Etsy recently had a forum post focusing on shop "About" pages, the optional page that gives customers background about the business, the artist behind the shop and any other details that the artist cares to put out there. After reading through a lot of the posts, I realized that my About page didn't accurately represent my journey, so I wrote a new one. Here she blows:
My mother stopped what she was doing, stood frozen and tried not to look alarmed. With a forced casual tone she asked, "What do you mean you want to make your own wedding invitations?" I had recently learned how to make handmade paper and was obsessed with making sheets and sheets of it. It took months of cajoling her before she finally gave in, probably because she had bigger fish to fry: I asked her if I could get married in the back yard of my childhood home…
That was more than 20 years ago and I haven't stopped making handmade paper since. After making my own wedding invitations (successfully, even according to my mother), I realized I could sell my paper. I signed up for my first craft show and kept doing them while I waited for the internet and Etsy to be created. When I left a decade-long career as a newspaper editor to start a family, I turned to making paper as a way to be creative and stay at home. (Thankfully, it grew big enough that it's the best excuse ever for never going back to work again. Although sometimes my family wouldn't mind a little less paper created in the kitchen and a few more home-cooked meals made there instead.)
My hippie sensibilities fit perfectly with this hobby-turned-business. I recycle 100% post-consumer waste paper to make my plantable papers and I use the freshest no-GMO wildflower seeds to spread the love. And I will tell you a little secret: I didn't do it on purpose, but my wildflower mixture helps the honeybee population because it includes many of the wildflowers that they prefer for pollen. (Hummingbirds love them, too!) #luckycoincidence
Now here is the fine print to make me sound professional and competent: I have built my business on custom orders and have made place cards, favors and invitations for hundreds of brides, corporations, non-profits and individuals during 23 years of business. My work has been featured in LA Weekly magazine, The NY Times Style Magazine, GreenCraft magazine, the Huffington Post, the book '1000 Handmade Greetings" by Lauren McFadden as well as countless blogs. I am tickled that my work has even been purchased by a celebrity!
I operate a cat-friendly studio — you should see what I have to do to dry my seed bombs without my cat getting them and turning them into a toy — with a fuzzy little guy who enjoys helping me package my orders, especially the part where I peel off the long strip of paper before closing up the mailing envelope. If you have allergies, let me know and I will make sure to package up your order when he is off trying to figure out how to retrieve a seed bomb that rolled under the couch.
I have experimented with many different creative outlets but I always, always come back to papermaking. I am so grateful that I have been able to re-create the craft for myself, to make paper sculptures, cards, Christmas ornaments, all kinds of seeded paper products, wedding invitations … all of these different ways of using the same medium has kept me motivated and excited. Even after decades of making paper, I am still delighted by it. I hope you feel the joy and passion in everything I make!
Want to know more? Check out my blog: http://paperandpulp.blogspot.com
I promise I will try to get better at the whole social media thing:
Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/PulpArt
Like me on FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/PulpArtPaper