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Thanks Dad!

Thanks Dad!

Father's Day is less than 2 weeks away now (June 19th by the way!) so I thought this would be a good opportunity to share a little bit about my own Dad and think about what Father's Day means to me. 

So this is my Dad, and newborn me! He's was my age now when I was born (26) which seems crazy to me, but both he and my Mum have done everything in their power in the last 26 years to give me and my sister amazing experiences and a pretty great life, and they are both wholeheartedly behind me chasing this dream-job of mine! So this is just a little THANKS to him!

Thanks for teaching me all those practical skills! 

Pretty pleased with my lawn-mowing skills there!

Thanks for the 4am Christmas mornings when I just HAD to build my new thing!

Look at those 'I haven't slept' eyes! Sorryyyyy! 

Thanks for the constant piggy-backs!

Thanks for the driving lessons!

& Lastly thanks for being 100% behind me in pretty much anything I want to do! Oh yeah, and thanks for eventually shaving that moustache! :P

{{The Father's Day range of cards are now live on the shop {click here} and paired with our limited edition prints you're all set to say THANKS to your Dad next weekend too! :) }}

 I'd love to hear how you're celebrating Father's Day and what your favourite Dad memories are! Leave a comment below & I'll be sure to feature them on a Father's Day round-up post! 

June 06, 2016 by Emma Jackson

25 Pop-Up Shop Belfast & Derry

Last weekend I was lucky enough to be part of the 25 Pop-Up Shop organised by Blick Shared Studios & Eighty81 Workspace. The Pop-Up spent one day (Saturday) in Derry and one day (Sunday) in Belfast! It was a beautifully curated selection of some of the most interesting and diverse up-and-coming design-led businesses in NI and I feel incredibly luck to have been included amongst that list! 

Showcased alongside Hunter Paper Co at the event were -

Beyond Man / Deborah Toner / Ballynagran Crafts / David Keys / Inspire The Sound / Mosley London / NUA Jewellery / Lines & Current / Paw.Print.Bear / Victory Chimp / Bill & Coo Paper Co. / Maven / Alex Synge / The Bearded Candlemakers / BTU Studio / Hand Drawn Creative / Chris McNicholl / Dollybirds Art / Best Buds BelfastKarishma Kusurkar / Sew Cute / Superfolk / HAY / Ferm Living / Father’s Father

{Photography by Karishma Kusurkar}

April 09, 2016 by Emma Jackson
Studio Tour, Finally!

Studio Tour, Finally!

Recently over on instagram I've been taking part in the #marchmeetthemaker challenge. It's not the kind of thing I usually do on instagram, but it seemed like the perfect opportunity to introduce myself a little better to my followers and share some things about me and my business that I might not normally get the chance to share. 

{#marchmeetthemaker Day 2, Day 3 & Day 4}

It actually teaching me a lot about what I have been sharing and the kind of content I could be sharing in the future, as I grow my business and give more of an insight into the process and the day-to-day of building a small biz. In fact, on just day 3 of the challenge I realised I haven't been sharing really big parts of my business, like where I work and make everything that you see! Kind of a big part of the whole thing! 

I realised I'd been showing progress shots of my studio build (almost a year ago!) and hadn't actually shared the final result! I think the excitement of finally having a space of my own, dedicated solely to the business, just took over and I moved in and got to work, and that was that!

So here it is, the big reveal, 1 year on! Oops! 

{Building in progress - thanks Granda! / Moved in & only filled 1 tiny corner}

{Inside the studio - card boxes & standing desk}

March 17, 2016 by Emma Jackson
Tags: Studio Notes

Mother's Day designs are now live!

This year is going far too quickly! I feel like Christmas just happened and I barely stopped before Valentine's rolled round and now Mother's Day is hot on it's heels! But hey, we just gotta roll with it and enjoy the quiet afterwards before Father's Day in June.

This Mother's Day I wanted to have a range that not only catered for Mum, but different kinds of Mum's - step-mum's, someone that's 'like a mum' to you, and wife's, girlfriends and fiancée's. 

If you're in the Belfast area you can also get the entire Mother's Day range from my two Belfast stockists - Kiln & Loom on the Ormeau Road and Studio Souk in the City Centre.

 {Lovely Mum, Mother Like No Other, Like a Mum to Me}

{Lovely Step-Mum, Girlfriend on Mother's Day, I'm So Glad You're My Mum}

 

February 23, 2016 by Emma Jackson

Valentine's 2016 Range is Live!

2016 is already going far too quickly for my liking! Christmas break seems like a distant memory and it really wasn't long until I was throwing myself into all the preparations involved in getting ready for Liberty a few weeks ago! Luckily I could actually dedicate a bit of time to all of those preparations, as I had actually already designed my Valentine's range way back in the summer when I set out redesigning the entire range as a whole!

I'm super excited to finally be sharing it any to get into the swing of things this year! Valentine's is fast becoming my favourite occasion - there's just just a happy buzz around it, and who doesn't like to spread a little love! I know there's that whole commercial aspect to Valentine's but for me as a small independent business it feels like a completely different vibe! 

Okay, so the entire range is now online to shop, and its also available in my Belfast stockists if you're local - Kiln & Loom on the Ormeau Road and Studio Souk in the City Centre!

{Think I Might Actually Love You, Me & You, You're My Favourite}

{To My Girlfriend, To My Boyfriend, To My Fiancé}

{To My Husband, To My Wife, To My Fiancée}

Hope you all have a lovely Valentine's whether you're keeping it super low-key like me, or going all out! Or dodging the whole thing all together! Whichever way, hope its a good one! <3

February 02, 2016 by Emma Jackson
Tags: Studio Notes

Liberty London British Design Open Call

Just as I was wrapping up for Christmas, on Christmas Eve actually, I got an email from the Liberty London British Design Open Call! So Christmas Eve was a pretty exciting day, not only because it was Christmas Eve and I was celebrating the end of the busy Christmas sales period, but now I had some crazy plans for January and a lot of exciting planning to get back to in the new year! 

So after a few weeks of planning, getting really clear on my numbers and when I could potentially deliver an order and of what size, and a few gruelling pitch practice runs with my boyfriend (who was surprisingly tough!) the weekend came around and we we're London-bound! 

It was a SUPER long day! I think we left home around 5.30am, flew in to London and headed straight for Liberty. I'd seen photos of previous years and knew the queue would be long, so I wanted to get in line as early as possible, so hopefully I could get the hard bit of the weekend over early and could relax in London for the rest of the weekend. 

We ended up queuing for about 7 hours, the majority of which was outside in the January sun. I stupidly wore pumps, and my feet were beyond freezing by the time we got inside. 

Okay, queuing and cold-aside, would I do it again?

To be honest I'm not sure! I'm glad I've done it and I'd definitely recommend doing it once in you're small business's life! I learnt a lot about my business and what I'm capable of achieving, but really most of what I learnt from the whole experience was really just self-discovered. The run up to the open call definitely did push me to look into things much more meticulously than I had ever done before, like my margins for example and delivery times for wholesale orders of different sizes. The whole thing has got me thinking on a bigger scale than I have been before, but this was also something I had planned to focus on in 2016 in general. Liberty just kicked me into gear a little bit quicker!

The pitch itself was over before I knew it, and to be honest it felt like a blur! I'm sure for the girl I was pitching too it was a super long day, and I felt a little bit like just another number through the door, not that that is her fault at all. I'd imagine it's pretty impossible to stand out amongst the hundreds of other designers they've seen throughout the day!

All things considered, I'd say its totally worth a shot. What have you got to loose after all! Just be super prepared for a really long day and bring someone with you to keep your space in the queue when you wander off to a coffee shop for a much needed break! 

January 18, 2016 by Emma Jackson

Live Screenprinting at the Fine & Dandy Market!

This weekend I ran a live screen-printing workshop at the Fine & Dandy Market! It turned out to be a huge success and I'm thrilled I pulled it off and that customers responded so well to it!

I really felt like I was diving in at the deep end with this - I only learnt to screenprint myself about 6 months ago, and since it's been a huge learning process to integrate the process into my business and to really get to grips with all the little technical details like the right exposure times and the right pressure when inking. But I'm getting there! 

So I thought what better way to test my new skills would be to show lots of other people how to do it, of course! At first it was a bit tricky, mostly just managing to contain the ink to the space I had to work in, but it got easier with each customer who came along and gave it a go!

It was awesome to see people's reactions as the screen lifted and their design was revealed, freshly printed to the tote bag underneath. Their reactions reminded me so much of why I fell in love with screen-printing in the first place and that love of seeing your work coming together!

November 24, 2015 by Emma Jackson

Promo Video by Caught in the Headlights

A few weeks ago I had the guys from Caught in the Headlights Productions in the studio. They filmed me as I screenprinted a few designs, and through the whole process of screen printing. 

These guys are super talented and so so easy to work with! They completely 'got' the look and feel I was looking for and ran with it, producing something I completely LOVE!

Check out the Caught Production's website & social media for more videos, and get in touch if you're in need of a video to promote your small business! 

Hunter Paper Company on Vimeo.

 

October 25, 2015 by Emma Jackson
Tags: Studio Notes

Summer Hibernation & Working on Big Changes!

At the start of this year I set a little challenge to myself to start keeping a blog, mostly as a record for myself, to kind of document how this little business progresses. I've kinda been failing at that a wee bit over the last few months, as I've buried my head in work and kind of let 'internetting' take a back seat. So here's a little recap of what I've been doing...

Going Full Time

So if you've been following me on social media or on the blog, you might know that I quit my day job back in April (wow - nearly six months ago now!).

At the time I was really beginning to notice my business reaching this stagnant state - I could only really dedicate about half of my working week (most weeks actually a lot less than that) to my own work, and I knew that something really had to change if I wanted the business to grow. So I quit my day job. I hadn't really saved up, I hadn't really got a plan B, I just knew I had to do it!

So when I became full time self-employed I started by making a list. A huge list of all of the changes I knew I had to make to take the business from 'glorified hobby' and part-time wage to a real functioning small-business that I could make a living from - because after all that's the aim!

Branding

From my to-do list I immediately started with branding. I wanted a fresh new logo that more clearly represented the brand, and me. The old branding had originally been designed really quickly as a place-holder, and it was beginning to hold that place for a little bit too long. 

Another key part of the branding process was updating the backs of my cards. I had previously used a little hand-stamp that basically just said 'Paper Picnic', so I felt I needed to communicate much more about the product in this space. The new card backs explain how and where the cards were made and a little about the quality of the quality cardstock they're printed on. 

Screen Printing

Next on my to-do list was to look at the production process of my work, and how I could use my time more efficiently!

When I started out I was hand-stamping each card with lino blocks, not to mention hand-carving each design on to the blocks in the first place. It was super time-consuming, especially as order quantities began to increase and I knew it wasn't sustainable forever. That said though, at the time it did serve its purpose!

Just before I quite my day-job I had started taking a short evening course in screen printing at the Belfast Print Workshop. As soon as that course had finished I signed up for a membership at BPW and set about re-designing and screen-printing my entire range.

This was a mammoth task! There are now 44 designs in the range and I took each one back to the drawing board and re-designed most of them from scratch. Also now (geek moment!) all of the cards now have SKU codes to order them in my wholesale catalogue and make it easier for shops to place orders as well and get exactly what they want. 

Now looking back at old photos, I can't believe how much has changed...

Wholesaling

This was a big 'next-step' goal for my business - I wanted to progress from selling online and at craft fairs to selling in shops. This all kicked off back in April with Studio Souk in Belfast city centre. They're an awesome collection of over 70 independent creative businesses, most of whom hand-make their own products, and Studio Souk gives them, and me, a city centre platform to sell their work. 

In the last month I've also landed the amazing Kiln and Loom on the Ormeau Road, Belfast. I've been an admirer of Kiln & Loom ever since it opened a few years ago, and when Rene, the shop's owner approached me last month, I was over the moon! It gave me a real confidence boost as she was the first person I showed my new range to, and to have her seal of approval was huge!

Now that I've come to the end of re-designing and screen-printing the new range of cards, I designed my first wholesale catalogue and sent it out to a handful of my favourite independent shops across the UK and Ireland.

Wholesale is something I really want to focus on in the next few months and into the next year. For now Christmas is beginning to take my main focus more and more as I start to develop new products and my Christmas range!

If you'd like to take a wee look at my wholesale catalogue, you can see it here!

September 16, 2015 by Emma Jackson

New Stockist - Kiln & Loom

Kiln and Loom is a beautiful independent shop on the Ormeau Road, Belfast jam-packed full of the most unique Irish craft and design. Everything in the shop is beautifully crafted and each tells its own story and the shop is home of the best of what Irish craft has to offer!
I recently met the lovely Rene from Kiln and Loom while printing some of my new range in Belfast Print workshop a few weeks ago. We got chatting about her shop and my work and all things in between and arranged to meet in her awesome shop on the Ormeau Orad a few weeks later. 
This was a big yay for me.. not only was it potentially a new stockist, something I'm keen to expand on, but it's a shop that I really love and feel honoured to have my work in! 
So I finished designing and printing my new range over those few weeks and now the entire range is stocked in quite possibly my favourite shop in Northern Ireland! Proud moment indeed! 
September 09, 2015 by Emma Jackson