A sponsored feature post by Kalyn Johnson of effie’s paper
I’m a lawyer by training, but I’ve always been a creative person. I was the friend everyone called on when they needed to look good, decorate for a party, choose colors for their living room, find the right stationery, etc. I was a creative person stuck in the corporate world. It never occurred to me that I could translate my creative talents into a side-gig, much less a living. But here I am, two businesses later doing exactly that.
Five years ago I started STYLE by Kalyn Johnson, a fashion styling consultancy for busy professionals. While I love working with clients and helping people look their best, I knew shortly after I started my styling business that I wanted to expand. I believe being stylish should filter through all aspects of your life. To me, reviving the tradition of sending hand-written notes on stylish note cards, or giving them as a gift, should be a part of your lifestyle. In essence, I view using stationery as an extension of one’s personal style and I’m never at a loss for inspiration.
My inspiration comes from all things stylish — beautiful fabrics, elegant furnishings, an eye-catching slab of marble, even an amazing tile floor. I have been very lucky and have had the opportunity to travel to some of the most stunning locales which have provided amazing design inspiration.
When I started effie’s paper, I had definite ideas about the way I wanted my products to look and feel. I wanted our designs to be modern, clean and creative. THE URBANITE, our first line launched in November 2010, was inspired by those red soled shoes, beautiful decor and the amazing cocktails they make at the swankiest bars around the world. I trusted my gut and used the things that I love to fuel my creativity. My rule of thumb was easy, I wanted to create products that I myself would buy and want to use. I’m a pretty tough customer; I only buy things that make my heart leap . . . so, I figured that if I created something that I would buy, some other corporate/creative/urban/modern girl probably would too. I tested my theory by combining my penchant for high heels and my love leopard print when I created our first design, Daarhling, The Heels Can Never Be High Enough. It has become our number one best seller!
effie’s paper stationery designs are bold, colorful and graphic because I wanted them to appeal to women who want stationery that reflects their own vibrant lifestyles. I truly believe that stylish people should have stylish stationery. My aim has been to take my experiences and translate them into designs that will excite and satisfy the wanderlust that resides in many of us.
In February, I went on an amazing trip to South Africa with my husband and some close friends. South Africa is alive with inspiration! The color, texture and pattern displayed in both nature and architecture took my breath away. Traveling around the country, I had the chance to experience, first-hand, the charms and realities of Cape Town and Johannesburg. We went on safari in the Sabi Sands just outside of South Africa’s Kruger National Park and I was inspired by everything I saw. While on a game drive, I pulled out my iPhone and started taking notes for what became our Out of Africa collection. I was captivated by the wild life, the colors and the people we met; I wanted to share a little of the wonder that is South Africa.
When I showed the line to the couple we traveled to South Africa with, my friend Davia gave me the most amazing compliment when she emailed and said, “Thanks for the sneak peek of the Out of Africa line. The designs look great – really captures the spirit of each location.” My aim is to excite. Reactions like Davia’s let me know I’m on the right track. I am constantly on the look out for unique experiences and intoxicating images to inspire my stationery designs. I love things that make my heart leap and if I’ve done my job properly, my customers and those who receive hand-written notes from them will feel the same way when they receive a notecard from effie’s paper!
Truth be told, I’m a paper girl. Yes, I’d be lost without my iPhone, MacBook Pro and my iPad but I try to send hand-written notes to friends and family weekly. Call me old-fashioned, but there’s something about opening my mailbox and finding a handwritten note, thank you or otherwise, that trumps an email or text message any day of the week! Stationery is a part of my DNA, not only was it a childhood obsession – my grandmother and company namesake, Mrs. Effie Hayes, was the one who introduced me to the notion of having my own personal stash of stationery for just about any occasion.
effie’s paper offers a line of fine stationery that will satisfy the needs of today’s busy professional, mom or social butterfly; it’s created for those who enjoy sending and receiving beautifully-designed, hand-written notes.
You can see more of Kalyn’s stationary designs at effiespaper.com; to see more of her design inspiration, follow her on: