We're back with our Behind the Business series, this time with Katie Hart from San Diego-based Odd Daughter Paper Co. We're huge fans of Katie's cards (keeping these in mind for next holiday season and this one would be perfect for Mother's Day) and love supporting local businesses like hers. Read on to find out about how she started Odd Daughter Paper Co. (she's also offering a discount code!).
Tell us about Odd Daughter Paper Co.
Odd Daughter is a stationary shop that brings together some of my favorite things! Growing up, I loved having a pen pal and sent mail all the time. I literally played a game called "mail" with my cousin and sister in which we wrote letters and had someone deliver them (ha!). I also loved drawing and practicing different kinds of lettering - and always, always created homemade cards for all my friends + family. With that said, I'm not surprised that after graduating with a degree in Interior Design, I realized I have a serious passion for hand lettering and illustration.
Odd Daughter is named after my mom'd middle school nickname - "Odd Daughter" - which was a clever play on her last name, Evenson. My goal is to encourage people to send real mail (like everyone did in the good ol' days)!!
What were you doing before you launched your company?
Right after graduating from college, I got a job working as a receptionist. I really wanted to find a way to be creative, so I started painting cards and selling them on Etsy. This slowly morphed into me quitting my job, doing an internship with the incredible Megan of MaeMae Paperie, and finally launching my own company! I still work full time, but am adding more and more freelance work, as well as growing my stationary line.
What would you say are three keys to success for an emerging brand to get them on people's radars and up the awareness factor around their company?
Maintain a (genuine + positive!) social media presence.
If you could describe the brand in three words, what would they be?
Fun, light-hearted, and genuine.
What do you see as the greatest opportunities for your brand? What about challenges?
In terms of greatest opportunities, I love that I'm in a place to design + create the perfect card for someone - whether it's a meaningful "thank you" or a straight-to-the-point "hey you." I love that I have the chance to design wedding invitations that truly fit the couple and what makes them unique. On a large scale, I'd really like to grow my PAPER FOR GOOD live, which donates proceeds to different non-profits.
There are definitely challenges as well! The stationary market is really over-saturated! There is a lot of amazing design out there, and a lot of stationary that isn't as exciting. But no matter how you look at it, there are a ton of choices. I want people to see my work and think "YEP. That's the exact sentiment I want to express."
What is the biggest goal for Odd Daughter Paper Co. in 2014 and beyond?
I'd love to put my focus towards Odd Daughter full time, so right now, that's the main goal. In doing that I hope to grow my line (which is fairly small right now) and continue adding pieces that really just fit my aesthetic :) Lastly, I have lots of fun ideas for my blog, but just need to find some extra time in my day. My goal is to put energy towards some new features!
P.S. Katie is giving all of our lovely readers 20% with the code "SHORTNSWEET." We'd love to see what you pick out!
In case you missed them, check out our other Behind the Brand interviews below:
Photos by Marissa Maharaj.