Take 5 – Paper Cuts Studio

I love the adorable prints from Paper Cuts Studio! I found this fun little shop on Etsy when I was looking for a to-do list notepad. I found the perfect one from Feliza’s shop and knew she had to be my first interviewee.

Little Bird Print

Tell us about yourself and your shop.

I started Paper Cuts Studio in late 2007 with only the simplest plan in mind. I just wanted to sell these grumpy little notecards and I thought that creating my own company would somehow make the venture a litte more official. Soon Paper Cuts Studio grew and grew and I now offer journals and other paper goods featuring my designs.

Starting Paper Cuts Studio has been a real catalyst for creativity. I’ve been selling on Etsy and other venues since October 2007, and the goal-oriented side of me really digs having the motivation to stay competitive by staying creative.

Where would you like your shop to be in 1 year? In 5 years?

In a year’s time, I’d like my shop to be more focused on prints and more artsy-type stuff. Right now our biggest focus is on our bound items (journals, to-do list notepads, etc.) but I’m hoping to be more oriented toward wall art. In five years, who knows? I think it will always be my dream to Etsy full time, but right now it just doesn’t seem feasible. Maybe in a few years, I’ll start to understand a bit more about what it takes to live as an independent artist.

Looking back, if you could do anything diferently in starting your business, what would it be?

Good question! I think that I wouldn’t have rushed so much to “make things official” by creating a brand name, a store, etc. Luckily, all of my items are paper goods, but just think if I had decided to go into creating fridge magnets or something? It would have been a real hassle, I think.

I have toyed with a name change on several occasions, but ultimately I’m kind of tied down to the name Paper Cuts Studio. If I had to do it all again from start to finish, I might hold off on thinking so much about my brand identity in favor of just exploring various designs and media for maybe a few months before committing to a name.

Grateful Panda Pad

What is a typical day in the office like for you?

Let’s see…I just got a great new full-time job, so I’m no longer focusing on my art full-time. This is actually kind of a good thing — I think that this change will force me to be a little more focused on how I spend my time. When I was creating art full time, I would just sort of roll out of bed around 9:30 a.m., walk the dogs, and putter around the computer for a little while until I decided to begin working in earnest. And, of course, I’d be filling orders as they popped up.

Nowadays, I think that I’ll be compressing most of my design work into the weekends. This means I’ll probably be waking up earlier than I’d like in order to get things done. It’ll be tough, but success at anything never comes without some sacrifice.

As a seasoned entrepreneur, what advice or words of wisdom do you have for those that are just starting out?

When sales are steady, it’s easy to feel happy and confident. Conversely, it can be hard to keep your spirits up when sales are slow. While that’s certainly understandable, I know that I’ve benefitted a lot from separating my sense of satisfaction from the number of sales that I make.

I know this sounds counter-intuitive and also kind of difficult, but we have to remember that we are all artists at the end of the day. You’ll have periods of heavy sales and periods with very few (if any) sales at all. It’s important not to judge your worth on how many sales you make, but on how proud you are of the objects or designs that you have created.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enjoy the good times when products are flying off the shelves. I’m just saying that, most likely, your art is somethng to be proud of regardless of whether or not you are earning a certain dollar amount off your products this day, this week, or this month.

For more of Paper Cuts Studio, check out the shop and the blog!

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3 Responses

  1. =] I do the same thing over at my blog. It’s so much fun getting to know other crafters. Really inspires me to get off my lazy butt and start making something! hehe. Love your blog. Just added it to my blogroll. Oh and I love Paper Cuts Studio too. Such an inspiration! And Feliza is super nice too!

    Jane
    http://mywoodenrobot.org

  2. […] news that is much more upbeat, I’ve been featured on my big sister’s blog! Some of you may remember that she also runs a paper goods company (Keepsake Couture) but she also […]

  3. What a great feature! And how cute!!!

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