June 23, 2021 •
Maker’s Corner: An interview with Inklings Paperie

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{Sponsored} We sat down with Lindsay Henry, founder and creative director at Inklings Paperie, to learn about her product line and the envelopes that hold her products.

Tell me a bit about your story and Inklings Paperie.

Paper has always been a part of my life. My parents actually met at art college, so I was fortunate to have creativity in my life and beautiful swatches of paper at my fingertips from a young age. My dad had a small design firm, and I remember he would bring home paper and envelope swatches in all shades of the rainbow, which my siblings and I would use to make things!

Fast-forward several years, and I followed my parents’ creative footsteps and studied design in school, eventually becoming a graphic designer and brand consultant myself. Around ten years ago, I had a large job on press with spaces in the margins that were going to be trimmed off and tossed. I asked the printer if I could design some little cards to be printed in the margins, and Inklings was born!

Our brand originally started out with a focus on baby and bridal showers, and we didn’t officially launch our greeting cards until about five years ago when we exhibited at the National Stationery Show for the first time. Since then, we’ve added over 250 card designs to our line and are now carried by over 1,500 stores within the U.S. and internationally!

What is your design aesthetic like?

We have a lot of fun with our cards, all of which have some kind of interactive element to them! In our line, we have Scratch-off Cards, Confettigrams, Pop-ups, Sticker Cards, Secret Decoder Cards and more. I feel like our style is recognizable, yet it’s also varied and diverse enough to keep surprising our customers. We design and illustrate everything in-house.Inklings Paperie-Gnome

When we first started, my work had a very graphic, clean-lined aesthetic which has evolved over the years. We’ve added more illustrations and playful typography to the range as we’ve pushed the envelope (pun intended) in our industry.

Because our cards already have a lot going on, we chose early on to use a consistent envelope color to streamline our inventory and maintain brand consistency. Sustainability and quality are two of our core values at Inklings, and a thick, well-constructed envelope is an important component to a greeting card. Nobody enjoys mailing a see-through, cheaply-constructed envelope. So even though people may look at the card first, the envelope is the last thing they see and hold in their hands before sliding it into the mailbox. We want the entire card-giving experience to be memorable, elevated, and as enjoyable for the sender as it is the recipient.

Tell me about some of the envelopes you’ve worked on with Leader Paper.

We started out by asking Leader Paper if they could help us with our A2 envelopes, which is the envelope size we use the most. We were looking for an envelope supplier here in the U.S. who could offer competitively priced envelopes with a deep “V” euro flap, which is typically a more costly envelope silhouette to make. This is not a style that Leader Paper typically stocks on their floor in kraft, but it was no problem for them to custom make them for us. InInklings Paperie - MNS002-ONWHITE fact, I’ve never brought them an envelope that they couldn’t make.

Now, they also make coin envelopes for our Tooth Fairy Kit, as well as envelopes for our Mini Notes. Ordering envelopes from the same source ensures consistency across all our line, and it just makes it easier for us in the studio when it comes to maintaining and managing our inventory.

Why is Leader Paper a great partner for smaller, independent makers and larger stationery businesses alike?

Leader Paper has been a family owned and operated business for 120 years, so they “get” small business. And any company who has been in business that long must be doing something right. I’ve never been given the impression that our order, however small, was unimportant to them. In the same sense, when we’ve needed to order entire pallets of custom-made envelopes, they have alwaysInklingsPaperie_TFK001-3-AgainstWhite-RGB-Crop delivered on time for us. 

What was the experience like working with Leader?

I first met the owner of Leader Paper at a Greeting Card Association (GCA) event I was speaking at back in 2019, and I was struck by how approachable and personable they are. In our 18 months of working together, the folks at Leader have been intentional about showing us that they value our relationship and are here to serve and support our business. Case in point: the owner and his wife personally delivered cookies from a local bakery to us at our booth at Javits during NYNow. Second only to charcuterie and wine, pastries are truly the way to my heart! 😉

When ordering, we really appreciate having a single point of contact to reach out to with our questions or orders. Earlier this year, I reached out to Sue Charlier, their Account Executive for the Greeting Card / Stationery industry, about a new envelope size we were looking for. The next day, she had samples for us in the mail, complete with a handwritten note, showing us a few different envelope dies that they had in stock.

It’s been a true pleasure working with the team at Leader Paper, and I’ve recommended them to several of my colleagues. Eighteen months after we first met, I’m grateful to call them not just suppliers, but friends.

© 2021 Leader Paper

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