We are so excited to share our latest conversation with the talented Kristin, of Bess Paper Goods (formerly 622 Press). A true artist, Kristin combines her love of fine art and handcrafting to create incredible paper florals. Get to know a little more about her story, how she stays motivated, and her advice for fellow small business owners here.
The Bess Paper Goods Story
Tell us a little about yourself and your business! We want to know what inspired you to start.
BPG: I’ve always been creative. From childhood crafts to pursuing my BFA, there was never a question what I would do with my life. Although I graduated with a degree in graphic design and was the Art Director of a magazine for many years, my own business actually started with letterpress, which I had fallen in love with in college. Bess Paper Goods (622 Press) began in 2008 with greeting cards, stationery and wedding invitations that I both designed and printed.
Over the years, the company has expanded into other offerings, none more popular than my crepe paper flowers. I create flowers for weddings, events and home décor and I teach classes. I absolutely love creating with my hands, dissecting live blooms and figuring out how to make new flowers. Inspiration is everywhere—I’ve saved hundreds (possibly thousands!) of photos of flowers I want to make someday.
We have to interject here to let you know, your flowers are stunning. They look so natural. We’ve made a few crepe paper flowers before and we know the amount of time and effort that goes into each flower. It’s very clear that each design is a labor of love!
Bess Paper Goods On Business
To be an artist and an entrepreneur is very admirable. Have you come across any challenges to owning your own business? How about unexpected benefits?
BPG: There are many! Never knowing how much you’ll earn from month to month is a big one. You definitely need to be good at saving for a less busy time.
Owning your own business means you’re your own boss—so self-motivation is key. I treat my business like any other job: I sit down at my computer at 9 am (or before) and work until at least 5 or 6… and if I’m being honest, spend most weekends making flowers too. It can be difficult to clock out (good thing I love what I do)!
The flip side of that, of course, is that I don’t have to count my vacation days, and I can be available to friends and family on a moment’s notice. I travel a lot because I can do much of the work of owning a business—answering emails, providing quotes, editing photos and listing items for sale—from anywhere.
There’s a lot that goes into owning your own business. For those new to starting a small business, do you have any tips that you’d like to share?
Start small, be disciplined, and especially for creative businesses, take plenty of time to hone your skills before selling your wares. Some of the things I made when I was first starting out are so embarrassing now!
Everyone has a starting point! It’s part of the creation and growth process. We love that you’re unafraid to acknowledge this.
Bess Paper Goods & Paper Mart
We have to know, how do we fit in? How do you use Paper Mart to support your business?
BPG: I use a lot of Paper Mart crepe paper. The price point makes it affordable to try new colors and experiment without feeling too bad if the piece doesn’t turn out.
We have a wide variety of crepe paper available in a very generous amount, that’s for sure. We’re glad to see that it’s being put to such wonderful use! If you had to choose, what would you say your favorite Paper Mart items are?
BPG: The Premium Crepe Paper of course! I’ve also used some of the packaging items for shows and fairs.
Paper Mart Is Happy To Support A Community Of Makers
We love getting to know the individuals behind these beautiful cookies, soaps, and papercrafts. Their stories motivate and inspire us to source quality products at the best prices.
All of these images are courtesy of Bess Paper Goods. If you want to learn more about these handcrafted crepe paper florals and Kristin’s letterpress work, visit the Bess Paper Goods website follow them on social media (Instagram, Facebook)!
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