Introducing: Paper & Plank

Paper & Plank is a stationery and design company based in middle Tennessee focused on creating unique stationery, paper good, wood signs, and much more.

Each piece is handmade with love and a fun personality with the hopes of brightening your day.

THE BACK STORY

I’m a 25 year old graphic designer by day, and a graphic designer at night, weekends, holidays, etc. While I spend my days working on a variety of client work at Parachute, I spend *almost* all the rest of my time pouring into my freelance hustle, Paper & Plank. If you’re looking for me between the hours of 6-10pm during the week, or any weekend, I’m either working on a new design or running a show. Because, a gal’s gotta pay the bills (aka spoil my fur baby).

When my love for hand lettering and a punny greeting card came together almost two years ago, I knew I was onto something. My husband, being the logical man that he is, sat me down to ask a very important question – one that I was afraid was coming. “Is this just going to be a hobby or is this a business?” I gave some artsy fartsy answer about my creativity being like a river and we never know where it will flow. Truthfully, I was just avoiding the question. I didn’t want to deal with a business license and taxes and who knows what else!?

In the words of my friend, Jimmy:

One of Jimmy Fallon’s many characters featured on his show, Sara, saying her famous catchphrase.But, for the sake of my following my passions, I put on my big girl pants and got a business license.

I started out with around ten greeting card designs, a couple of illustrated floral prints and some hand painted wooden planks and I opened up an Etsy shop.

TAXES & OTHER SCARY BUSINESS WORDS

A few short months later in the fall of 2016, I took a leap and applied to be in a few local craft shows. After my very first show, I was hooked. I signed up for as many shows as I could. I loved creating cards! I loved hearing people laugh when they stopped by my booth! I loved it even more if they made a purchase!

By the end of the year, I was on a creative high. I had a booth at 6 different craft shows in a matter of 4 months and was loving every second of it… until it was time to file our taxes.

Sheldon from Big Bang Theory is panicking, and breathing into a paper bag.Thank goodness my husband is good at like everything. He was so helpful with the taxes, acquiring a business license, and so on. Consider him the volunteer CFO, if you will. While I’m confident in my creativity and design skill set, the business side of things has always intimidated me. I’m decently organized, and consider myself quite intelligent… but I was an art major, y’all. Gross income, profit margins, and total revenue were not covered in my color theory classes.

PERFECT TIMING

Fast forward to spring of 2017. I survived tax season and year end inventory, and I was gearing up for the spring season of shows. I had 8 shows scheduled over the span of two months (yep, that’s about one a weekend – some weekends there were 2).

The week before the first show of the spring, I started working at Parachute Media. Perfect timing for a new day job, right? Thankfully, Ryan knew what it was like to have a side hustle (ever heard of Camping with Dogs?). He and the whole team at Parachute have been more than supportive of my dreams outside of my 9-5 job from the very beginning.

As a part of the Parachute team, my role is the graphic designer, but I’ve definitely learned a lot about social media marketing and the necessity of digital advertising. For the past year, I’ve been soaking in as much knowledge about advertising as I can – not only to better myself for Parachute, but to also better my own business. While my husband has been so helpful at teaching me the ins and outs of the business side of things, neither of us knew much at all about the advertising aspect.

And now the two have officially collided.

TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK

Parachute Media and Paper & Plank have teamed up for a case study to showcase the benefits of a little (or a lot) of social media strategy and how Facebook Ads can take a small business a long way. While it’s only been a little over one month, there has already been significant follower growth on my Instagram account and Etsy sales.

And don’t tell anyone… but there’s even a freakin’ awesome website in the works that will hopefully go live here in the next few weeks! With the team at Parachute sharing their knowledge and skills with my business, I have no doubt that big things are in store.

I warned Ryan that with his help, Paper & Plank might become so successful that I have to quit my day job.

Donald Duck is waddling and counting all his money.He said that was fine, as long as I then hired Parachute Media to be Paper & Plank’s ad agency.

I feel like that’s a fair trade.

If you’re a small business owner, artist or maker like myself, don’t assume that contacting an ad agency like Parachute Media is too big of a leap. We offer small business workshops and often have speaking engagements to share most of our top secret weapons when it comes to digital marketing.

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