e.m.papers originally started as a wedding invitation business over 10 years ago by me, Eleanor, and my friend Molly. The first initial of our first names were the ‘e’ and ‘m’ in e.m.papers.The business never really got off the ground, mostly because we were young and ambivalent about what we wanted and where our lives would take us. We also couldn’t get our heads around the business of printing, distributing and selling stationery. The designing part was the most fun, the rest…not so much. Molly started a family, and a coaching business. It was the middle of the dot.com boom, and I had just graduated from art school as a graphic designer. I wanted to see the world, and while living in Munich, found a job at an American web consulting firm launching it’s German offices. I have been in Germany ever since.
In the meantime the internet grew out of it’s infancy and starting a business on the web had never been easier or more enticing. Moreover, the home-printer market has matured (when I was in art school a home color printer cost around $1000.00). Considering these facts, sometime in the summer of 2007 it seemed like a good idea to give e.m.papers another go and bring it online selling printables; download and print-at-home greeting cards and paper goods .
A good friend of ours was getting married in California, in the course of the celebrations I brought the idea up to Molly, her response was basically ‘Go for it!’ and e.m.papers was reborn.
I started creating printable stationery, paper goods and invitations while continuing at my full-time day job. Every time I designed holiday cards, a last-minute birthday card or gift labels for personal use, I uploaded the design to e.m.papers.When I got married, I leveraged my skill as a professional graphic designer to “scratch my own itch” and produce wedding invitations, thank you notes, save the dates, escort cards for my own two weddings (to the same guy in two different countries.) I refined my products through this process, along with helping some of my girlfriends with their weddings. The templates and designs are “by a bride for brides.”
Within a couple of years and, especially after the launch of the DIY printable wedding invitations I was able to quit my day job to work on e.m.papers full time! Since then, e.m.papers products have been featured in magazines such as Martha Stewart Weddings, BRIDES as well as highlighted in blogs such as Apartment Therapy, Design Milk and Oh So Beautiful Paper. e.m.papers was also hailed as a ‘Rockstar Business’ in Chris Gullibeau’s book The $100 Dollar Start-up.