It’s the season of love! (But let’s be real… that’s always).
We’re all about February, because it’s prime time for love notes (our favorite thing ever). Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to just about significant others. It’s about friends, family… everyone. Every single person deserves and needs a reminder that THEY ARE LOVED.
We picked one of our favorite Deep Breath cards for the February Card of the Month.
Order yours now, and get started on a love note or two (or three…) All of our Deep Breath cards are perfect for saying how you feel.
BREATHLESS PAPER CO.
This past weekend, the Breathless Paper Co. family went to Chattanooga for rest, relaxation and family time. And, of course, lots of cute boutiques and paper goods.
Read on to hear about our trip and our Chattanooga recommendations — the food, the sights, the kiddos, the paper.
On recommendation from our friend Mariah from Shadowbox Paperie, we stayed at the new Westin Chattanooga, and it was beautiful! It's in a super walkable location, which is especially nice in the Chattanooga fall.
After arriving on Friday, we had to get room service because our kids think it’s just the best.
Afterwards, I was so excited to get to finally go to Shadowbox Paperie. Mariah has been a customer for years and years, and the shop is hands down one of the best paper shops I have been in. I fell in love (and walked out with a few things, of course).
Then, I dropped Matt and the kids at the (totally awesome) Children's Discovery Museum so I could go check out all the shops we work with and a few others suggested to me: Sophie’s, Charlotte’s Web, Seed, Blue Skies, Genevieve Bond and Furnish.
First, I went to Sophie's and… I want it ALL. They have bought from us for years and I hadn’t visited in so long. And let me tell you, I didn't want to leave. From the product mix to the way things are merchandised, this place was amazing.
Then I popped into Charlotte’s Web. They do monogramming and carry a bunch of our napkins. It's the perfect shop to get a special personalized gift!
I headed to the Riverfront to see Seed — it's called the '“happy shop.” And it's filled with happiness! They just started carrying some of our cards so it was fun to pop in.
I stopped into Blue Skies, and I've been told I had to go in there. It's filled with all kinds of great gifts and paper. I think our Heartward line is absolutely perfect for this adorable shop!
After going all around downtown and the surrounding spots, I headed further out and went to Genevieve Bond. She carries a lot of our cards and our Heartward tees. It's a very large packed full of awesome goods shop. Everything you'd want for a gift, it’s there!
Then, I went to Furnish — which is a perfect farmhouse shop! I was so excited that they carry Heirloomed so I had to make the trip there. It was so worth it. It has the most wonderful feel (and smells so good).
After going to as many shops as i could, I picked up my guys and we got ready for a fun family date night — our favorite.
We walked from the hotel to Old Gilman Grill which was delicious and had an adorable atmosphere. Our kids love getting dressed up!
Afterwards we hung out in the West Village and saw a laser show, which our little guys loved. We ended the night with some Pink Berry and a hotel room dance party. (I finally learned the floss thanks to my son…)
After brunch and the aquarium on Sunday, we headed home. It was so great to spend some time away with our kiddos and Matt. Plus — we love seeing our products in action. As usual, thanks for all the support. We couldn’t do it without you guys and all the shops that show us love.
It’s the season of collabs! We worked with Atlanta company and friend, Ashley Edmonds of Beer Greetings, on an awesome “Happy Hangover” 6-pack holder and some fabulously festive cocktail napkins. Perfect for craft beer (or wine!) lovers. And just in time for the holidays. We’re obsessed, and we think you will be too.
>> EMAIL TO ORDER <<
BPC: How long have you been in the "Beer Greetings" business?
We launched Beer Greetings in time for Holiday 2014 with just one design to test the Market.
BPC: Tell us a little about the scope of what you do and how the business has grown.
Beer Greetings is a part of our broader company, Smartsy Brands, which strives to provide innovative solutions to everyday problems - big or small, silly or serious. Our products and brands are all born from needs we see in our own personal lives with lots of input from our customers, family and friends. It started with our eco-friendly gift wrap line, Lilywrap, and then expanded to others including Beer Greetings.
BPC: What do you love most about your job?
I love the process of taking an idea for a brand new product and guiding it through the development process all the way to launching on store shelves. It's a very surreal, exhilarating (and sometimes frustrating) process.
BPC: How did you begin working with Breathless Paper Co. (BPC)?
I connected with Jessica through our collaborative group comprised of Southern brands, Deep South Social. We both found an instant appreciation for each others' work (and for each other!)
BPC: Describe to us a little bit about the line of 6-pack holders, etc, that you designed with BPC.
I love the witty humor of Breathless Paper Co. So when working on joint six-pack carrier, we knew it had to be funny and perhaps a bit edgier than our standard boxes. I basically told Jessica and Matt that I'd love a box appropriate for all occasions and let them run with it. I loved what they came up with so much that we made no edits whatsoever!
BPC: Outside of Beer Greetings, what do you do on your day to day? Any other business ventures/artistic projects/etc.?
Too much! Ha. Seriously, I get excited by so many things and tend to jump in right away. Like I mentioned, my company Smartsy Brands has several brands that I run, including Lilywrap gift wrap, Beer Greetings, Cheer Greetings, and the Vortex. We also have a real estate business renting out properties on the coast. I'm also very involved in the community at our girls' schools, at church, leading a girl scout troop and with the Atlanta Ronald McDonald House charities. In between all of that, I love to travel, watch football, picnic and just enjoy the small pleasures in day-to-day life.
BPC: BPC believes in the importance of a handwritten note and sending snail mail -- what are your thoughts on this?
I think there is no better way to show love and appreciation than through a handwritten note. I have three young daughters (5, 3 and 1) who LOVE creating cards, mailing them to family and leaving me sweet notes and pictures around the house. (My Kindergartner recently made the cutest postcard to reply to her grandparents who were on a long trip!) If I ever forget the importance of expressing sentiments in this way - I need to look no further than the effect the little notes floating around my house make me feel.
BPC: What's your favorite part about running a business like Beer Greetings, and what's the hardest part about running a small business?
My favorite part of running Beer Greetings is all of the amazing people I am able to meet - through social media, collaborations, my retailers, trade shows, and more. I have met the most interesting people. The hardest part of running a small business is running into issues like production delays and bad product that are beyond your control. These issues, unfortunately, happen - but I hate seeing progress stall and customers disappointed.
BPC: What's your favorite BPC card?
My all-time favorite is probably "Y'all Are Gonna Make Pretty Babies" - makes me laugh every time.
Fall is HERE! We’re so excited for it to finally cool down, and for things to get cozy.
That being said, this month’s Card of the Month was an easy choice. Our Climb Every Mountain card from our Heartward collection represents an awesome part of fall: being outside.
To order this card or more from our Heartward collection, reach out to us!
Collaborating with other makers is one of my favorite things about being in this industry. Recently, we got together with one of our favorite companies, Old Try, to create some amazing (if we do say so ourselves) cards inspired by the South that we love so much.
By putting our talents together, we've created this line of cards that glorifies the "new south" and all of its corners and crevices. Plus, they're so pretty you may just want to frame one and stare at it.
Wholesalers - contact me to place an order! Everyone else, check out your local boutiques to purchase a card, and keep your eyes peeled for an announcement on the next place you can buy ;)
Almost a year ago now (where has the time gone?!) we moved our little family and business to Nashville. Despite the typical stresses of moving, the city seemed to welcome us with open arms.
We made the move because of an AWESOME opportunity for my Breathless counterpart, husband and best friend. Matt is killing it at his dream job as an Art Director with Sony Music Nashville. He gets to work with what he loves: music. All week long, he helps musicians get their music 'out there' by designing album covers and logos, and capturing amazing photos of the artists.
The best part? Our kids love music too, so we could not be happier.
Here's a bit of what we're loving in our new city:
Nashville is full of music, creativity, positivity and good energy. You'll find it in every corner and crevice, especially in the neat little boutiques, restaurants and music venues.
Fave shops so far:
Fave spots to eat so far:
Taqueria Del Sol 12 South (with the kids!)
What We're Listening To:
Ivan & Alyosha
Shake it off - Taylor Swift
Thanks, Nashville, for treating us so well! We're so happy to grow our family and business in Music City.
A decade. 10 years. That's how long Breathless Paper Co. has been churning out cards and crafting sayings and -- most of all -- working to spread love and laughter through paper goods.
Read on for a look at some of our favorite cards... from the originals to the new stuff.
THE FIRST BREATHLESS PAPER CREATIONS:
Made by Matt and I in the light of our living room, while laughing a lot.
SOME "DEEP BREATH" FAVES:
Inspired by our daughter, Scout.
FOR BIRTHDAYS: "BLOWING CANDLES"
Bright + celebratory stationery.
NEWER & BRIGHTER PICKS FROM "FRESH BREATH":
All about adding some color to your life and your cheeks.
We want to send a warm, loving THANK YOU to all of the Breathless Paper Co. supporters, card-buyers, note-writers and paper-lovers out there. You guys have kept us going these past 10 years, and we wouldn't trade a second of it. Stay tuned for more new stuff from Breathless Paper Co. in the near and distant future, because we're in this for the long-haul.
Breathless Paper Co.
[remember... you can order HERE!]
Blue Canoe letterpress is a company comprised of a family of lifelong printers and creatives. Honestly, we love and trust Blue Canoe with our most delicate and loved designs. They've brought some of my most favorite passion projects to life. So we got personal with the duo -- Gale and Becca -- about crafting incredible designs, following the footsteps of the family biz, making cards for Atlanta Falcons and overcoming struggles.
Breathless Paper Co.: Tell us a little bit about what you do and how you got started doing it.
Gale: My dad was in printing, and in 1960 started a color separation trade business serving the printing industry. I always went to work with my dad, and actually began making plates, and line negatives when I was 8. I learned how to "make" color separations and screen positives when I was 13. Printing, and it's processes, have been a part of my life a long time. Several years ago, I told Becca that she needed to find someone with a letterpress to reproduce some of her "doodles." When my life had a major "shift" around the same time, it was a natural step for us to start a letterpress business.
BPC: What sort of clients do you typically work with / what kinds of projects do you usually take on?
Becca: We get to work with a variety of clients, so we are actually quite spoiled in that we never get bored. Our highest traffic would probably be amidst the wedding industry and bespoke stationary. It’s our privilege to not only work with some of the most talented and nationally recognized designers in the southeast, but also to call them friends.
Gale: As Becca says, we are blessed to work with a number of very talented designers. We have also had the good fortune of working with a few brokers which have given us the opportunity to print some creative pieces for corporate clients. We enjoy trying new things, and printing on unique mediums...and several of our clients have trusted us experimenting a bit...making it possible for us to learn a lot about what can be done with letterpress that is "outside the box."
BPC: Is there a recent project you've most enjoyed or a specific project that has been your overall favorite?
Becca: Oh this is hard…we may give you different answers, but personally I would say the truly unique jobs where we get to experiment and bring to life an artist’s “dream." One that stands out for me would have to be when I got to design and print a unique thank you card for an Atlanta Falcon. Printing on wood and being able to create the flame/charred effect with ink was a bit of a thrill.
Gale: As Becca says, this is tough to pick just one! One that sticks out is a project we did for a client that had several steps which were new to us. We duplexed a linen fabric to a cotton stock, letterpress printed, diecut & scored (to make a passport holder), and then sewed pockets into the inside front & back...to hold a "Save the Date". What we made was to be used after the "Save the Date" purpose as passport holders for those attending the destination wedding in Europe.
BPC: How and when did you begin working with Breathless Paper Co.? Tell us a little bit about the projects you've completed for them.
Gale: Jessica contacted us about her idea to letterpress a new project, and using a double thick card stock. These thicker stocks cannot be run through an offset press, nor a digital press. It was important to Jessica to use one of these thicker stocks, and she really wanted the letterpress deboss effect anyway. Their idea was the "Tiny Cards: Big Words" suite of cards. I think the original project was for 40 different cards, printed on 220# Lettra. We have not only enjoyed immensely our opportunity to be a small part of the Breathless Paper "team", but value the way they work and "do business". They are EXCEPTIONAL!
BPC: What is the most rewarding part of the job you do?
Becca: Making a client proud to present something you’ve created on their behalf is quite possibly the greatest reward in this industry. Whether it's a businessman who looks for opportunity to give out his card, or a designer who gets to see her creative thoughts enhanced and appreciated in medium…the ability to encourage self-confidence is an honor.
Gale: It has always been a dream of mine to "be creative" in some way...in any way. So, when a creative person gives me the chance to be a part of their creative process...and they love what we do...that is rewarding.
BPC: When you looked forward at your life many years ago, did you see yourself doing letterpress for a living?
Becca: Ha! This just makes me laugh! Absolutely not! As a college athlete, biology majoring, doodle hobby-ing young woman, owning and operating a letterpress business with my parents was not even something that I thought I could dream of, let alone see a projection towards.
Gale: For me...this question makes me smile! I worked for my dad from the time I was 8...through high school when not studying or involved in sports at school...during college on weekends and summers. Then I went to medical school...my dad had a heart attack in my second year of medical school...I left medical school to run the family business (printing)...did that for 17 years...my dad was killed in an accident...we went out of business in 1997...I went to work for Scientific-Atlanta...then Cisco Systems...they “retired me" in 2013...I was diagnosed with lymphoma..we started Blue Canoe Letterpress. I guess you could say...I have not had many opportunities to look too far ahead...and when I did, what "I saw" would be changed or redirected by "life." BUT - Printing...putting ink on paper...has always been a dream of mine. In my dad's business we had a 4-color proof press...and a small harris offset press. I loved watching those precision machines "do their thing" to rhythm all their own... I have always wanted to print! Letterpress is doing that at the most interesting..."tactile level".
BPC: How did "Blue Canoe Letterpress" get its name?
Becca: My parents live around a lake and canoeing has always been a favorite pastime. Growing up we've had a couple canoes, but only one that was blue. This blue canoe went down in family history when our friends' car caught fire with the canoe anchored to its roof. Nobody was hurt, so it was a rather hilarious and awkward phone call that had us all remembering the blue canoe in a glowingly glorious death.
BPC: It seems like the paper goods and letterpress "industry" is growing, especially in the maker and entrepreneur community. What do you think of this growth and how has it been to be a part of it?
Becca: We love it! Growing up in the printing industry and being a third generation printer, I feel as if people are finally appreciating this art form and nod to history the way that it deserves. It’s such a personal work process, with hand mixing the ink, hand feeding the press, hand wrapping and assessing for quality…that said it’s like a proud parent watching their child get their first raise because a higher-up recognized their worth.
Gale: Becca is so right. Letterpress has many facets at which we you personally "touch" the work in progress. There are so many points at which you make decisions and adjustments that effect the final piece...you get the chance to be a real part of the creative process. I think this is one of the reasons for the resurgence of letterpress. It is not a "cookie cutter"/mass produced, rendering of what a designer has in their head. Letterpress allows for so many points of personal touch and the making of each piece a little unique. When you hold in your hands a piece of stationery that has been "letterpressed" it is obvious that it is a piece of custom handiwork...from an old school way of craftsmanship! This is rare today...and people are growing more and more appreciative of these types of things - the marks of personal touch...reaching for ways to communicate on a more personal level, instead of the "coldness" of online personal media and email...actually seeing the evidence of life in how we communicate, and the medium we use to communicate...
BPC: What is your typical process when it comes to gaining inspiration and planning for a new project / client? What inspires you most?
Becca: Every card or design is personal. For boo’s blue cards, each card has been designed for my own use. Selfish, right? I carry a moleskin notebook around with notes of sayings or ideas that come from anything during the day. It may be a conversation or a thought. Can’t forget that I also have the hilariously creative friends who will just send me a note with “you should make a card with this…” As far as bespoke stationary or wedding designs, I tend to spend a lot of time with my client getting to know them and their story as an individual and then the design comes naturally. These items are a representation of the individual and as such should be treated with the attention to detail appropriately befitting.
Gale: For me (the UNcreative person, totally dependent on the creativity of others), I yearn for those times that our clients ask us the question, "how could you do this?", or "could you make something like this?"; "what do you think about this, and how could we do it?"...etc. This really gets the side of me that "yearns to be creative" going... These are the opportunities for us to really be a unique part of the creative process for the REALLY CREATIVE people.
Blue Canoe has three generations worth of heart and experience. Thanks, to Gale and Becca for their spirit and for being a valued part of some of my favorite projects.
Breathless Paper Co.
HOW IT BEGAN
It started with wedding invitations, baby announcements and party invites.
But even before that, I (Jess) was hand-making cards to be sold in my mom's shop, Urban Cottage. I've always been infatuated with the idea of handmade cards and handmade letters, and sending mail overall. My family, friends, and even my two and four-year-old get mail from me (they are absolutely elated to get anything in the mail, even from me -- it's hilarious!)
My husband, Matt and I soon decided to take things to the next level and make a whole round of cards. I researched the ideal way to provide our future retailers with an outstanding, quality product for the best price point possible. While I did that, Matt began perfecting our aesthetic -- something unique to us (and he totally nailed it).
With a round of cards done -- our original collection -- I got on the road and "pounded the pavement" to gather retailers' reactions to our work. I was so energized by the support we received, and before we knew it we were on our way to becoming a full-fledged paper company!
We did our first trade show with less than fifty card designs, our catalog on cds, handwritten invoices, and fingers crossed. We were floored by the reaction we got. We wrote order after order and grew more and more thankful through it all. Now, we're ten years in and that thankfulness has only multiplied.
So, where does our inspiration come from? The everyday moments. The feelings we want to be able to give, the smiles and laughter we want to provide. Our cards are about having faith in oneself, learning lessons and loving everyone.
THE EVOLUTION OF OUR CARDS
When it comes to design, Matt has that on lock. He and I work on the concepts and end decisions together, but our team works because we both do what we are good at and let each other lead. The design of our original line was inspired by old advertising art that Matt purchased and redrew, giving it a new life while maintaining its vintage feel and authenticity. Then, we added Out of Breath, our adult humor line (if you know what I mean...)
Then, we dreamed up our Baby's Breath children's collection. This line came from listening to the funny way our nephew thought and spoke; we found it absolutely endearing. Next came Mini Breaths -- itty bitty cards with a whole lot of character. After going small, we went loud, and added Fresh Breath. It's a line with a lot of bright color and a bunch of fun.
Our birthday line, Blowing Candles is a hand-painted masterpiece! Matt went outside and got creative, painting a bunch of shapes and textures on paper. Those paintings were scanned into the computer and that's how the look of our birthday cards was born. This was also the first line that got colored envelopes!
Scout, our daughter, inspired our Deep Breath line -- darker, deeper and filled with notes that merge the inspirational and the fun. Matt did an incredible job developing this new aesthetic and I fell in love with it. This line just continues to grow!
Last year, I added my little labor of love: Tiny Cards. Big Words. These gorgeous, thick, hand-lettered cards come their own slide box, ready to be given or kept or passed along. This project was a long time coming; I'd been dreaming it up since we started our little company.
In short, Breathless Paper Co. is a company born from creativity, passion, and a love of loving people. Tons of thought and laughter goes into each card, and Matt and I both make sure each one is just right for you guys. We're overwhelmed by the ten years worth of love you've shown us, and we can't wait to keep loving you right back and shelling out new designs that you can mail, hold onto, and pin up.