Describe That Paper!

We know that picking the best paper for your project can be hard when there are over 30 stocks to choose from, and not everyone always has time to wait for our free sample booklet. So, we have interviewed various CatPrint employees to review some of our most popular stocks and describe how they look, feel, and what they resemble to create this handy new chart!

Paper Chart

Click the image to view it in a bigger size!

Click the Chart to Zoom in.

But what about the cream stocks?! The cream stocks have significant variance in terms of the cream color between stocks, and the difference can be hard to explain in words, a sample booklet is highly recommended if you are interested in a cream paper option.

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!

cardjetaime

Check out Beverly’s work online at:

www.beverlyjones.co

Twitter: @papertraveler

Facebook: Beverly Jones, Paper Traveler

Pinterest: papertraveler

Instagram: @papertraveler

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

Stationery, Non-Stationary

When was the last time you visited your local stationer for some paper or writing implements?

During a time before it was so easy to bring back home some pens and paper from the office, the stationer was the person you would have to see about surface materials to write on and things to write with. This is where the noun “stationery“, with an e, comes from. In terms of spelling, it is far too easy to confuse the noun with the adjective. “Stationary“, the adjective, means something that our prints most definitely are not. 
 
cat writing on envelope
Paper is forever in motion at CatPrint. Let’s imagine that you have crafted a best-selling holiday card, and we’ll track its migration from our production floor to the customer’s hands. 
 
First, thick stacks of your preferred card stock get swept through our Xerox iGen4 in a matter of seconds. Amongst the printer’s trays and rollers, that paper gets dolled up with your design. After departing from the printer, the cards are cut down to size and then creased to make them easier to fold. Once your order is nestled snugly in a box, it travels by truck, plane, or boat to get to where you need it to be. However, just because it has arrived at its final destination doesn’t mean that it is done moving.
 
What might people do with your printed cards? They’ll pick up the cards off the rack, open them, hand them to friends. Those cards could get stuffed into envelopes and sent cross-country again, and someone else will open up the cards and read them. These pieces of paper that have been carried so far already wind up carrying messages that hold great significance. Stationery doesn’t just move, it moves people.
 
In the end, it is your design that evokes people’s emotions. Your art is important to you, and it deserves to live in the hands of your friends, family, and customers.