Victoria Venturi, Founder and Creative Director, Paper Epiphanies

GO FOR IT

Do you remember the moment when you said, I have to pursue this dream and start my own business?

I have always loved paper and stationery and for years I was writing one-liners on cocktail napkins. However, it wasn't until my father passed away in 2013 that I really decided, it's now or never. Life is way too short and if you don’t take risks and go for it, you will just end up boring… and then you’ll die anyway.

What is next for you and your business in 2016?

BIG THINGS. I am excited to announce that Paper Epiphanies will be launching an office line with a focus on empowering women. I couldn't be more proud!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Everything. Inspiration can come from anywhere and it often does. Marriage, road rage, a beautiful sunset, a brutal hangover. Our cards are quite sassy and we pride ourselves on having cards that really say what people are thinking.

How important is a good support system?

A good support system is essential. It might be a spouse or a mentor or a friend, but you need to be willing to rely on people. To know when to ask for help and to be vulnerable enough to let others help you. Since starting my business, I have been astounded by the amount of people who truly want to help. I recently received some great advice - "never listen to the naysayers or the yaysayers." The naysayers will just bring negativity and rain on your parade. The yaysyers will agree with everything you say and never give you honest feedback. You want advocates who are right in the middle. People who will challenge you, help you grow and encourage you to see things from a different perspective.

What advice would you give women who want to start a business and/or pursue their dream?

There is no shame in the "side-hustle." Don't be afraid to juggle. If you want to do something, don't let excuses stop you. Telling yourself there is no time, no money, no way-- is just fear talking. If you want to make it happen, find a way. Keep your day job, stay up late, give up vacations. No one said being a BOSS was easy, but it is 100% worth it.

After starting your business, what are some lessons learned?

Wow. Way too many lessons. To start, I have learned that as a new business owner, every problem is often only a problem once. Each time I do something new, I am terrified. Taxes, shipping overseas, hiring temporary help, developing new products, making your first big mistake. All of those things can be truly scary, but after you do them once, it's really not that bad. Now we are drop shipping product to Dubai, manufacturing a whole office line - basically, we learned fast. And so will anyone who does it once.

Another important lesson I have learned is that you must keep charging forward. In any business, there will be people who don't believe in your mission, competitors that copy your work, things that just don't go your way and you must look ahead. If you turn your head to the side for every issue, you will never get anywhere. Work hard and keep your head up!

What are a few of your favorite must-haves?

Good Cold Brew Coffee. Groundworks and Stumptown are current favs. A book. Currently reading, "Hug your Customers" by Jack Mitchell. Orlane eye cream. Gurrl this aging thing is no joke. "You do the Coolest Shit" thank you notes by Paper Epiphanies A gel manicure. A great scarf. My Corgi puppy, Twinkie. Does he count?

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Website: Paper Epiphanies

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