CatPrint Interview: Paper Traveler with Beverly Jones

Continuing with the 3rd installment this year of our Customer Q&A series, we recently spoke with Beverly Jones, owner of Paper Traveler (www.beverlyjones.co) to discuss her greeting card business, design style, and inspiration. Check out the interview below:

What does your business offer?

I design greeting cards which fall into three collections, a collage collection, a vintage envelope collection, and a photograph collection.

I love arranging handmade papers and vintage envelopes, and have fun snapping photos, whether I’m out for a neighborhood morning walk, or a trip around the world.

cardtexasmerci

Could you describe your background and how you got into design?

I’m self taught. I’ve collaged since kindergarten, and I’ve had loads of fun wandering around with my camera, a gift from my boyfriend. Over time, playing with design has become more formal and focused. I also used to be a buyer for a card and gift store; the designers I ordered from were my inspiration for becoming a creative artist on a professional level.

When did you create your first Paper Traveler design?

I created the first cards I felt comfortable about showing to strangers in 2003, and took them to Eastern Market in Washington, D.C. where I sold a few. It took several years for me to get to the next level, though. I started testing new designs in 2012, in the store I managed, and finally released them out into the wide world in 2013.

cardwhitehouse

How would you describe your design style?

Many of my designs are nature inspired, whether I’m collaging with floral prints and subtle Japanese papers, or photographing pretty flowers or plants. My vintage notecards evoke nostalgia. Each time I pick up an old envelope I think of the connection between the sender and the receiver of the letter, and try to evoke an equally strong feeling for today’s shopper as I work with the design on my computer.

Where do you draw inspiration from?

Almost every day I go for a morning walk, and when I do, nature, words scrawled in chalk on the sidewalk, and the street art I see all speak to me. I also love going to vintage malls and flea markets to find old, interesting envelopes. Other designers and small business owners are all around to encourage me, and help me to believe in my art and myself.

fr046doinggreat

Where are you located?

I’m located in Reston, Virginia, just outside of Washington, D.C.

What outlets do you use to sell your work?

So far, my cards are sold online, in bookstores, hardware stores, tabletop stores, card shops and boutiques, museum shops, and party supply stores. I’m excited to see what other venues are available, too, and I enjoy connecting with other small business owners to see if I can provide new products for their stores and companies.

How long have you been printing with CatPrint?

CatPrint has been my printer since late 2013. I love the flexibility that I have with CatPrint to do small print runs, especially as a micro business owner. CatPrint’s quality is consistently excellent, and I love the working relationship that we have.

cardgoldflowerscherryblossoms

What is the biggest difficulty you’ve encountered in starting your own business?

I didn’t realize how big this issue was for me, but actually believing in myself was extremely difficult for a long time. There were days — and sometimes weeks — when my attitude really crippled me, and I was unable to move forward to build my business. I finally realized that I had to give myself permission to grow my company, rather than make excuses and wither and die. I’m sure I’ll still have times like that, but I think I’m over the biggest self-confidence hurdle, and can now focus on other challenges, like cash flow!

cardbluecherryblossom

Do you have any advice for artists looking to start their own business?

  • Believe in yourself. 🙂
  • Hire a coach, if you can, to help you focus on your next steps.
  • Join an artist group/community on Facebook, Instagram, or other social media, for encouragement and support.
  • Find multiple ways to sell your art.
  • Continue to look for joy and inspiration in everything you do – it will carry over into your work, and it’ll help you to feel great!

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Check out Beverly’s work online at:

www.beverlyjones.co

Twitter: @papertraveler

Facebook: Beverly Jones, Paper Traveler

Pinterest: papertraveler

Instagram: @papertraveler

CatPrint Spirit Week 2015 Recap

Last week, CatPrint celebrated the annual 2015 Spirit Week! CatPrint always takes your prints seriously, but during Spirit Week, we like to have a little more fun than usual while working. Check out our creativity and craziness!

Monday: Crazy Hair Day

What better way to start off a Monday than with crazy hair?! Check out the different styles above. Which hairstyle did you think was the “craziest”?

CatPrint Spirit Week 2015 Crazy Hair Day

CatPrint Spirit Week 2015: Crazy Hair Day

Tuesday: Decade Day

Tuesday was “Dress like your favorite decade” Day. Which was your favorite decade & which was your favorite decade outfit?

CatPrint Spirit Week 2015 Decade Day

CatPrint Spirit Week 2015: Dress like your favorite Decade Day

Wednesday: CatPrint or Cat Shirt Day!

A CatPrint Spirit Week wouldn’t be complete without wearing a cat themed or CatPrint shirt to work!

CatPrint Spirit Week 2015 Cat Shirt Day

CatPrint Spirit Week 2015: CatPrint or Cat Shirt Day

Thursday: CatPrint Christmas!

Who says Christmas is only in December? We decided to celebrate Christmas a few months earlier this year in August!

CatPrint Spirit Week 2015 Christmas

CatPrint Spirit Week 2015: Christmas Day

Friday: CMYK Day

CatPrint Spirit Week was complete this year with CMYK Day! This year, CatPrint decided to dress up in CMYK colors according to Department:

Cyan: Production Department

Magenta: Executive Team

Yellow: Customer Service

K (Black): R&D

Which was your favorite color themed outfit for CMYK day?

CatPrint Spirit Week 2015 CMYK Day

CMYK Day

National Stationery Show 2015 Recap!

Last month, CatPrint made its ninth trip to the National Stationery Show held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City. Everyone had a great time meeting with existing customers, talking with potential new customers, and exploring Manhattan with the team!

Our adventure started at 6:00 AM on Saturday, May 16th, 2015. Jon, Nicole, and Logan drove down from Rochester, New York to New York City. During the road trip, Logan entertained everyone with impersonations of various CatPrint team members, and some of them were spot on… while others, not so much. An unhealthy amount of candy was consumed by all members during the drive, but we all eat healthy (or at least try to) the rest of the year, so who can blame us? Additionally, due to management running a tight ship, we were only allocated two bathroom stops; we know… tough.

After a five and a half hour car ride, we arrived in beautiful Manhattan, went to the Javits Center, and started setting up our booth. Setup was smooth and straightforward despite it being approximately a thousand degrees inside of the Javits Center.

After setup, we checked into our AirBnB rental house in Jersey City, New Jersey. The first thing we noticed was three stray cats behind the house, which meant one per CatPrinter… how exciting! 

Stray cat!

Stray cat!

After unpacking, we took a walk around the area, and had a late lunch at a neighborhood deli.

Later that night, we ordered pizza to the house and watched Transformers before deciding everyone should probably get some sleep. This was a business trip after all. 

Delicious neighborhood pizza!

Delicious neighborhood pizza!

On Sunday morning, we made our way to the Javits Center for the first day of the show. We started by making shirt deliveries to some of our current customers while Jon was dressed as our new mascot “CMYKat” (thank you to everyone who sent in their booth numbers, we loved meeting with you, and we hope you like the shirts!). Unfortunately, the fun with CMYKat was short lived, as we got scolded for “promoting outside of our booth.” Those pesky rules always ruining the fun. 

CMYKat at the 2015 Stationery Show!

CMYKat at the 2015 Stationery Show!

After we wrapped up at the show, we went to “Burgers and Cupcakes” for dinner. Yes, you read that right; burgers AND cupcakes. After leaving the restaurant, we got some shoutouts from people in the streets who liked our matching CatPrint shirts. Then we headed back to the house and took about an hour to look for a parking spot. This isn’t Rochester after all. 

Our AirBnB rental for the 2015 National Stationery Show!

Our AirBnB rental for the 2015 National Stationery Show!

Later that night after Jon already went to bed, Logan dragged Nicole to get Dunkin’ Donuts, and proceeded to discuss with the employee who was working at Dunkin’ Donuts how many donuts he eats, which was, unimpressively, only one per day.

Monday started with an unfortunate plane six hour plane delay that caused our CatPrinter, Becca, to be late to the show.

Javits Center

Javits Center

Jan and Mitch also came to the show for the day. Jan had the team desperately searching for sushi for lunch to no avail.

Later that night, we went to Churrascaria Plataforma, a Brazilian steakhouse, for our annual customer dinner. Everyone ate way too much from the salad before the “all you can eat” meat buffet even started.

On Tuesday morning, we noticed that a fourth stray cat joined the original three stray cats behind the house. There was now a stray cat for each CatPrinter, and it was hard for Nicole and Becca to not take them home.

For lunch, we had BBQ with delicious mac and cheese courtesy of our good friend, Justin, from APEC. Thanks Justin!

Throughout the show, a pigeon came to check out the booth. Yes, the pigeon was inside of the building, and he is now our top customer.

CatPrint Team for the 2015 National Stationery Show!

CatPrint Team for the 2015 National Stationery Show!

After the work was done for the day, we walked around Manhattan and took Logan to H&M to get some new “basic tees.” For dinner, we went to the Hard Rock Cafe, where they were playing 90’s music videos. We loved it. A discussion about our first CD/cassette tape revealed everything from Garth Brooks to Dr. Dre.

H&M in Times Square!

H&M in Times Square!

When we returned home for the night, the girls tried playing a joke on Logan involving a hair-tie and the kitchen faucet, that ended with Logan and the kitchen soaked.

Wednesday began with the joke from the night before accidentally being played on Jon as well. The faucet was not returned to normal, and he ended up getting sprayed with water when he tried using the faucet . Fortunately due to Jon’s preparedness, he had an extra CatPrint shirt to wear to the show.

On the way out, Becca and Nicole finally caved and brought bottled water to the stray cats. Thankfully they found out that the stray cats are cared for by a community member. They are all spayed/neutered and even have outdoor “cat homes” with straw bedding with fresh food and water everyday. Let’s just say Jon and Logan were thrilled that they wouldn’t have additional 4-legged friends on the drive home! 

CatPrint at the Stationery Show!

CatPrint at the Stationery Show!

Wednesday was the last day of the show. After doing our final few hours of work and saying our goodbyes, we packed up and hit the road back home to Rochester.

On the ride home, we all ate more candy and milkshakes, while Becca and Nicole had to sit with CMYKat’s head on their lap the entire trip. However, we made it home in record time with only one stop.

Overall, we had an amazing time together. It was great seeing some of our current customers and meeting some new ones! We would like to thank Justin from APEC (again, thanks for the lunch), Duke Reich at Reich Paper, Colleen Attara, Mollie Green at “La Familia Green,” our $100 free printing giveaway winner, Lindsey Peterson of Rooted Beauty, along with everyone else we had the pleasure of meeting.

Colleen Attara at the National Stationery Show

Colleen Attara at the National Stationery Show