed into a completely different flower.

Why do you like to craft?
Crafting for me is a form of creative expression. I like it because it transforms something so basic as paper into interesting and fun objects. Working with paper is unique because with just a few simple tools, you can create so many different things.

What are your favorite summer colors?
I like the combination of bright, bold peacock with pure white.

PS colors: curry & paper bag
Latest fave: Leaves 4 Bar Letterpress Stationery

Behind the glass: a look into PS window displays

It’s nearly impossible to walk past a Paper Source store without stopping to admire the creative and colorful window displays. If you are like me, you may have simply assumed that the items in the windows – whether giant paper dolls or bigger-than-life pastel paper magnolias – are mass-produced by machinery. But I learned on my very first day as a Paper Source intern that every single item in a Paper Source window is made by hand.

One of my first projects this summer was to help make multicolored whirls from envelopes that are now displayed in the windows of our new stores in Corte Madera, California and Houston, Texas. We made these sunburst shapes in our new PS colors: persimmon, peacock, sunshine, and paper bag; using four different envelope sizes. I worked along side Maria and Estela, two of the master crafters here, who work every day to make the beautiful items you see in our windows, as well as the samples in our stores.

Lauren's Envelope Whirls

Often, our window displays are inspired by Paper Source kits sold in our stores, and are so well liked that customers have even asked to buy the display items to use as decorations in their homes or children’s bedrooms!

Now after having been at Paper Source for close to six weeks, this dedication to maintaining authentic artisanship doesn’t surprise me. Paper Source goes the extra step to preserve the unique character that making crafts by hand produces. The thought and care that goes into every project here is truly outstanding.

PS colors: curry & paper bag
Latest fave: Leaves 4 Bar Letterpress Stationery

From house pet to holiday card

Inspiration comes from anywhere and anything, and in the case of this Valentine’s Day card it came from Fabra’s adorable Boston Terrier, Archie! As the intern here at Paper Source, I’ve gotten the chance to observe the unexpectedly extensive process that one simple greeting card design goes through, before winding up at our stores ready to be sold.

The first step after an idea is conceived is its design. Elements such as print method, fonts, color, size, imagery, and copy all must be taken into account. For this card, one of our graphic designers, Elaine, used an existing image of a Boston Terrier as inspiration for her hand-drawn computer image. She made sure that the dog had the right angle and facial expression in order to create a strong composition with lots of character. Once the design is created, it goes through an approval process. Often there are color, composition or sentiment tweaks that must be made in order to prefect the card.

ArchiePaper Source Valentines Day card

Something I was able to help with this summer was brainstorming the messages that will be displayed on the inside and outside of new card designs. Paper Source is all about collaboration, especially in design where the more ideas and perspectives the merrier. Read the rest of this entry »

Girl Power – tween crafting party!

Did you know that Paper Source is the perfect place for a private party? Recently, a group of tween girls finished a soccer game in the morning, and then headed straight to our Evanston store for some fun creative time! We loved learning all about what inspires this age group – what are their favorite PS colors?…what new crafts and classes do they want to see us invent? And without a doubt, our favorite part was learning what makes them smile. The answer: hanging out with their friends while doing something creative!

Crafts for girlsSticker art projects

Indeed, it was play time with our presentation envelopes and colorful combinations of circle stickers. We loved seeing them feel empowered to express themselves – no two were alike! If you’re looking for a creative place to bring a group – to celebrate a birthday, or as a weekend outing for kids or adults – look no further than your local Paper Source! Stop by or call your store for more details.

Kids craft projectsMake sticker foldersSticker projects

Remember being creative doesn’t stop when you’re young – it just starts then!

PS colors: chartreuse & pool
Latest fave: Circle Stickers and Presentation Envelopes