Friday Faves

Happy Friday everyone! I’m heading up to New York for the National Stationery Show tomorrow, and I’ll be sharing snaps from the show on Instagram starting on Sunday – then here as soon as I can get the photos processed. Covering the show has gotten harder (at least for me) with social media since I tend to take photos with both my phone and my DSLR, giving me twice as many photos to sort through. This year I’m hoping to consolidate with just one camera and hope for the best. You’d think social media would make it easier to cover the show, but it’s actually the opposite for me! Anyway, here are some links for your weekend!

Worthwhile Paper at NYNOW/NSS

Greeting cards by Worthwhile Paper – they’ll be at the Crow & Canary booth at NYNOW (7614)!

Raising conscious white kids

Have you been following the couture runway shows? My favorites are Maison Valentino (so much color!) and Ralph & Russo (I specifically want this dress, please and thank you). 

How cute is this wicker purse? So perfect for spring and summer!

The Jewish feminism of the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

I’m into the minimalist vibes of this necklace

Maybe we should be talking about taxes instead of philanthropy

Do you know about World Central Kitchen? Founded by José Andrés, it’s a group of chefs and volunteers that provide food to natural disaster victims around the world – and to federal employees during the shutdown

These towel rings are very similar to what we have in our bathroom, and I love the extra mother of pearl detail!

So many cute pillows and blankets in this Etsy shop!

NSS/NYNOW 2019 Sneak Peek: Gia Graham for Paper Epiphanies

This weekend I head up to NYC for the National Stationery Show and NYNOW trade shows – which are taking place at the same time this year, for the first time ever! I’m excited to see all my stationer friends and a wee bit nervous about trying to fit two of my favorite trade shows into the same number of days. Wish me luck – and follow along on Instagram for behind the scenes peeks! Victoria from Paper Epiphanies is exhibiting at NYNOW (Booth 7215!) and sent over a quick preview of a new collection in collaboration with artist Gia Graham that will be debuting at the show!

Paper Epiphanies / The Voices Collection with Gia Graham

The Gia Graham for Paper Epiphanies collection is called “The Voices” and consists of six greeting cards and three art prints that celebrate the words and life of black women. Each card and art print features a hand illustrated quote from black authors, activists, and poets – including Maya Angelou, Sojourner Truth, and Zora Neale Hurston – while the back of each card features a short biography of each woman. You can see a few more designs from the collection below, and if you’ll be at the show stop by booth 7215 to see the collection in person!

Paper Epiphanies / The Voices Collection with Gia Graham

Paper Epiphanies / The Voices Collection with Gia Graham

Gia Graham (left) / Victoria of Paper Epiphanies (right)

Paper Epiphanies / The Voices Collection with Gia Graham

Thanks Victoria and Gia!

Behind the Stationery: Printfresh

Today we’re headed to Philadelphia to chat with Amy Voloshin of Printfresh about her stationery business story! As a textile designer, Amy has taken a unique path to developing a stationery line. She’s here to share the integral role that fabric, textures, and patterns play in her designs. Amy is also a huge supporter of her community in Philly and shares about the various ways she teams up with local organizations to give back. — Megan Soh

Behind the Stationery: Printfresh

From Amy: I studied textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design and focused on print and knitting. My first job out of school was working for URBN designing prints and garments for the Urban Outfitters and Free People lines. It was back in 2003 when technology was still limited in the industry and the work was very hands on — we used gouache to mock up colorways, and made repeats with pencil and a photocopier. It was an incredibly creative environment and the experience opened the door to an art director position for a textile design studio in New York. I loved the work but missed Philadelphia, and I decided pretty quickly to move back and use what I had learned to start my own studio.

Behind the Stationery: Printfresh

I rented a small warehouse space and began developing a print collection to sell to fashion designers. At the time I was screen printing many of our designs by hand and going on sales appointments myself! Our company grew tremendously over the next 10 years, and I was able to pull together an amazing team of talented designers and passionate saleswomen. Print design is so focused on behind-the-scenes work, and as our business became more established I started dreaming about what creative avenues I wanted to explore next. I’ve always loved stationery, but find that so many of the designs out there are too preppy for my personal bohemian aesthetic. After a lot of thought, I decided to apply my love and expertise in textiles and pattern to the world of paper. I signed up for the 2017 National Stationery Show and started working with a few of our textile designers to develop the very first Printfresh stationery collection. We got such amazing feedback at the show, I knew I’d made the right choice.

Behind the Stationery: Printfresh

Our studio is based in the Kensington area of Philadelphia. My husband and I are obsessed with old warehouses and found a beautiful carpet factory built in the late 1800s. We decided to renovate and relocate our studio here, and we finally moved in last fall. I love that our building was was used for textiles in the past. It still has many of the gears and industrial equipment from working with carpet rolls, and we’ve done our best to preserve some of it and show the history of the space. The Kensington neighborhood faces a lot of social and economic challenges, and our hope is that by restoring this warehouse and creating a community of small business owners and creatives we can help spur economic development and revitalization here.

Behind the Stationery: Printfresh

We’re invested in the Philadelphia community (I live less than a mile from our studio) and when starting the stationery line I knew I wanted to find a way to leverage the brand to give back. For the past two years we’ve partnered with Philly Paper Jam to donate a full year’s supply of paper to two local schools. We’ve also started giving 5% of our online sales to organizations that provide creative programming to children in Philadelphia’s public schools. Each quarter we feature a select group of amazing local organizations on our social media and blog, and it’s been great learning about and connecting with men and women who are really making a difference in Philadelphia.

My typical work day is very scheduled. I’m pretty busy between my entrepreneurial ventures and being a working mom. I’m a nut about Google calendars — everything is scheduled. I usually get up pretty early (around 5:45AM every day) to start working on something I really want to do, whether it’s a creative project or a walk around the neighborhood. That’s my power hour and I really try to do the thing I most want to do then. I spend time with my kids when they wake up and get them ready for school, and then I’m off to the office. During the work day most of my time is dedicated to meetings with my teams. I help direct all things visual – upcoming marketing materials, product development, progress on new collections, and ideas for upcoming selling events.

Behind the Stationery: Printfresh

Our current collection focuses on journaling and desk, and I think that our point of view (combining a love for fabric, subtle patterns, soothing color and purposeful design) is what really makes us unique. While we’ve developed some purely paper products, the majority of our collection features fashion-inspired touches like fabric covers, woven wraps, ribbon bookmarks, and traditional textile processes like silkscreen and hand-marbling. One of our most popular product categories are our velvet journals, featuring plush velvet accented with metallic foil text and patterns. Another of our most popular styles are the noteblocks – they’re the absolute best desk accessory. Natural cork bases give these notepads a touch of something tactile, while the gold foiled edges evoke a modern shine.

Behind the Stationery: Printfresh

While the products and inspiration changes, my process for creating each new collection is usually pretty consistent. Like most people these days I start with a new Pinterest board. I gather inspiration for color, silhouette and pattern and start identifying what kind of products and finishes are most inspiring me. I try not to spend too much time there, since another big part of the concepting process includes seeking inspiration in-person. I try to go to museums, art exhibits and flea markets to find more primary sources for my work. It helps the designs feel more pure and less derivative, and plus it’s more fun!

Behind the Stationery: Printfresh

Once I have a few general concepts I start creating really loose sketches illustrating different types of silhouettes. Finding time to sketch in the office can be hard during a busy day, so I tend to do my most creative work away from the studio. I started drawing the latest collection after Thanksgiving dinner! You never know when creativity is going to strike, so I always love to have a sketchbook on hand.

Behind the Stationery: Printfresh

After I’ve finished sketching I start making decisions on materials, choosing fabrics, embellishments and trims. Then when I’ve developed a clearer vision I work with a team member to start creating the artwork and rendering the silhouettes in Photoshop. We render all of our designs in fairly high detail – I’m a very visual person, and I find it helpful to see exactly what the designs would look like in real life. It’s also incredibly important on the production end of things, since we work with artisans and craftspeople in India rather than manufacturing in-house. We need to be very specific about almost every aspect of each design, and we prepare incredibly detailed instructions (including everything from overall dimensions to paper weight to Pantone colors) that we call tech packs. If something is even just a little bit off in the tech pack, the finished product will suffer for it!

Behind the Stationery: Printfresh

Once we receive our first prototypes we review the product, decide on any style changes, and work with our vendors to develop a 2nd prototype. At that point we have to make the tough decision about which products make the cut and are good enough to be shown at the big industry trade shows like NYNOW, the Atlanta Gift Show, and NSS.

Starting a new line is never easy, and it definitely comes with challenges. I’ve found that creating and cultivating a cohesive brand is the most difficult and also most rewarding part. I don’t have a lot of experience in branding, especially since my textile design studio focuses more on relevant designs and great business-to-business relationships (a much different market than that of the direct to consumer). But since this brand is my aesthetic, I’ve learned that I just need to trust my gut instincts. If something doesn’t sit right with me about the colors, pattern, silhouette or wording then it’s probably off brand. I try to make sure I’m making decisions on an emotional level and always staying true to my intuition.

Behind the Stationery: Printfresh

All photos courtesy of Printfresh.

Want to be featured in the Behind the Stationery column? Reach out to Megan at megan [at] ohsobeautifulpaper [dot] com for more details.

Happy Weekend!

Happy Friday everyone! Are we all feeling excited for February? Anything that gets us a little closer to spring, right? I’m heading out of town this weekend for a very quick trip to New York to attend an event with Minted, and I’ll also spend a few hours walking the NYNOW trade show while I’m in town. You can follow along on Instagram (mostly on Instagram Stories) if you want! But in the meantime…

Butterfly Illustration by Ioana Petre

Butterfly illustration by Ioana Petre via #dailydoseofpaper

…a few links for your weekend!

DC friends! If you’re looking for something to do on February 24 – come to the DC Distillers Fest at Longview Gallery! You’ll get to sample more than 60 spirits from 20 distillers, and the lineup looks SO GOOD. 

Has Instagram come full circle? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!

I’m all about long cardigans and cozy sweaters this winter. I’m loving this cardigan – and this cozy cable knit sweater comes in the prettiest shade of pink!

Tips for writing the perfect thank you note

Loving these cheeky DIY anti-Valentines

Confetti acrylic statement earrings! NEED.

I’m definitely going to make one of these DIY brass ring planters

Well, now I need to brulée some citrus for winter cocktails!




Happy Weekend!

Nevertheless / And Here We Are via Instagram

Image by And Here We Are via Instagram

Happy Friday everyone! How was your week? Are you covered in snow right now? We had a few flurries yesterday, but nothing compared to the many inches a bit further up north! This week was a bit of a whirlwind for me, since I spent most of last weekend and the early part of this week at the semi-annual NYNOW trade show in New York before coming home to DC. If you like, you can see some of my favorite finds from the show here. It’s always a fun show, with lots of great things to see.

Everyday Watercolor from Jenna of Mon Voir is officially available for pre order!

Tips for penning the perfect love letter

This year, I’ll be planting all my houseplants in pink pots

Super cute DIY classroom valentines without the candy (and with free printables!)

How cute are these aqua-dipped ceramic canisters?

These chocolate-dipped wafers would be fun to make for a birthday party!

Absolutely in love with this glam velvet settee (that brass base!)


This week on Oh So Beautiful Paper:

Enrollment for the Modern Calligraphy Summit 2.0 is NOW OPEN!

Copper and burgundy baby shower invitations

Even more examples of our love affair with copper foil!

Calligraphy inspiration from Rachel Anne Design

Fun black and gold foil surprise birthday party invitations

Have a wonderful weekend, and I’ll see you back here next week! xoxo