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2511 East 6th St, Bldg 4 Unit A
Austin, TX 78702

Austin's favorite stationery shop and workshop studio.

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The Paper + Craft Pantry blog is home to our latest DIY projects, current inspiration sources, and small business advice. 

Round Up: Best Local Mother's Day Gifts

Pei Sim


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Y'all we're officially just one week away from Mother's Day! We've had a ton of amazing Mother's Day cards out in the shop for the past few weeks and we're pleased to report that lots of moms this year are getting some cute cards. Shout out to everyone who came in early to scoop up the best cards for mom :) 

In case you're reading this and maybe are thinking "Oh crap...it's Mother's Day soon...?" Don't fret, we're giving you an insider peek to our favorite picks for this year. Best part? They're all local, woman owned businesses! And bonus, it's Small Business Week so extra points if you shop local this Mother's Day!

Also, if you really are a last minute kinda person, RSVP to our annual Mother's Day Market below to pick up fresh cookies, one-of-a-kind jewelry, darling home goods and ceramics! We'll also have a couple of Make & Take D.I.Y.s set up so you can make something handmade for mom! 

THE PAPER + CRAFT PANTRY

TAKE HEART

EAST CO.

SON OF A SAILOR

 

BURLAP BAG

 

VINTAGE FRESH

THATCHER


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YOU'RE INVITED!

D.I.Y. MAKE & TAKES: 

FLORAL BATH SOAKS

HANDPRINT + PAINTED CERAMICS

2018 VENDORS: 

BRUSHSTROKES POTTERY | BYRON & BLUE

THE DISTILLERY MARKET | PLANET DORTH

Round Up: Best Pens Ever!

Pei Sim


 Paper Craft Pantry Blog Favorite Pens Round Up

We love ourselves a good pen. It makes all the difference when you're trying to get stuff done and for all your to-do lists :) We pride ourselves in having the best collection of pens for all your writing, doodling and list making needs. So here's a quick round up of six of our favorite pens we currently have in store + online! 

BEST PEN #1: ARTLINE

These pens come in an array of colors and dry almost instantly! If you like organizing your tasks by color or like bullet journaling, you're going to love these!

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BEST PEN #2: MINIMAL PEN

We've had these pens for a while and our only complaint was that the ones we had in the past didn't have a clip on the cap. Et Voila! We found ones that have the clips so no more lost pen caps! These pens are sleek, minimal and are as smooth as they get. Perfect for those serious meetings and also for prop styling :) 

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BEST PEN #3: PASTEL SQUARE PEN

These muted pastel colored barrels are just so cute! They write in a fine point, in black ink and adds that little feminine touch to your office space. 

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BEST PEN #4: FRUIT PEN

These are by far one of our shop's favorite! They scream fun! And probably a good reminder for you to eat more fruit :) Also in a fine black inked point, these have become some of our customers favorite pens!

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BEST PEN #5: CACTI PEN

This pen speaks for itself. Especially if you're a crazy plant lady.

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BEST PEN #6: POCKY PEN

If you've never had a pocky, you haven't lived! And now you can have them at your desk, guilt free! Available in different "flavors" these pen all write in a lovely, smooth black ink!

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D.I.Y. Modern Fiber Home Decor

Pei Sim


 Paper Craft Pantry D.I.Y. Blog: Spring Modern Wall Hangings

It's finally Spring here in Austin and we've been enjoying some truly incredible weather! It has been nice enough that we've been leaving our front door open throughout the day and really cherishing the weather because we all know it only gets hotter from here on out. But until then, we're going to soak up every bit of Spring especially since a brand new coffee shop opened around the block, our new favorite spot for a quick lunch since our friends Bento Picnic opened up their store front and not one, but two food trucks set up shop just down the street! 

We don't know about you, but Springtime gets us in the mood for spring cleaning both at home and at the shop, we're loving this Spring Cleaning List to go through clutter. If you're needing some support with organizing, we love our friends over at Moxie Space. And if you just want to completely flip a room and elevate it in design, look no further than this Spruce Kit

Last but not least, to top off your cleaning, decorating and organizing spree, we've whipped up the simplest (yet cutest) way to add some D.I.Y. home decor to any space. With a few simple materials and in five easy steps, even you'll be amazed at how easy this project is! You can hang multiple on a wall or even use them as cute door hangers! 

MODERN FIBER HOME DECOR

D.I.Y. PROJECT TIME: 30 MIN

 Paper Craft Pantry Do-It-Yourself Blog
  • MATERIALS
  • Natural cotton cord
  • Embroidery thread
  • Needle
  • Scissors
  • Ruler

1. Cut your cotton cord to your desired length (we cut our pieces to about 3ft)

2. Unwind your embroidery thread and lay the starting end pointing down about an inch and start wrapping the cord tightly downward.

3. Thread a needle to the end of your thread and carefully thread the needle back up and through the underside layer of thread.

4. Tug gently on both ends to tighten (you've essentially created a gathering knot!) 

5. Repeat using other colors to create a color block pattern.

*For a simpler version, just use a fast drying tacky glue instead of creating a gathering knot!

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Love this D.I.Y. project? Stay tuned as we're dreaming up a way to turn this into a community craft for our annual Summer Craft Party! 


Small Business School: Our Favorite Business Books

Pei Sim


 Paper Craft Pantry Blog: The best books to read for small business owners.

You all know by now that we host a monthly book club series as a part of our community initiative here in Austin. Since our first meeting in 2015, we have read dozens of personal and business development books to novels. We're partial to business related books since we are equally passionate about supporting fellow small business owners! 

This post has been one we've had on our editorial calendar for quite some time because if we're being honest, having to choose just our favorite small business related books was HARD. There truly are so many great authors, books and subjects out there! So we asked our owner and founder, Pei, what her top picks were. She is the one who usually leads our book clubs, and has a book on her at all times! 

Without further ado, here are her top recommendations for books to keep in your arsenal or add to your collection. We've even asked her to share what she felt like her biggest takeawaywas from each of the books she selected. 

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Hey y'all! I'm so excited to pop on the blog to share this list with you. It's hard to believe that this year will mark FIVE years of small business ownership. And even with those years in my pocket, I am a true believer of always learning, growing and evolving both personally as well as professionally for my business. These books have found their way to the list of books I frequently revisit, or reread because their pages are riddled with post it notes of reminders of the parts that resonated with me the most. These are also books I recommend, without hesitation, to friends and fellow business owners who need a little inspiration. 

SMALL BUSINESS LIBRARY BOOKS

1. The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking

You may be wondering why this book made it's way on my list, how on earth does this have anything to do with business? Well, I think by bringing in a little bit of the hygge mindset to both your life in and out of work can have a profound impact on your day-to-day. Creating a cozy space at home where I can truly unplug and feel settled has helped me tremendously since it can be sometimes hard to draw the lines of boundaries of not taking work home with me. And being able to apply those same principles to the physical shop has helped our team feel like it's our second home, and we've even have guests in the shop mentioning how much they love spending time in our space (so we're on to something!).

Biggest takeaway: When you feel good, when the environment you're in feels good, when the people around you feel good, everyone wins. 

2. Chasing Slow by Erin Loechner

The title of this book intrigued me from the get go. The idea of slow seems so foreign in a world that spotlights all things fast. Faster service, faster deliveries, faster turn around times.... fast, faster, fastest. It seems like everyone is trying to out run, out do and out business each other. But what if we shifted that perspective and deliberately chose to move at a slower pace, to have time to appreciate what we already have instead of chasing after what we don't? 

Biggest takeaway:

Giving yourself a free pass. Everyone is guilty of being imperfect whether that's in a relationship, partnership, with work etc. We empathize with others who mess up because they're human, but what about being a little more forgiving and less judgmental when we ourselves, fall short from time to time? 

3. Profit First by Mike Michaelwicz

This book was by far the biggest light bulb moment of 2017 for me. Money and finances when it comes to small business gives most business owners an eye twitch. This book was extremely scary to read because I was so afraid I'd learn that I was a terrible business owner and should just quit. I know that seems dramatic but it's true! For a business that doesn't have investors or take on debt/credit, cash flow is one of our biggest rollercoasters. There were times where it felt like we had an abundance in our accounts, times where it felt like there wasn't enough. And that feeling pretty much went back and forth, all the time. Talk about stressful! 

Biggest takeaway: Allocate. Allocate. Allocate. Learning how to properly allocate every single dollar that came in made a huge impact in my relationship with money for the business. I now know where every dollar needs to go. A portion to operation costs, a portion to profit, a portion to taxes etc. It took me some time to sort out those exact percentages (that differed slightly from the recommendation in the book) and there was a learning curve for sure. But now, money feels good (like it should!). 

4. Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

This was one of the books we read last year, in 2017 for our book club. Elizabeth shares about things that most creatives struggle with, inspiration and creativity. I loved that she shared personal stories throughout the book, it's a book I re-read when I need a dose of inspiration and a reminder of following through with creativity! 

Biggest takeaway: The Amazon/book story. Spoiler alert if you haven't read this book yet! The story of a book idea that got pushed a side, time and time again. And before she knew it, someone had written that book that was her idea. I love thinking about how no ideas are "ours", they come to us wanting to be developed, and grown. They stay with us for some time, but if we ignore it and push it to the back burner over and over, it'll go find someone else who can develop and grow it. 

5. Daring Greatly by Brene Brown

When you own your own business, and if I'm being honest, just life in general, scarcity can be a very real thing. There never seems to be enough hours in a day, money in your account, orders coming in...the list could go on! It can often stem from comparison especially when it comes to social media and the portrayal of what a perfect life should look like, or what a successful business owner should be. This book breaks down those myths and gets you to think beyond what we know by digging deeper. 

Biggest takeaway: It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.”

Don't take your critics too seriously, there will always be a critic, there will always be someone who doesn't understand your business, heck, there will even be someone out there who just doesn't like you for no reason at all. And that's okay. 

Listen to Brené's talk on the quote above here

6. Essentialism by Greg McKeown

I used to get so overwhelmed by my to-do list. I have one for my personal life/home and one for the business. There was always so much to do, so many little things. There would even be times where I didn't know where to begin, or feel like I did so much during the course of the day but really didn't accomplish much once I took a step back. The art of busyness is something most of us are really, really good at. But busy isn't always a good thing. Trying to really define what is a priority and what is important can be challenging since most of the time, EVERYTHING seems to be a priority or be the most important. This book forced me (in a good way) to step back and really evaluate what's important and get into the habit of learning how to identify what is a priority/what isn't. I still have days when things can feel a little overwhelming and those are the days I reach for this very book to remind me of the essentialist mindset! 

Biggest takeaway: Direct quote from the book " An essentialist produces more - brings forth more - by removing more instead of doing more." 

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Notable mentions and books we have on our reading list:

You Are a Badass At Making Money by Jen Sincero

When by Daniel H. Pink

The Effortless Everyday by Katie Lee. 

Want to be a part of our book club community? RSVP to this month's meeting here or join our newsletter list for future meetings! 

Have a book that you keep in your small business library that isn't on our list? We want to know! Let us know in the comments below so we can add it to our reading list :) 

 

Round Up: Our Favorite Less Common Indoor Plants

Pei Sim


 The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog: Current Best House Plants

House plants are all the rage these days and if you just googled house plants, you'll see a vast amount of information covering more basic and common house plants. If you've been following us for a while now, you'll know that we're crazy about our studio and shop plants. And we recently even decided to show that by hosting Intro to House Plants Workshops to share all we know about plants with you! 

You may be familiar with easy, no-kill plants for even the "blackest" thumb, like the Snake Plant, ZZ plant and Pothos. But if you've graduated from those, or just want to try out some other great indoor plants that are tried and true, (by us!), look no further! Just scroll on down to check out our five favorite indoor plants! 

 The Paper + Craft Pantry Round Up Of Best House Plants

Best House Plant #1 String of Pearls

Also known as "Senecio Rowleyanus", this is a creeping, perennial, succulent vine belonging to the family Asteraceae. We love their pea shaped little leaves and how they trail over plant pots. They also come in various sizes so we love this tiny one we've got as a little desk buddy. 

How to care for your String of Pearls plant: 

Bright but indirect light and soil that drains well so it can dry out completely between watering.

 The Paper + Craft Pantry Round Up Blog: Unique Indoor Plants
 The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog Round Up Silver Pothos

Best House Plant #2 Silver Pothos

Also known as "Pothos Argenteus", this is a relative of the Golden Pothos (what most people are familiar with). We love it for the satin feel of its leaves and beautiful hints of silver color. We love them in a table top planter stand so its vines can trail as it grows! 

How to care for your Silver Pothos plant: 

Place in a planter in indirect sunlight and water when soil feels dry 2" below the top. 

 The Paper + Craft Pantry Favorite Indoor House Plants: Philodendron
 The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog Best House Plants + How to Care For Them

Best House Plant #3 Philodendron Selloum

With almost 500 different varieties, you're sure to find a Philodendron friend you'll love! We're partial to Philodendron Selloum for its fun shaped leaves that add texture to any space. Given the right conditions, this fella can grow up to 5 feet and produce leaves that are 2-3 feet in size! We also love that he adds some of those tropical vibes. 

How to care for your Philodendron Selloum plant: 

Loves bright, indirect light and likes moist, but not soggy soil, so don't over water! 

 The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog Round Up: Best Indoor Plants- Peperomi
 The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog Round Up of Best Indoor Plants

Best House Plant #4 Peperomia

Another plant genera with over 1000 species, you're probably going to end up in love like we did as you try to grow your collection of different Peperomias! We personally love the Peperomia Obtusifolia for its shiny circular leaves and the fact that it flowers! And we also adore the Golden Gate Peperomia for its white + green leaves. Bonus, these guys purify the air!

How to care for your Peperomia plant: 

Can do well in both medium to bright indirect light and only water when soil is completely dry. 

 The Paper + Craft Pantry Blog Round Up: Not so basic indoor plants
 The Paper + Craft Pantry Round Up of Best Unique Indoor House Plants

Best House Plant #5 Elephant Ear

We love the "Alocasia", also called the African Shield Plant for its deep green leaves and striking white veins. This plant adds some dramatic flair to the simplest planter, in our case, this blush pink/peach one. 

How to care for your Elephant Ear plant: 

Loves warmth and humidity, let soil dry through the top inch before watering again.

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What are some of your favorite indoor plants? Any we should add to our list? Let us know in the comments below! 


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Whether you are an aspiring plant lady, or just want to learn more about house plants, this workshop is perfect for you to work on your green thumb!

Join us for our Intro to House Plants workshop where we share all we know about indoor plant care! 

Small Business School: Spending With Purpose For Your Business

Pei Sim


 The Paper + Craft Pantry Small Business School Blog

We've all heard about being mindful when spending, especially when it comes to personal purchases. More and more folks are moving away from purchasing things and choosing to invest in experiences instead. And those who are purchasing physical goods are choosing to shop from independent + local businesses. A shift is happening and we really think that in the long run, it's a good thing all around. 

When our community chooses to shop local and allow their money to make a bigger impact, we all feel it. Small businesses thrive off of loyal customers, word of mouth and even the smallest of purchases make a huge impact. Our friends over at Bravely wrote an incredible piece on Values-Based Spending you should check out! 

Spending Mindfully For Your Small Business

From a small business perspective and from a business owner's standpoint, learning to really know your money is so crucial in growing a thriving business. You can't be afraid of your bank account, and not know where your money is going. That's the quickest way to find yourself in a cash flow problem. We highly, highly recommend reading Profit First, whether you're just about to launch a business or you're in your 5th year of business. It's been vital in taking The Paper + Craft Pantry into it's most profitable year yet. 

According to research, 8 out of 10 businesses fail within the first 18 months. And though reasons vary, the root of it can probably be traced back to how the business was operating from the back end and how whoever was running the business was managing money. Through a lot, and we mean a lot, of trial and error (events that weren't successful, hiring and firing, misreading product trends etc.) we're still continuing to learn and navigate the world of small business. But we have learned some truly valuable lessons that we want to share with you! 

Here are the top three things to consider before spending for your business. 

Pay yourself, you're the most important part of your small business!

Number one of this list is PAY YOURSELF. A lot, and we mean a lot, of small business owners don't pay themselves. Take a moment to gasp. 

Even if it's a small amount, do it from the start, do it now and do it regularly. Some small business owners pay themselves a percentage of revenue monthly, some do a set dollar amount. Some do a monthly owners draw and some do it bi-monthly. Whatever the case, just do it. 

Can you operate your small business with less? 

One of the key take aways in Profit First was the fact that if you could hypothetically run your business for $1000 a month, you could run it for $999 a month. Save a dollar. Then the next month, try running your business for $998 and so forth. You get the point? Cut your expenses down to what you really need? Do you really need that fancy office? Do you really need that expensive new printer or will your current one do fine for now? 

Put money where it matters most in your small business.

Identify what your business does well. Invest your time, energy and money into that and do it well. By not spreading yourself and your funds too thin, you're able to really hone in on what makes your business stand out and different from other businesses. 

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Owning a small business can be scary and hard, but we're here to support you in any way we can! Have a small business topic you're curious about? Let us know in the comments below!