Breathless Paper Company seriously appreciates its retailers. Laguna Exchange in Laguna Beach, California is a Breathless retailer and a shining example of a store that knows what it means to give back to the community. Or, in this case, to give all to the community. We talked to store owner, Dione Hickerson, about what Laguna Exchange is, their philosophy, and which Breathless Paper cards make her laugh the most.
Breathless Paper Co. (BPC): Tell us a little about your shop! How did it start? How long has it been in business? What's your store "philosophy"?
Laguna Exchange (LE): We are a buy-sell-trade clothing store in the Hip District in Laguna Beach. What makes us different is that we are a non-profit, which means 100% of our profit goes back into the community here in Laguna Beach. We work with and help the needy, especially the homeless here. It is incredibly fulfilling. We are tied to a local 501c3 call Net-Works Laguna Beach that has been in the city for a few years now. Our store philosophy is "People Help the People". When people shop and purchase items here, their purchase goes toward helping another person who is trying to enter into a new season of life. We opened one year ago on Memorial Day weekend and we are loving it!
BPC: What kind of customers shop at your store? Do you see a lot of new faces? Any regular customers?
LE: We are so lucky to be in such a great community that is also doubles as a tourist destination much of the year. We get a fabulous balance of locals and tourists. The locals really support and believe in what we are about so we feel very loved. And it is always a blast to meet new people from all over the world.
BPC: When did you first start carrying Breathless Paper Co. products?
LE: We first started carrying Breathless Paper Co. products early this year and we are truly addicted.
BPC: What first drew you to Breathless' products?
LE: Laguna Beach has a small town feel and we have quickly become family with the other businesses in our neighborhood. One of the long time establishments here, the Stand, had purchased cards from Breathless a while ago and was displaying them at their counter. The owner and I got into a conversation about them and I knew I had to look them up myself. I was instantly smitten. We placed our first order shortly after that.
BPC: Which cards are your bestsellers? Why do you think that is? Do you have a personal favorite?
LE: Our best sellers are a great blend of birthday, encouragement, and the sassily irreverent cards (that we love so much): "So stinkin' cute" and "don't look back, you aren't going that way" are just a few. We display them at the checkout counter and they get chuckles all day long. Honestly, we can't keep the cards in the store; we run out pretty quickly. People love them!
My personal favorites are "You are the jam", "I like a strong woman", "pimpin' ain't easy", and "you are a nerd...and that's why I like you."
BPC: Breathless Paper Co. believes that handwritten notes are still important, even in this modern age. Do you agree? Why is hand-writing things still important?
LE: I do so heartily agree. Handwriting anything is becoming such a lost art, which I feel is tragic, because there is something special and so incredibly personal about handwriting a note. I feel like it shows the recipient that they are worth effort. That they are being thought about fondly. It's vulnerable. It takes thought and creative energy. It's a gift.
BPC: Where do you see your partnership with Breathless Paper Co. going in the future? Are you excited to see the new stuff Breathless is rolling out soon?
LE: Laguna Exchange is devoted to Breathless Paper Co. I am so excited to see their new products and would love to expand to carrying more of their items such as totes, magnets, and coasters in the near future.
BPC: What’s your favorite quote?
LE: I am a total nerd so I have way too many adored quotes to choose one. But at Laguna Exchange we have stickers that we created that say BE LOVE. That's about it for me. Everything hinges on love. And being love to as many people as you can, makes the greatest impact possible on this planet. It's a great mantra to live by. I believe in it wholeheartedly.
We couldn’t be happier that Breathless Paper has found a home-away-from-home amongst the community of Laguna Beach, and we’re even happier to know that Laguna Exchange is doing so much good in for the people! Planning a West Coast trip? Pay them a visit!