So many amazing people help make the dream work here at Breathless Paper Co. when it comes to producing our cards and paper goods, and getting them to you guys. We wanted to share with you one of those people, Michael Colton, who's been making our fabulous wooden card displays for years. He's a rockstar. Read on for his tidbits about why handmade is important, and why sending cards is, too.
Breathless Paper Co.: How long have you been a carpenter?
Michael Colton: Actually I'm not a real carpenter. My background is in advertising and graphic design. When I bought my house in 1985 I wanted an old pine armoire that would hide all of my electronics (which took up more space back then) but I could never could find the right one, at the right price. So I started thinking about how a rancher or farmer would make an armoire 150 years ago, especially if they had limited tools and no formal training. That's how I got started making what I term rustic furniture for ranch, farm or home. And the displays followed along that same theme.
BPC: What do you love most about your job?
MC: What I love is working collaboratively with clients to solving some type of problem. Whether that be an issue related to size, color or function, or all three. A shared creative solution is usually the best, and often the most rewarding.
BPC: How long have you been working with Breathless Paper Co.?
MC: I'm guessing I've been working with Breathless Paper Company for about five years.
BPC: What's fun about making displays for Jessica?
MC: What's really fun is delivering displays to Jessica and not getting a call about a rough edge on a piece of wood or metal. Jessica tends to be very particular about quality control issues even though these displays are made one at a time, just like pieces of 3-D artwork. It's so great to please the client.
BPC: What do you consider when making displays for various companies?
MC: The point of any display is to sell something. On the creative side, if the personality of a display can enhance a product or extend it's brand personality, then that usually leads to customer interest and that increases the chance for a sale. On the practical side, there are always the real world issues of cost, assembly and shipping.
BPC: Why is it important to have a handmade display piece?
MC: To my way of thinking, a hand made display begins to tell a story about the company it represents. By appealing to visual as well as tactile sensiblty it usually indicates that the company founders have an affection for their product which they feel is unique or in some way different. The display is the vehicle that helps send that message.
BPC: If you weren't a carpenter, what would you be doing?
MC: What I would be doing is what I used to do. I was a creative director for a number of design firms, including my own. My area of expertise was creating retail environments with visual personalities that extended to the individual graphic identity of the store as well as the displays within the stores. But since selling my graphic design firm and leaving the corporate world, I turned back to making things by hand one at a time, rather than having things mass produced. It's a different way to think.
BPC: What's your favorite BPC card or product?
MC: My favorite Breathless Paper Company card is any card that can be used to say "Thank You", because so few people send cards like that anymore. It's a one of a kind type of thing.