Sunday, November 06, 2005

Conversation with Celandine Paper

If only I was getting married or having a baby, I could use Celandine Paper (as featured on Daily Candy) printed on letterpress cards! Who prints on letterpress cards? In fact, what are letterpress cards? Letterpress is a form of printing, where a press coated with ink actually presses into the paper leaving behind a unique impression, unlike regular laser printing and offset printing (for mass production). Very cool and very specialized, making Celandine Paper cards special treasures.

What's more, they agreed to answer all of my questions as to how they got started, as we all know I'm making my own Business Plan for Katie James and must soak up as much information as I can.
Here's how they did it:

Is Celandine Paper a one-woman show? If not, who is Celandine Paper, and where did the name come from?
Celandine Paper is the newest part of a 3 year old design firm, Celandine Inc., founded by Samantha Baker and Kimberley Sanderson-Hutfilz in 2002. Celandine itself is a type of flower indigenous to Great Britain, where Kimberley’s family is from. It translates to “joys to come” in Celtic, which we thought was a nice sentiment for a company that specializes in weddings, baby announcements and beautiful stationery.

How did you decide to partner or work together?
We first worked together years ago at another design firm and became close friends. Inspired by our love of great design, we decided to start the business – we already knew that we worked well together so we didn’t ever question what it would be like to go into business with a friend.

How long have you been in business?
Since May 2002.

Where are you located?

Is this location ideal for your business?
New York is a wonderful place to live and work – we are constantly inspired by what is around us – great architecture, art, fashion – the best of everything is here!

How much start up capital did you need?
We started the business with just our laptops and our energy and focus- we didn’t even buy new equipment at first! We were quite conservative – as we made money, we continued to grow our expenditures accordingly.

Did/do you have outside investors? How did you approach them?

Do you have a day job? If so, how do you manage to work two jobs? If you don’t, how did you manage to quit to take your business on full time?
We left our jobs about three months after we started Celandine – it just meant we had to work harder!

What was the biggest snafu that you’ve had with a manufacturer so far and how did you handle it?
We have had a few issues along the way – but you always learn from them. We have definitely learned to pad deadlines!

How do you handle your online orders?
We had a great web programmer who worked with us to translate our design into proper code – and we use paypal for the check-out process and collecting money from customers online. They have great security credentials.

Sales-wise, what came first – selling directly from your website or selling through boutiques?

Which generates more sales: your website or stores with a street addresses (not an IP address)?
We are still figuring this out – as our products are just getting into stores now!

What advice do you have for designers selling their products directly from their websites?
Hire a programmer you trust and go for it.

What shopping cart do you use (if you know)?

What bookkeeping software do you use (if any)? Or are you an Excel wizard?
We use Quicken and Excel.

Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do one thing every day that scares you.” What’s the scariest thing you’ve done so far, career-wise, and how did it turn out?
Leaving our other jobs to start Celandine – but it’s been great. Every day is an adventure!

Do you have any advice or mantra for emerging designers?
If you believe you have a great product, and you believe in your ability to sell it, everything will happen in good time.

My favorite, for Valentine's Day, although they are sold out (but I had to show you anyway)! My heart breaks...


All of the letters of the's my favorite...K...for katie james:

For Baby


For Weddings


Can these be any more precious? You can buy them online or in stores.

Calendine Paper

More Conversations With Emerging Designers

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Anonymous said...

Katie, that's great that you asked all those questions! good research! heart!
we need a monster cookie date. maybe next week? ( not this one, moving in on Friday :( , t hen home for the weekend for Mom's surprise party) but the next week, I wanna come in for monster/Whole food date.

yahhhhhh there you go, there you go...

Unknown said...

Oh my goodness...I wish others could hear that voice for "there you go, there you go...!" We will lunch at Whole Foods over Monster cookies (everyone: ask for monster cookies at your local whole foods store...peanut butter, oats, brown sugar, choc chips, vanilla, baking powder and that's it!)

Most importantly, we need to talk to Gladys! I will bring my laptop to record.