My Paper Obsession

I have been obsessed with paper ALL MY LIFE.

I have no reason to deny, hide or skim over this detail because it is 100% fundamentally me.  My oldest recollection of paper begins with taking stacks of the bank deposit and withdrawl slips from Citibanks whenever I’d go with my aunt.  I’m not quite sure what I did with these, although I’m pretty sure that I played bank in my free time, but I loved that film slip between the pages that imprinted the information on all three pieces. Loved it!

Another paper memory of mine involves collecting pieces of my favorite gift wrappings and taping them on the wall around my bed during my middle/high school years. Hilarious, really, but looking at those paper pieces gave me so much joy growing up.

My last memory of paper growing up is smelling the pages from the inside of my books. I have always loved the way a book smells. Sometimes it’s not very detectable and other times it’s quite pungent, but all the same I love the smell. Whether it’s old, new, on loan, from the library, from a foreign country, there is a smell and a texture and I could gladly spend hours just breathing and touching book pages.

My first job after graduating high school was working for the paper story Papyrus at the Tower City Center located in Cleveland, Ohio. The store was just opening and at the time not a franchise. I applied and got the job and before long was working as a pseudo assistant manager. It was hard work, but fun. I always enjoyed working on invitations for customers and really just learning about social writing etiquette.   I guess that was my first venture into the world of communications, something that would span a 12 year period of time.

Currently, I find myself working on websites-maintaining, designing and working on content development, but it’s not my passion. My passion is coming up with different ways to design different pieces that will then inspire others to write and communicate more honestly and openly. I don’t think there is anything better than that, personally.

So where does that leave me now. Well, as the story goes last year after the death of my father in February 2009 and completing the Maratona di Roma in March of 2009, I decided to travel for 18 days around Europe.  I stayed in Italy for 15 days and then spent several hours on a train from Milan to Barcelona, a day in Barcelona and then 2.5 days in Paris. It was glorious and the BEST way to spend $2,000 ever.  However, all of my paper obsession came to me on the last leg of my journey, between Florence and Paris…

My last day in Florence, I wore a pair of zebra printed tights.  They were on their last thread to begin with so I wasn’t shocked to find they had a hole in them at the end of the night.  That night, I tried to figure out what to do with them, but couldn’t quite justify throwing them away. So I packed them in my suitcase and figured I would just figure out how to recycle them when I got back home to New York.  Well, the following night, as I slept in the beautiful town of Riomaggiore in Cinque Terre, Italy, I realized what I would do with those tights–recycle them with paper.   I woke up startled from my dream and determined.  My thoughts continued to play with the idea of creating my own stationery and building up a design company based on this dream. It seemed all so clear in my brain, I just needed to make sense of it all.  It wasn’t until I got into Montpelier, France to catch my connecting train up to Paris that I got my second sign, on the bottom of a bag of take out food that I was crumbling up said said the company’s recycling program and the words, “Paper is life.”   That pretty much sealed the deal for me. I formulated a rough draft of what I wanted to do and then decided I needed to run it rather than focus on business plan writing.

In the year since starting my S2 Stationery and Design company, I have made it legal, done a wedding and Bar Mitzvah invitation, designed some random pieces on my own, created pieces for others including birth announcements, party invitations, and personal stationery. It has been a wild ride and I’m ready for more!

That more equates to expanding my  line of paper products and focusing on my original dream.  They are some what bold, unique and different from most paper pieces you find in most American stores. I can’t quite vouch for international designers and vendors, but I will say the last time I was in Paris, I found the most delicious paper store ever. The paper sold is unique and expensive and it made me long for more time, money and a address in Paris.

Again, the most important thing is that I’ve admitted to paper addiction and am working to make it better than ever before.

As this blog continues, I will post techniques, skills I’m learning, photos of my work and just general exciting news.  Let the paper adventure continue!

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s2 stationery & designs

A rule-breaking designer, artist & entrepreneur who's passionate about paper and handcrafting stationery. I also write, travel, and focus on eco + social good.

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