good to know I am not alone
This is Elise. She is one of the assistant managers at Paper Source. Plus she is the workshop coordinator. I am sure that I have driven her crazy on many occasions with my frantic concern over an upcoming workshop.
Yesterday we were discussing our blogs. I started reading her blog sometime earlier this summer after I saw a link in the bottom of her email. (I have yet to add my blog link to my email, but really must make that a priority for this week.) Anyway, when I went to Penland, I sort of lost track of her blog. So last night I decided to catch up.
First of all, I must say that is pretty exciting reading Elise’s entries. We share so much in common, except she has the job I wish that I had ten years ago. Not that I didn’t learn tons from working in a traditional office. Let me correct that – several traditional offices. But the lack of creativity and constant contact with paper sent me home spending hours every night coming up with products I would hope would one day be in stores across America. There were the fortunehearts, die-cut bras, note card sets, onesies, and on and on. I was making my own little brand in my back room. I hoarded tons of paper, cartons, bags and labels. I still have origami paper from my first big purchase in 1998. Yes 1998. Ten years ago!!! No, I believe it was actually 1997. So that’s even worse. ELEVEN years ago. There have been dramatic improvements in paper options and colors over the last decade. Believe me.
I first found Paper Source on the internet. I just remember thinking, “This changes everything.” I might could define my life BPS and APS. I love their paper that much. All of the colors and scalloped edges made my white flat cards look, well, white and flat. Just plain. The options were a little overwhelming.
It was February 2005. I was working at a conference in DC and had to make invitations for Sarah’s shower in my hotel room. (I actually posted this on my original blog, which is now defunct.) I trekked off to the store to buy the goods. While checking out, I remember thinking I can work here. I knew that we would moving to DC in August, but it was a big secret. I had no idea at the time that my boss would talk me out of quitting three months later and let me work from home four hours away.
After we moved to DC, I started working as Paper Source as a way to meet new people. I was working at home for NECTAC (UNC) and I needed to get out in the world. Plus who doesn’t love Paper Source if you love paper as much as I do. Paper Source is my first experience in retail. I am coming up on my third anniversary of part-time work there and I must say that I love it.
But after so many years behind a desk, including my college summer jobs, I really resisted the idea of not needing to be behind my computer every day all of the time. It honestly took me at least a full year after leaving UNC not to feel the lull towards the laptop. Thanks to my iPhone and a mental shift, I can now go maybe three, four or five days without picking up the laptop. That’s a good thing because it slowly sucks my time away from me.
Paper Source is great, not only because of the employee discount, but because I enjoy my time there. I help people come up with a product, pick out the materials and send them on their way. I don’t have to do any of the printing and/or labor. It is great! I am so happy just being an idea person.
I also get to organize and see lots of pretty things. The whole time I’m working, I think of things that I can make out of everything in the store. It is like being paid to take an extended shopping trip in one massive store filled with things I love. My wheels are always turning as I put away packs of converted paper or rearrange glitter based on the Paper Source color palette. Sounds lame, but it’s incredibly soothing.
Then there are the great people, all of whom I love. Including Elise… not that I love her more than others. But I do enJOY her blog. Plus, I don’t know of anyone else’s blog. So please come forward if you are reading this and think, “Hey! What about me?” Good to know if I ever begin to miss Elise, I can watch these videos to keep me company.
And as Elise, expresses in this video, the recent PS Clearance was just like Christmas. This is literally the first sale I have ever seen in the last three years. I honestly think that they keep me on staff because I spend my entire earnings for the evening at least every other shift. On Sunday night, Elise ran up to me and said, “We are $88 short of our goal. Anything you want to buy?” I fell for it hook, line and sinker. Don’t worry, Henry. I didn’t personally meet the goal, but someone with a Xyron machine did. (Don’t even get me started on the Xyrons… I owned three before I even found PS.) Unfortunately I can’t share the items that I bought because I went the Christmas gift route. (No more hoarding paper for me. Watch out, Elise.) I am way ahead of schedule this year. Thanks, Paper Source.