Hi, I'm Margaret Haas and I run Paper Pastries, a small stationery studio.
Do you have a dedicated workspace for Paper Pastries? Would you mind sharing any pictures of where you work on Paper Pastries, or of your desktop where you put together mail and other fun projects?
My husband and I recently moved from Los Angeles to a suburb of San Diego. When we were in Los Angeles, I had a separate studio space, but I
now work out of the three bedroom house that we rent. Working from home
has it's pros and cons,
but I think overall, like it! Especially because I get to spend all
day with my kittens :)
There are three main parts of my at home studio. My work table, my shipping table, and product storage. The room that I have now is about a quarter of the size as my old studio, so we had to get inventive. I got flat file drawers that we added a wooden top to. Inside the drawers is where I can store ready made products, on top is another work space. Usually that is covered in stationery that is drying, or orders I need to ship. I package orders on this large flat space, then I move them to my shipping table to weigh and print labels.
My work table is where I sketch and design. All of my calligraphy supplies are right there at an arm's reach. I need good lighting so my work table is right beside a large window. I usually listen to music while working and I like to burn a candle too. When I get up to get some water or a cup of tea, one of my cats usually claims my seat!
Your shop has some of the most fun and unique rubber stamps I've seen lately, especially your newly introduced state address stamps. What's your process for coming up with new designs? What do you do when you find yourself in a creative rut?
Thank you! My sister, her husband, and my husband are all part of the Paper Pastries team. Whenever I'm thinking about introducing a new product, I talk it over with them and see how they react. Some ideas never make it past an email, while others are into production the next day because the team is so excited about it. When I go through 20 pages of the same design, I know it's going to be great when I'm finally finished with it. My design process/creativity definitely comes in waves. When I used to attend craft fairs regularly, I would use those as "due dates" for new products. Now, it's more organic. When I see that my shop is a little stale, I have a team meeting and we discuss new products. The best way to get out of a creative rut is get away from work. Go get a cup of coffee with a friend, go window shopping, take a walk. I find that clearing my head leaves me feeling inspired and motivated to work.
One of my goals this year is to send more mail, so it's no surprise I love your "Sent with Love" blog feature where you share the creative mail you send and receive. Is this a new hobby for you, or were you a little girl with pen pals growing up?
I didn't have any pen pals when I was very young. I only sent mail when my sister went away to college. I sent her letters and packages. When I reached middle school and was in different classes from my friends, we would write notes to each other to pass along in the halls. It was only when I started PP that I realized what a great community pen pals have. The letter writers alliance is a great resource if you're just starting out letter writing.
What are your top three paper favorites right now - particular products, favorite shops or lines, trends, projects, creative people...
Oh, I have so many! There are just so many great shops out there. Right now I'd have to say:
These three shops consistently come out with wonderfully made and well-designed products, and all are run by wonderful women.