Posts Tagged creative careers

From a Recruiter: Opening a New Store

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. 


What inspired me to join this organization seven years ago was the big picture plan to grow a small company. I remember my first day here at Paper Source; at the time, we had 21 stores and eight more were planned to open that year. We had an aggressive expansion plan and we were building our strategy from the ground up. Needless to say, it was a fun few years of getting teams built and functioning collaboratively for success. It was an amazing time of working together, and the success of seeing that first store I helped open is still exciting after all these years.

Here at Paper Source, every department is involved in opening our new stores. Everyone has a role; from reviewing leases, to traveling to site inspections, to overseeing construction, to picking and shipping products from our warehouse, to ensuring the store fixtures arrive on time (right down to the toilet paper holder), to, of course, hiring our new associates… a lot goes into opening a new location! Hiring the team for a new store is like putting together a puzzle. My recruitment team visits each new location to find the top creative talent. We speak with community members, schools, restaurants and other retailers in an effort to spread the word about Paper Source.

When the puzzle of hiring for a new store is completed, the feeling is amazing. But that’s where much of the work starts! Training is a huge priority at Paper Source, but especially in new stores. We put time and care into making sure our new team members feel like a knowledgeable part of our creative community.

That being said, we’d like to welcome the newest members of our Paper Source “family”… a big hello to our Tampa, Florida store, which opened in late June!



If you’re interest in joining our creative team, please visit our careers website.Interested in opportunities to join our “family”, please visit our careers website.


Holiday Hiring at Paper Source!

Just like at the North Pole, Paper Source gears up for the holiday season year-round.

…OK, maybe not ALL year, but it’s true that our buyers start scouring for the best goodies a year in advance, and final touches and planning for our holiday season take place well before the season starts. So, while you’re thinking of bar-b-ques we are thinking of holiday wrap and bags.

It should come as no surprise that we are already looking for fun, friendly, high energy associates that love the hustle and bustle of the holidays to help bring the season to life and have a passion for creativity and providing an outstanding customer experience.

This holiday season we’re committed to educating and inspiring people to indulge in doing something creative — anything from crafting holiday cards to helping find that perfect gift, to showing customers how to wrap gifts unique enough for the special recipient.

If this sounds like you (or someone you know!), we would love for you to consider a seasonal position with Paper Source. Feel free to stop in a Paper Source store location and pick up an application or apply online at:

Here’s to your holiday spirit!

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 »

Now Available: Seasonal Positions at Paper Source

Paper Source Careers

Paper Source holiday planning takes place amidst the heat of summer, and now that we have fallen into autumn it’s time to turn our heads to hiring for the 2012 Holiday Season. Our associates – permanent and seasonal – make the Paper Source holiday experience come alive.

Who wouldn’t want to create holiday buzz around the great product and paper that lives in our stores?

As a former Training Store Manager, and now Recruiting Coordinator with Paper Source, the anticipation of the season begins with assessing my team and planning who I need to hire to support a fun, successful holiday. I remember one of my years as Store Manager… My management team and I were getting excited about the holidays in early September and asked one of our customers, who was pulling together a fun project with her friend, “What are you doing for the holiday season this year?!”

As it turned out she was moving to the Chicago area in the next month and would be looking for work. The customer came in the following day for an in-person interview and impressed us with her positive energy, creativity and flexible availability – a professional background as sales manager for a local boutique in her hometown and obvious affinity for her recent Paper Source shopping experience was also a plus. We hired her the next day and had a successful season working together. And, after holiday, our store experienced some shifting, so she stayed on and grew with us after the season concluded.

Paper Source Holiday

This holiday season we are committed to educating and inspiring people to indulge in doing something creative — anything from Christmas photo holiday cards to searching for the perfect gift or finding a beautiful gift wrap presentation to engaging customers in a demo, workshop or private party. If this sounds like you or someone you know, Paper Source is beginning to seek seasonal associates and will be conducting interviews with interested candidates this month.

If you are someone who is excited about sharing the holiday spirit, has a passion for the Paper Source culture and product, possess flexible availability to work part-time hours in a busy retail store, and has a selling and service background, we would love for you to consider a Seasonal Associate position with Paper Source. Feel free to stop in your local Paper Source store and pick up an application or apply online at:

Happy Crafting! Happy (Upcoming) Holidays!

-Leah, Paper Source Recruiting Coordinator

Favorite PS colors: curry & fuchsia
Latest Fave: My Paper Source Career

A Paper Source Team Outing in Chicago

Team Outing

Here at Paper Source we live by the motto, Do Something Creative Every Day. So, the Merchandise Planning and Allocation department thought it would be appropriate to put our creativity to work at our team outing. This year, the department went to Bottle and Bottega, a local painting studio specializing in hosting parties such as ours.

Before the event, the team preselected a colorful ocean sunset scene to replicate. Throughout the course of the evening, our wonderful instructor led us through a step-by-step demonstration as we each worked on our personal masterpieces.

By the end of the evening, we had 13 unique paintings each with their own detail and style. From beginning painters to experienced artists, spending an evening painting was both relaxing and fun!


Favorite PS Colors: Paper Bag and Persimmon
Latest fave: Linear A2 Thank You Notes

Behind the design: Paper Source Craft Design

Paper Source Craft Team

Rounding out our feature on the Paper Source Design Team are the wonderful ladies who lead our craft, kit and sample creation. And, man, do these gals rock!

Maria and Estella (pictured at left and center) are the early birds in the Design Area. We are so lucky to enter our space each morning to see wonderful colors and inventive crafts, as well as to be greeted by two smiling faces and a cheery, “Buenos dias!” It’s the perfect way to start the day.

By the day’s end, we’ll catch glimpses of some pretty incredible things – new samples for our stores, like handmade cards or invitations, or special sneak previews of upcoming store window displays.

Fall Wreath

craft samples
recycled paper flowers

This small, but mighty team is also responsible for our Paper Source kit concepts. Claudia (pictured right) is one of the talented minds behind the one-of-a-kind paper kits sold in our stores, like our Paper Doll Kit and our new Holiday Gnomes Kit (available later this season). The largest of our Holiday Gnomes will be in Paper Source store windows this holiday!

Giant Gnome

Until then, you can find him roaming around the craft area, inspiring us all to Do Something Creative Every Day.

Behind the design: 10 questions with PS Designer Malcolm

Paper Source Designer

As part of our Paper Source Design Team spotlight, we spent a few moments with our newest graphic designer Malcolm to understand the influences that have shaped his aesthetic and career. You will see his modern style reflected in our 2012 holiday assortment and in our new personalized note pads. Be on the look out for more of his style as we add new products and designs in the new year!


Name: Malcolm Felder
Years with Paper Source: Just started
Expertise: Graphic Design

Q: How did you start designing?
A: In high school I designed flyers for my punk band “Boring Crime”

Q: If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing?
A: Toasting in a Jamaican dance hall band

Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: A spy

Q: What was your very first job?
A: Lemonade stand at a county fair

Q: Who was your favorite art teacher?
A: Mrs. Loken was my high school art teacher, and was great. She actually showed up at our 20th reunion because we were her favorite class.

Q: Where do you seek inspiration?
A: Thrift stores in foreign places. Nature.

Q: What design blogs do you follow?
A: I like this one:

Q: Do you have advice for budding designers?
A: Step away from the computer now and then.

Q: Is your home decor totally kick ass?
A: We have a lot of canvas screen-prints from the 70s by Michigan artist Marushka, who does kick ass.

Q: Have you designed your own birthday, wedding or party invitations?
A: Designed my wedding invites last year.

Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
A: Pee Wee Herman or maybe George Jones.

Q: Do you line your envelopes?
A: I can’t remember the last time I used an envelope that didn’t come with my credit card bill. But no, I don’t line those.

–Malcolm F., PS designer
PS color: clover
Latest fave: Paper Bag Paper (in 8 1/2″ x 11″)

Behind the design: 10 questions with PS Designer Leslie

Paper Source Designer

As part of an ongoing series dedicated to showing you the minds behind our designs, we hit up PS Designer Leslie for a quick 10 questions about the many things that inspire her designs and her whit. Leslie has contributed to several notable Paper Source products, including our 2012 Letterpress Calendar. And how can we overlook the ever-popular Retro Bike Glasses?! They are a customer favorite and we’re sure you’ll appreciate getting to know this hip mom just as much!
graphic tumblersPaper Source 2012 Letterpress Calendar

Name: Leslie Hamer
Years with Paper Source: 1 1/2 Years
Expertise: Stationery Design, Letterpress

Q: What was your very first job?
A: When I was 15 I started working as a shampoo girl in a salon on the weekends. I quickly found that massaging the scalps of old ladies was not my cup of tea.

Q: Is your home decor totally kick ass?
A: Ha! I’m hopeless when it comes to picking out clothes or home decor. If anyone is an interior designer out there and wants to be my best friend I’m in desperate need of help.

Q: If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing?
A: Yoga. My husband is a yoga teacher and I get serious job envy every day. We designers tend to spend a lot of time sitting at our desks (eating baked tostitos and salsa in my case), and my body and health is certainly paying the price!

Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: Definitely a scientist. I love social anthropology, archaeology, biology and geology in particular. I wasn’t a particularly artistic kid, I was much more of a bookworm than anything else.

Q: Have you designed your own birthday, wedding or party invitations?
A: I designed my own poster sized wedding invitations in 2005. It was such a blast to see the response they got.

Q: How do your fellow designers help you through product development?
A: We are a small team here at PS, and we’ve found it’s important to touch base with each other to make sure we aren’t developing the same or similar concepts. Great minds think alike!

Q: Who is your biggest inspiration?
A: My 5 year old son. Hands down.

Q: PVA or double-stick tape?
A: I reject your choices, and choose the almighty glue stick!

Q: Of your colleagues, who would you pick to design your invitation or announcement?
A: Definitely our newest designer Malcolm. We both have very modern and clean sensibilities.

Q: What inspires you to Do Something Creative Every Day?
A: Days where I don’t create anything new are awful! I need to be creative everyday – even if it’s just making up silly dances in the kitchen with my son – otherwise life is one big yawn.

–Leslie H., PS designer
PS color: paper bag
Latest fave: My Quotable Kid Journal

Behind the design: 10 questions with PS Designer Alanna

Paper Source Designer

We continue our series dedicated to the minds behind our designs with PS Designer Alanna. Since her early days as an invitation designer in our stores, Alanna has designed a number of Paper Source products like our calendars and stationery. But Alanna is also instrumental in bringing designs to our website for you to customize, working with the web team to launch custom stamps, wedding invitations and our new personalized note pads. We hope you get a feel for the energy she brings to the office every day – it’s infectious!

custom stamp

Name: Alanna Backus
Years with Paper Source: 5 Years
Expertise: Project Management

Q: What inspires you to Do Something Creative Every Day?
A: The people in my life; learning, observing, and new experiences – in general, a little bit of everything!

Q: How did you start designing?
A: As a kid, my parents always encouraged creativity… my sister and I were always making craft projects, playing outside, cooking with mom, or “working” with dad (tinkering with his tools!) I never really considered art to be anything beyond a hobby—I actually started out as a pre-law major my first year in college!—but when I realized I could make a career out of something I loved, it seemed like a no-brainer!

Q: If you weren’t designing, what would you be doing?
A: That depends, are we talking business or pleasure? If business, then either something in the event-planning industry, interior design, or social services… maybe even art therapy. If pleasure, definitely all of the things that I love to do and wish I had more time for like cooking, reading, running, hanging out outside or in the city, and spending as much time as possible with family and friends (and my dog, Brix)!

Q: Who was your favorite art teacher?
A: Definitely Mary Russell from Robert Morris University! She was the first person I met with when I decided to check out design school, and I remember her great creative spirit and friendly personality being magnetic, so I was really excited about college and the choice I had made. I remember thinking, “I want to be like her someday!”

Q: Where do you seek inspiration?
A: Blogs, magazines, and just being out and about in Chicago – this city is full of inspiration everywhere you look, whether you’re going to a museum or checking out a little shop, walking down the street, window shopping, people watching, or simply the parks and lake, little refuges of nature within all the hustle and bustle.

Q: Do you have advice for budding designers?
A: Immerse yourself in everything you can! Interact with a wide variety of people, build and strengthen relationships both for networking and also for your own personal development. Do a variety of internships to see what you like and what you’re good at. Explore, ask questions, learn, do and create – and keep creating! Not everything you do is going to be great (some of it won’t even be good!) but that’s all part of the process.

Q: What is your favorite PS design, not created by you?
A: Wow, that’s a tough one. I work with some pretty amazing designers and their work always blows me away! But I think if I had to pick a favorite, it would be the artwork calendars (Wall Art & Art Grid) – that technically gives me 24 pieces of art that I like, not just 1 or 2… is that cheating?!

Q: What’s your favorite Chicago neighborhood?
A: Rodgers Park – the perfect blend of artsy, urban & diversity.

Q: PVA or double-stick tape?
A: I’m definitely a double-stick tape girl… I’ve even been known to carry it in my purse upon occasion!

Q: What do you love about paper?
A: That it’s a tactile media. I love that there are hundreds of varieties, how you can feel and sometimes even see the fibers that make it up, all of the different colors and patterns and textures. How it has a story behind it – not just the history of the creation of paper itself, but also of the specific paper you’re using – who made it, where it came from, how and what it was made with.

–Alanna B., PS designer
PS color: gravel, pool, paper bag & rhubarb
Latest fave: PS Calendars