Today, I want to introduce you to Vanessa Herbert, the graphic designer and founder/owner of V. Paperie — a New Orleans-based paper goods and stationery subscription box!
Then one day an idea popped into her head totally out of the blue — to start a subscription service. So what did she do?
She researched, she brainstormed and she launched this service, which now has hundreds of subscribers.
She didn’t wait. She took action. Obviously, there were highs and lows and LOTS to learn, but today she has a gorgeous website and she’s doing something she loves every day and spreading her passion to others — her subscribers AND all their people! (the joys of snail mail!)
So today, I’m interviewing Vanessa on her paper goods subscription and offering you an exclusive discount code for 20% off your V.Paperie purchase!
Use code SOUTHERNFLAIR at checkout now through the end of February!
Taking the time to write someone a note can truly cause a universal shift in a moment, in a relationship and in some cases, in a lifetime. Whether communicating love, appreciation, sympathy, pride or encouragement, my hope is that by providing tangible communications pieces to one’s front door, more people will benefit from the comfort in simple words.
Tell us the story behind V. Paperie.
Vanessa: My mom, a designer herself, inspired me from an early age to create beautiful things and preserve the art of the handwritten note. After college, I went to work at Scriptura in New Orleans and became passionate about the beautiful lettering around me. What began as a wedding calligraphy business has morphed into the delivery of stationery and other accessories to one’s front door.
What’s the meaning of the name V. Paperie?
Vanessa: Choosing our name was one of the more difficult tasks with starting V. Paperie. We went back and forth on the name for months. Do we focus the name on desk accessories? Greeting Cards? Snail Mail? Handlettering? Notebooks and Journals? We finally decided on V. Paperie. The “V” has been my nickname from as far as I can remember, and “Paperie” because we felt that “paper” was the thread that tied it all together.
In a digital world that revolves around email and social media, why snail mail?
Vanessa: Taking the time to write someone a note can truly cause a universal shift in a moment, in a relationship and in some cases, in a lifetime. Whether communicating love, appreciation, sympathy, pride or encouragement, my hope is that by providing tangible communications pieces to one’s front door, more people will benefit from the comfort in simple words.
Walk us through the process of curating a box. How do you choose the items to include?
Vanessa: I start each month deciding on a specific theme; entertaining, planning, travel, health, etc. Then I meet with a focus group to narrow down our options. Because we have so many subscribers who have been with us from the beginning, we try to spread the paper good items out throughout the year. We don’t want you to get a spiral notebook 6 months in a row, so we mix in notepads, notebooks, pocket journals, gift tags, recipe cards and more. I’ll typically find around 15 items (some big, some small) and play with them — it’s like a puzzle and is so much fun!
Are all the items designed by you? Can you tell us a little bit about the style of your work?
Vanessa: I have a degree in Graphic Design, so when I started this business, I wanted to have my hand in some of the designs. All the cards in each box are designed by yours truly. The style of each card depends on that month’s theme. I like to keep them guessing. I don’t want to have my subscribers get the same “look” of greeting cards each month, so I change up my styles quite often.
What do you love most about your job?
Vanessa: I love paper products. I can’t just walk by a stationery store and keep going… you better believe I’m going in and spending a good bit in there. I love that it’s now my job to explore stationery items. I get to meet and build relationships with some of the best stationery companies in the world… and include their items in my boxes to give to other stationery addicts. I love hearing stories from my subscribers telling me that because of one simple card that I included in their box, they were able to send it to someone that really needed it. I love getting people out of the email/text/phone notes black hole and getting them back to art of the good ol’ handwritten note!
How has the response been to the subscription service?
Vanessa: The response has been incredible – both locally, across the U.S. and even abroad. One of my customers recently wrote to me, “This box is really great because it’s consistently giving me inspiration for creative and new ways to entertain, present gifts and even the most simple things like make lists and take notes. Handwritten notes and pretty stationery have fast been replaced by smart phones and tablets, so I’m happy to see a box like this available. I’m a subscriber as long as it’s available!”
About The Subscription:
What’s included in each box?
Vanessa: Each box includes three to four notecards (seasonal as relevant), a high quality paper goods item (notebook, journal, notepad, recipe cards, sticky notes, etc.), plus hand-curated items for one’s home, desk or event. For example, some months I might include a journal with a pen, there could be place cards, bulletin board pins, among other fabulous goodies.
How does the subscription process work?
Vanessa: We offer a month to month subscription ($25 + shipping) at VPaperie.com. We ship your box the 1st of each month delivered right to your doorstep. You can skip a month or cancel at anytime.
Can we send V.Paperie as a gift?
Vanessa: Absolutely! We offer individual boxes ($25 + shipping), three-month subscriptions ($69 + shipping) or six-month subscriptions ($127.50 + shipping). I’ll let the recipient know who sent them one of my boxes, and I can assure you he/she will love the thought and uniqueness behind your gift!
Can we buy individual items we love?
Vanessa: Yes, yes, yes! I have notepads, notecards, journals and accessories available on my website. Be sure to check out a fan favorite, my natural wooden twig pens!