I often get asked, "How did Hudson Paperie get started?" The answer is pretty cute and tied right in with my own love story.
It all started in 2014....
Actually, I guess it really started in 2005 when my best friends mom asked me to help plan her a surprise party. Always up for a party, I happily jumped in to create "Club Sami 17" a 'rave' in her basement.
Ever the creative, I spent hours making what can only be deemed as WordArt's best effort at an invitation. From that moment on, never was there an event that didn't have a themed invite.
Things progressed from there with my sister's pharmacy school graduation - complete with custom "pill-bottle" favors, a very elaborate 'under the sea' birthday party for my niece, and on and on for every event that anyone close to me ever had.
Here's where my love story comes in...
I had been dating my girlfriend for years. Her sister was getting married and we were planning a tea-party themed bridal shower. I was super involved in the planning and had an idea for the coolest tea bag invitations ever. Probably sparked by something I saw on Pinterest, I was hell bent on making these happen, complete with real tea inside. I spent hours learning how to use real design programs (because obviously Word wasn't gonna cut it), got samples from several loose tea companies (because the coloring had to be just right), and invested in so many supplies that I could've become a card maker right then and there. And I sort of did. When everything was finished and I brought them to my girlfriend she was so impressed. "You need to do this," she said. "Like for a living."
I thought she was insane, but I went ahead and opened an Etsy shop and thought, "well, I could just do it for fun." Alot happened after that point, including a pretty sad break-up from the aforementioned girlfriend. We both moved out of our apartment and back in with our parents in different states. What followed were months of sadness, loneliness, and an existential crisis. *Cue Billie Eilish's "What Was I Made For?"*
I promise this love story gets better.
Months go by. My now ex-girlfriend and I slowly begin to talk. It's obvious we still love each other but we live very separate lives very far away from one another. One day, my ex sees a post online about a business going up for sale in Hoboken - where we used to live. It's a card and stationery store with a focus on invitations. She emails me the link with nothing else written except the subject line: "Your calling." I texted her back. "You're crazy." She texted me back, "You need to buy this." For the next couple days she would not let it go. Clearly this was a ploy to get me back to New Jersey, but also - she believed in me in this completely unrealistic, on-the-verge-of-idiotic way. And in my state of lovesick delusion, I eventually agreed.
I had very little money, very little experience, but a whole lot of gumption. Was I crazy? Obviously. But I convinced my older sister (and business mentor/partner) to help me make this a reality. I got a small business loan, moved into a basement apartment in Hoboken, and took over "Yes I Do Invitations & Gifts".
We quickly re-branded as Hudson Paperie and continued to offer fun cards, unique gifts, and wedding invitations - designed and printed by other companies.
Throughout all of this, I kept practicing my craft. I took a million online design courses and watched so many tutorials that I was probably YouTube's most frequent visitor. Slowly, I began shifting from selling other people's work to selling my own.
We stayed in the brick and mortar shop through 2020, when the pandemic took over right as my lease was ending. Since then, we've closed the retail side of the business, exclusively became a design studio, and have committed to creating event details that serve a purpose and tell a story.
Oh, and somewhere in the middle there - my girlfriend and I realized we can't live without each other, got married, and had a couple of kids. I guess you know you've found your person when their persistence for you to follow your dreams makes you go ahead and do it.
So, that's it. That's our story. What's yours?