The Paper Bunny founder on going online to offline after 8 years

When it comes to local brands, few are as iconic and established as The Paper Bunny. They’ve firmly established themselves as the benchmark for beautiful planners and stylish card stock.

With their evolution towards sustainable products and lifestyle products, we have found even more reasons to love them.

Like some local brands that have had huge success online, such as Love, Bonito and SOJAO, they have decided to open physical stores. As much as we are creatures of the Internet, we must finally get out of the covers and venture out into the real world.

For Jamie Lee, founder of The Paper Bunny, there was no rush to move from the online world to the real world.

After all, Covid-19 seriously put the brakes on retail, but for her, the opening of The Paper Bunny’s first retail store was a fortuitous opportunity that came at the right time.

Eight years of online success

The last days of December are always synonymous with new beginnings and pastel-colored agendas from The Paper Bunny, at least for me anyway. With each notebook and greeting card, The Paper Bunny has built up a cult following that has given Jamie the confidence to grow her product line until it is today.

While Jamie wasn’t actively looking for a physical space, it was obvious that The Paper Bunny customers were looking for something more.

After eight years of successfully growing our digital presence, it has become more important than ever for us to deliver an in-person experience to our growing customer base where they can experience the brand and our products in real life.

It seems like a risky time to try something new, but we think it’s a good time for The Paper Bunny.

Jamie Lee, Co-Founder and Creative Director of The Paper Bunny

The Paper Bunny store
Image Credit: The Paper Rabbit

The Paper Bunny is not a brand to rest on its laurels. When this particular unit came into being, Jamie knew straight away that this was the right place to open his first store, even in the midst of all the uncertainties we face now.

Indeed, the store is an oasis of calm with selected products from their own range and brands like Stasher and Slow House. An island in the middle of the store covered with their line of paper products forms the foundation of The Paper Bunny.

Everything about The Paper Bunny store is a conscious effort not to just be “another place to buy things”.

Jamie noted that customers are constantly bombarded with offers everywhere; what people are looking for is “new encounters, a holistic omnichannel shopping experience, a brand story to support”.

After all, their goal has always been to create functional, practical, everyday pieces for intentional everyday living. It is the hope that these pieces offer new perspectives that continue to add value to the customers of The Paper Bunny.

A physical store in a digital world

The Paper Bunny store
Image Credit: The Paper Rabbit

For online mavens or digital nomads, having a physical notebook or even greeting cards can feel redundant in a world that runs on Google invitations. However, the need to have something tangible to write down and to keep continues.

“Digital processes are great, but nothing can replace a heartfelt handwritten note or writing your thoughts down in a physical book,” Jamie explained.

“There’s something about the raw, organic authenticity of a thought scribbled in a notebook versus the cold uniformity of the digital type in a digital folder somewhere on your computer. ”

Jamie attributed this to the freedom offered by pen and paper – a quality that just isn’t the same as typing on a phone, or that is easily superseded by all the conveniences of the digital world. Well, his philosophy has certainly paid off.

The warm welcome at The Paper Bunny store is a testament to the strength of the brand and how we always crave that physical touch.

Of course, as any entrepreneur will tell you, the path to where they are today is paved with crippling doubts, anxiety and uncertainty. Jamie was no stranger to this, and while his business continues to grow, new and different challenges are starting to arise.

From practicing law to selling stationery

bunny paper loungewear
Image Credit: The Paper Rabbit

Prior to the launch of tropical-themed loungewear and functional four-fold bags, Jamie was a practicing lawyer with a passion for design, fashion, art and aesthetics.

A chance to design wedding stationery for a friend was the highlight for her. “[I wanted to] creating art that was truly mine, but reached so many people, ”Jamie enthused.

She launched the brand in November 2013 and officially left the corporate world two years later.

“It wasn’t an easy decision, but I really believed The Paper Bunny still had so much to give and so much we could do.”

Running a business is never easy; there is a lot more that goes into the design of the stationery. There are the not-so-fun tracks that Jamie, along with her co-founder and husband, had to cut their teeth into.

We had to pick it all up on our own and guess as we had no previous experience in e-commerce, business, shipping methods, pricing, etc.

Learning to deal with discouragement, failures, mistakes and negative feedback, and learning from each of these, was just part of the process.

Jamie Lee, Co-Founder and Creative Director of The Paper Bunny

Eight years later, those initial challenges have evolved with the business. As mentioned earlier, the brand has moved away from paper products and entered into clothing design.

“The bigger you get, the bigger your problems get and the learning never ends. Everything and all that is good is done little by little, with resilience and perseverance. “

This mantra, which she hopes to share with aspiring entrepreneurs, has helped Jamie through her tough times and tough times.

“You don’t have to know everything or be everything to do something you’re proud of,” Jamie continued. “I try to remind myself that no one is good at everything.”

For Jamie, the way around this is to be aware of his abilities and to know that social media can be a double-edged sword.

I realize that when I’m real with myself about what I’m good for and what I’m not, coupled with hard work and resilience, I can focus on what I’m for. am good and work to surround myself with the right team to complement my strengths and weaknesses (both at home and at work).

Jamie Lee, Co-Founder and Creative Director of The Paper Bunny

The the future of the local market

The paper rabbit
Image Credit: The Paper Rabbit

As one of the first brands to burst onto the scene, Jamie mirrored how far local brands have come.

“The local creative scene is nothing like it was eight to ten years ago when we started,” said Jamie. “In the past, online shopping was not the norm, and creative jobs or education were seen as the alternative.”

If the booming local brands are any indication, it is clear that the local market is a creative and dynamic space.

With more impetus for #supportlocal, that would only encourage local creators to improve their craft and keep innovating.

“This healthy cycle gives the local creative industry hope, options, better talent and a better future.”

Featured Image Credit: The Paper Rabbit

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