Thursday, March 31, 2005

Do Brides have more fun?

I know the saying is actually "Blondes have more fun," but quite frankly, it seems like they should switch it to "brides have more fun." Having never been a bride myself, I have to say that it looks pretty freakin fabulous. Putting aside the whole finding the love of your life person who you want to settle down and grow old with thing (and YES, that is wonderful...I've done should give it a try sometime if you haven't already), there are so many fun things to buy, cool things to plan and fabu presents to be had. I suppose it wasn't necessarily the best idea for a bride wannabe like myself to get involved in the bridal industry as I now find myself buying Martha Stewart Weddings for "research purposes," trolling the boards on The Knot again, for "research purposes" and going to events like the New York Weddings Showcase --say it with me now "for research purposes." All I know is, by the time I do actually get to plan my own wedding, I think I can probably have the whole thing wrapped up in about 3 days. And let me just say: whomever invented the idea of a registry, my hat is waaay off to ya. When else in your life do you get to basically just make a list of all of the things that you want with a virtual guarantee that you'll get most of em!? I'm sorry...screw being a blonde, I want to be a bride.

Trade Showzzzzz

I'm exhibiting in the National Stationery Show this May here in NYC and I've never been quite so thrilled and excited about something while at the same time so physically nauseated by its prospect, in my whole darn life. I still find it difficult to wrap my brain around the fact that I will have my own little ole' booth...where people might stop by (people with money) actually buy things...from ME!? I'm worried about choosing the right shade of pink for our carpet...or that our cards won't look right against the yet unidentified curtain we will have hanging...or that everyone will smile pleasantly and then just walk right by us. Maybe I'll get no orders. Maybe everyone will hate Paper Bride..think we're dumb...think I'm dumb. Phew, truth I guess that's my worst dream "what if I showed up naked to homeroom" sort of scenario. I still am super nervous and need to work out more details than will fit on my puny "to do" list. But I also know that somehow, some way I will make it all work. Everything somehow always comes together magically exactly as its supposed to...which is something I need to remember at 2:36am when I can't sleep b/c I just remembered something else I forgot to do. It will work out. It will be fine. It must. Otherwise, stop back here in a month or so for some bargain basement deals on 5500 boxes of super cute bridal greeting cards and stationery :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Pressure of Blogging

I'm pretty new to the blogosphere and I'm definitely in the midst of still finding my way, but does anyone else out there ever feel "blogging pressure?" And by pressure, I mean I have this overwhelming desire to find the shiniest, sparkliest, most fabulous piece of information you can find; or the swankiest, sexiest new link...swankier and sexier than anyone else's blog links. It's kind of silly, but this blog pressure has actually been keeping me from posting. I read so many wonderful blogs, written by so many interesting, intriguing people, is it really possible that I have something to add? I think so...I mean, YES! I mean, I think I'll keep trying and see what happens...

Friday, March 25, 2005


If you are a listmaker (or would like to become one), you should check out a cool site called The site allows you to make, store and share to do lists that you can update, access or edit from any computer. The best part is that you can check items off as you accomplish them. There's nothing better than the lusty satisfaction of seeing your whole to do list, checked, checked, and checked...b/c then the only thing you have left to do is to make another one.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Time Keeps on Tickin...

The internet is insanely useful for a variety of things: researching the best price for the new digital camera you want to by, catching Ashlee Simpson's ridiculously embarssing lip synch moment on SNL or checking the weather. But the internet is also a pretty fab place to go to distract yourself with almost anything and everything. First thing in the morn, I always check out my boyfriend greg's blog to make sure he didn't write anything insanely embarassing about what we did the day before. Speaking of embarassing, I spend far too much time on our dog Oliver's profile on which is an online community quasi-modeled after friendster. I feed my addiction to reality tv here and have recently become devoted to I swear, I can spend hours doing nothing...

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Paperpreneurs Unite!

I got the loveliest and most unexpected email the other day about a super nifty website called Paperpreneurs. After just a couple of days of exploration, this appears to be one of the most helpful, interesting, entertaining and all around fab websites I've run into about starting a small business in the notecard and stationery industry. Paperpreneurs is an online forum that, through the interaction and sharing of ideas of its members, tackles any and every topic you need to know about the stationery biz. It's free to join and if you happen to be a paperprneur yourself (or are even thinking about becoming one), you'd be a fantastic fool not to. I've already snapped up a wealth of great advice after combing through the boards--and, in fact, I'm writing this post distractedly and half-heartedly because I'm dying to get back there right now..

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Google Rocks

By now, its certainly not "we interrupt this program" material to sing the praises of Google as a search engine...we all use it and we all love it. But there are actually a ton of really cool other Google features that have seriously come in handy to me as a small biz owner trying to keep track of...well...everything. One of my faves is the News Alert option which allows you to choose a word or phrase and then get emailed each and every time it comes up in a news story. You can have as many alerts as you'd like and be as specific or broad as you want. Of course I have a news alert for my company name (not likely that you'll be surprised with a piece of press, but you never know!), but I also have alerts that keep me up-to-date with what's going on in the industry; I have a "wedding industry" alert and a "celebrity wedding" alert as well as some alerts for some competitor's companies. You can choose to have alerts sent to you once a day in digest form or every time your word or phrase comes up.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Key to the City?

As a small business owner in New York City, the idea of getting my own office was sort of akin to believing that my hands don't get that dirty when I hang on to that disease-infested pole on the subway that everyone and their brother touch, lick and god knows what else--it seemed like an absolute pipedream. That is, until I read an article in the New York Times about these two guys who came up with the brilliant idea of allowing groups of like-minded small biz owners to rent cubicles and share office space. Ok, this is seriously brilliant! AND, i can bring my dog!? How could this be? But, it's true...Sunshine Suites offers locations throughout the city and rents start at just $295 including high-speed internet access, phone lines, security, utilities and all the photocopies you can manage to make. I'm not ready to take the leap just yet, but when I am, Sunshine Suites is def going to be first on my list.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Who, What, When, Where & Why?

Several years ago I came across an amazing website I say "amazing" because I have what some would call a severe obsession with magazines. I love the smooth paper, the colorful pictures, the bite-sized articles...and I bought A LOT of them. This quickly added up to (gulp) thousands of dollars (and I know this because I figured it out for my tax return). Now that I'm starting my own business, its actually super duper important that I read lots of magazines. I need to keep up with what people like, colors they're wearing, trends, things that have fallen off of the radar, etc. I'm not quite sure how they do it, but this website allows you to subscribe to a ton of mainstream titles for, to nothing. For the amount of money I would spend at the gift shop at the airport before hopping on a flight, I can get 4 or 5 yearly subscriptions. It's really pretty fantastico. Here's a list of my current subscriptions (in no particular order): US Weekly, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Martha Stewart Weddings, Brides, Modern Bride, New York Magazine, Wired, Inc., Allure, Elle, Harper's Bazaar, Lucky, In Style, HOW, Elle Decor (does anyone think I've gone overboard?)

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Indie Brides

Indie brides often don't come down the aisle looking like white cupcakes, they might have a salsa band at their wedding or tapas instead of dinner. More than anything, being an indie bride is primarily a state of mind--choosing to do things your way rather than mom's way or solely based on tradition. is a fab website that offers advice, insight, book recommendations and message boards for girls who don't necessarily want to have a typical wedding. On the message boards, especially, you can find some pretty great advice from some pretty cool chicks.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

My Small Biz, Inc...or LLC...or????

One of the first major choices I felt like I should make with Paper Bride is what "form" I wanted my company to take. There are several major classifications to choose from including: Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, Corporations, "S" Corporations or Limited Liability Companies. There are general rules that go along with each of these biz types, however, there are some major differences based on whatever state you might live in. For instance, after some research, I decided to register my company as an LLC. There are a whole host of places you can go to online that will manage this process for you (for a fee, of course), however, I decided to go at it alone. Little did I realize that as a resident of New York State there is a "publication requirement" for every LLC registered in the state. Basically, this means that anyone who registers their company as an LLC needs to publish a notice of this formation in the newspaper for six consecutive weeks (this is not true of any other type of business formation in NY...ONLY LLC's). This doesn't sound too horrible until you consider the fact that you are told by the state which newspaper you need to publish this notice in. And as a resident of New York City, my choices are basically The New York Times, The New York Post and a couple of other papers. Translation: forming my little LLC (which cost $200 to register) was going to cost me up to $3000 in publication fees! Needless to say, after I had begun this process, I began to think that an "S" Corporation might be a better bet for me...I continue to wonder if I should switch up to this day. My best advice is to do a LOT of research on this subject. Most people tell you to speak with a lawyer, which isn't bad advice at all, except if (like me) you have no start-up money to speak of. If you have an accountant, speak to them as they have lots of great advice on this subject as well. You definitely need to familiarize yourself with all of the business structures before making a decison as this is a super duper important one. Having said that, its usually not horribly difficult to go back and change the structure of your biz later on, but if possible, you want to get it right the first go around, right?

Friday, March 11, 2005

To have and to hold? The Anti-Bride

Around the time I was hit with my idea for Paper Bride, I started noticing that there seemed to be this whole movement afoot in the wide world of weddings to recognize this group of savvier, independent, less traditional brides. Carolyn Gerin pretty handily picked up on this notion as well and has written some pretty fab books on the subject. My favorite in the bunch is the original Anti-Bride: Tying the Knot Outside of the Box. As I think about the audience for our card line, I often think of the phrase "anti bride"--which for me mostly refers to someone who wants to do things differently...isn't so concerned about pleasing mom, dad or whomever else, and just wants to throw a fun, fab wedding. I love that Carolyn Gerin defined this for me...and hope that some "anti-brides" will soon become "paper brides."

Tie Me Up in Knots

If you have even the tiniest inkling of an interest in weddings, the wedding industry, or what the heck brides out there want, need, or care about, your first stop should be Seriously, run, do not not pass go, do not collect $200. You need to slurp up this website like a Razz-ma-Tazz smoothie from Jamba Juice. They've got it all: vendor recommendations, Real Weddings, an online store chock full of wedding stuff and best of all message boards! I have probably learned more about wedding planning from the NYC message boards than from any other resource. I'm not even engaged, but thanks to the "knotties" (ok, sort of silly, i know, but that's what these girls call themselves), I could have my wedding planned in about 2 weeks. This is not a site that is to be missed. I promise, whatever your idea might be, you will get some fab feedback on what brides like, don't like, kinda sorta maybe like, etc.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Ok, so I have a great biz what?

I must confess that I love to do research. It's a bit bizarre, I know, but once I get curious about something, I can easily spend an afternoon drowning in every imaginable article, link and blog entry I can find on the subject. My interests are vast and varied, so I don't mean to make it sound like I'm spending all of my time on the political implications of World War II on the U.S. economy or the Israeli/Palestinian conflict. My topic of choice could easily be the Lindsay Lohan vs. Hillary Duff turf war or things to make on a Panini Maker (which I highly recommend, by the way). Once I got this snazzy idea in my head about Paper Bride, I became the small business research queen. For myself, one of the greatest resources I found was the "startup" area on Entrepreneur Magazine. There really is a huge amount of insanely helpful info available on their website and in their magazines. I'm still amazed by all of the super duper important decisions I need to make all the time on things like the structure of my business, tax categorization and a whole host of other things that I'm slowly but surely trying to figure out. I also make it a point to visit their daily (mostly) blog.

The U.S. Wedding Industry

I started off early on doing some research on the Wedding Industry. Let me tell ya...if even half of these statistics are true, I'm thinking I'm going to be in seriously good shape. All sorts of numbers are thrown around, but I often read that the Wedding Industry does anywhere from 50 - 80 Billion dollars a year. Its also one of the few recession-proof industries around (no matter how bad the economy gets, people still want to get hitched). If you've ever planned a wedding (or are planning one right now), you can probably attest to the fact that opportunities to spend your hard earned cash are not hard to come by. As someone trying to break into the industry, all this info put a really big smile on my face.

Paper Bride is born

As cheesy as this might sound, Paper Bride actually came to be during one of those "Eureka!" moments. I don't remember exactly where I was or exactly what I was doing, but I remember that it hit me like a bolt of lightning. HAZZAH!! And then there it was in my mind...this kernel of an idea waiting to be hatched. Here it is in a nutshell: We've all been to Hallmark, American Greetings and a whole host of other lame, unineresting card stores. Few people like em, but we all shop in them anyway. About two years ago, virtually everyone in my life started to get married and, due to these circumstances, I was buying more presents and doing more congratulating than I ever have in my entire life. I quickly noticed that all of the cards out there fell into two main categories: congratulations on your engagement and congratulations on your wedding. Of course there are some stray Bridal Shower cards here and there, but not many. This seemed weird to me...80 billion dollars a year is spent on the wedding industry; there is so much wedding crap out there, savvy brides can barely keep up with it all, so why the heck are there so few cards out there?! It was mind boggling. And so, I decided that that's where Paper Bride will come in. We will have cards to send to your new mother-in-law to thank her for welcoming you into the family, cards to send to the caterer (and all the other vendors) to thank them for a job well done, or cards to send to forgiving friends to apologize for being a bridezilla. We plan to have postcard save-the-dates, jewish themed cards (Baruch atah adonai; thank God she found a boy!") and a whole lotta others to help out brides deal with...well, all the stuff they need to deal with when planning a wedding.

So this is the story of how I put this whole shebang together. Its been over two years now...and I still sort of have no clue what I'm doing. But I'll tell you about it anyway.