A Glimpse at the Life of a Stationery Rep

Well, hello there!  Allow me to introduce myself, I’m Carina with Crow and Canary.  I’m an independent stationery rep and all-around champion of modern, indie designers.  I’m simply delighted to have the honor of guest posting on Oh So Beautiful Paper.  Being immersed in the stationery world, OSBP really is the go-to blog for paper lovers.  Below is a little glimpse into my business.

My day typically starts like many small business owners, trying to tame my email in-box and striving to strike a balance between the things I need to accomplish on my appointment calendar/to-do list and my enthusiasm for social networking – namely Twitter, but I also Blog and Facebook when time allows.

NSS badge and name tag

Blog Calling Cards

Badge from the 2010 National Stationery Show and custom name tag by Moth and Squirrel (top) Blog calling cards (bottom).

This is my fifth year in business, so I have the pleasure and fortune of being approached by a multitude of designers about repping new lines on a near daily basis.  Going to my mailbox is particularly fun, on a good day I’ll be laden with boxes containing new samples, catalogs and random line submissions.  It’s quite inspiring to see what’s new and I never tire of pouring over the latest and greatest from the awesome designers I represent.

Birddog Press Kit

Two Trick Pony Rep Kit

Enticing press/rep kit from BirdDog Press (above) and Two Trick Pony (below).

I frequently meet with retailers to show them new samples and seasonal cards and gift items that will soon line their shelves.  I am incredibly lucky to work with a wonderful bunch of buyers and shop owners including Perch in San Francisco, Yolk in Los Angeles and Tilde in Portland, the list really goes on and on.  One of the biggest challenges of my job is not spending my entire budget at the awesome boutiques and bookstores that I call on – I really think of it as an occupational hazard.

Yellow Owl Workshop Cards

Austin Press Cards

Cards by Yellow Owl Workshop (above) and Austin Press (below) at Prize in Ashland, Oregon.

Another excellent perk of my job is the amount of traveling I do in the name of my business.  I’ve been to all of the major wholesale gift shows on the West Coast and make the journey to New York at least once a year for the National Stationery Show or NYIGF.  Occasionally, I’m able to time my trips with other fun events such as the Renegade Craft Fairs or Unique LA.  In 2009, I was lucky enough to be in San Francisco during the SFCB annual event: The Road­works Steam­roller Print­ing Street Fair.  It was a blast and I loved chatting with some of the printers that participated.


Roadworks Prints

Large linoleum cuts at The Road­works Steam­roller Print­ing Street Fair.

At the end of the day, I count myself as quite lucky to have a job that I love so much.  Perpetuating the act of sending real mail in a digital era is not as challenging as it sounds.  Because, really… Who doesn’t love to receive a Birthday or Thank You card in their mailbox?  I’ve yet to meet a person that can say that a lovely card doesn’t bring a sense of joy to their day.

“A Glimpse at the Life of a Stationery Rep” is a guest post by Carina Murray of Crow & Canary

{happy weekend!}

Happy happy Friday everyone!  I’m getting a teensy bit dizzy as I write this, because in a couple of days I will leave for a two-week vacation with my husband in Italy!  As you may remember, my husband has been working in Iraq for the last three months – and we’re meeting up for a nice little break in the middle of his deployment.  It’s the first real vacation for either of us in nearly three years and I simply can. not. wait.  So!  For the next two weeks I have a couple of awesome guest bloggers filling in while I’m away, along with some special guest posts giving you an inside look into the printing process.  Please be sure to show all of the fabulous guest bloggers some love while I’m away!  But in the meantime…


…a few links for your weekend!

This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

That’s all for me this week!  I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  xoxo

Photo Credit: Jenny Van Sommers via Feature Shoot via Joy

Mother’s Day Cards from Spring Olive

With the way time is flying by these days, Mother’s Day is going to be here before I know it!  If you’re looking to get a head start on your Mother’s Day cards, I absolutely adore these hand lettered cards from Spring Olive – letterpress printed in one of my latest favorite color palettes (coral and turquoise)!



So pretty!  Check them out over in the Spring Olive shop!

Photo Credits: Spring Olive

Adam’s Modern Black and White Graduation Invitations

Adam is preparing to graduate with a degree in environmental design, so when it came time to invite friends and family to his graduation ceremony he knew he wanted to do something special.  Adam designed his own graduation invitations, using a modern black-on-black design with crisp white text accents and a cool custom wax seal.

Black-White-Modern-Graduation-Announcement-Detail Black-White-Modern-Graduation-Announcement

From Adam:  I am graduating with a design degree, and I wanted my invitations to reflect that!  The idea was to keep them simple and understated.  The black-on-black suite, with its contrast between matte and gloss, appears elegant, effortless, and luxurious.  I’m very happy with how they turned out.  The seal on the cover is a foil stamp.  I had the invitations printed at a local facility, and the wax seal was custom made.

Black-White-Modern-Graduation-Announcement-Open Black-White-Modern-Graduation-Announcement-Quote


Black-White-Modern-Graduation-Announcement-Inside Black-White-Modern-Graduation-Announcement-Directions

Black-White-Modern-Graduation-Announcement Black-White-Modern-Graduation-Announcement-Wax-Seal

Thanks Adam – and congratulations on your upcoming graduation!

Photo Credits: Adam Cook

Business Card Ideas and Inspiration #7

Happy Thursday everyone!  How about a little business card inspiration to start off the morning?  This week I’m feeling quirky and modern designs, warm color tones, and pretty calligraphy (just not necessarily all together)…


Beautiful gold foil business cards from Dolce Press


Mink Letterpress


Yasly via Graphic Exchange


Rise and Shine Paper

Calligraphy Letterpress Business Cards

Paper Monkey Press via Francesco Mugnai

Yellow-White-Calligraphy-Letterpress-Business-Cards Letterpress-IT-Tech-Business-Cards

Lovely golden tones from Dingbat Press


Boxcar Press


Deasy Design


Parrott Design Studio with calligraphy from Fat Orange Cat Studio


Archrival via Lovely Stationery


Tiago Sá via FPO

As always, if you’d like to submit your own business cards, you can e-mail me right here!

{images via their respective sources}

*Dingbat Press is one of my fab­u­lous spon­sors; for more on my edi­to­r­ial poli­cies, please click here.