On one of the hottest summer days, I met Kelsey and Caitlin from Paper + Petal, a local creative gift giving company (and current LAUNCH Cohort member!) at Commonwealth Bistro in Covington. They introduced me to the best gnocchi in town, and over a slice of honey pie shared their story and inspiration behind starting Paper + Petal with me!
How did you get the idea for your business?
Kelsey- I started doing floral design for weddings and other events in 2015, learning how to create with locally-sourced items and use personal touches that fit the couple or client. I saw a need for more affordable and less lavish options to suit different tastes and budgets.
Caitlin- In 2015 my fiancé was in the hospital with a collapsed lung for about a week and a half. People sent all sorts of nonsense to our apartment, like an edible arrangement which quickly rotted, OR they brought stuff to the hospital and were turned away because he wasn’t well enough for visitors. I obviously wasn’t faulting anyone for how they were trying to support us, but it really got me thinking about how we can’t always prepare for gift giving, and it isn’t always easy to find a gift for occasions that surprise us like that.
Paper + Petal- We began the conversation about providing a new service to our community in 2016, thinking about how to create a more meaningful, personal approach to gift giving that could also be easier on people’s wallets. We wanted to make something that was playful and light, while also more thoughtful and supportive of local artists.
What are you most looking forward to being a part of Aviatra, and the LAUNCH program?
We’re really excited to meet mentors, business-minded creatives and fellow entrepreneurs that will expand our ideas and our network; we were drawn to Aviatra because of its focus on enabling women-owned businesses. Paper + Petal is founded on collaboration and elevating other makers- we can’t wait to be part of a supportive community that wants us to succeed too!
What are you hoping to learn?
We thrive on the creative process of our business; we are great at brainstorming (“biz-storming”, we call it) and implementing new ideas. We hope to learn more creative business strategies that can assist us in sharpening our story, which will hopefully expand our ability to market our services in a unique and accessible way.
What are some gift ideas or boxes you have for the upcoming holidays?
When we first got started last November we launched our Hygge box, a care package that helps fight off the winter blues through the Danish concept of cozy contentment. We’ll add in some new gift options to the box this year, and it’ll still be the perfect gift for that friend who loves lighting every candle they own, curling up under the blankets and enjoying being snowed in.
We’ll also be adding in new greeting card options to existing giftable boxes with creations from Pull Club, a local printmaking and design studio.
What local businesses have you partnered with for your boxes?
We currently work with a roster of around 20 businesses primarily in the Greater Cincinnati area, with artists and makers like Grateful Grahams, Handzy, Keep Your Shirt on Covington, Lucca Laser Workshop, Macaroon Bar and Mixie Studio.
Anything else you want to share?
We’re eager for the education and mentorship the LAUNCH program will provide for us and can’t wait to take our business forward!