Sunday, 17 March 2013

profile leonie cheung - papercookie.

leonie cheung of paper cookie
For many girls a love of stationery begins in primary school. The start of the school year usually coincides with new notebooks, perhaps a pack of coloured pencils, fresh erasers and maybe even a flash pencil case. Hard earned pocket money is spent on animal motif erasers at Smiggle, in high school Typo is the favoured destination for covetable cases and cards and by the time complete stationery obsession has hit, kikki k is a favourite shopping destination. However, for those with an even more refined appreciation for beautiful notebooks, washi tape, greeting cards and all manner of lovely desk top accessories, boutique stationery is pretty hard to top. So when you discover an online store like Papercookie it's exciting! Beautifully curated by founder Leonie Cheung, who tracks down irresistible offerings from independent designers, once you begin clicking your way through the many categories including - package, give, organise and home, you may find your online shopping cart overflowing. Love it.

How would you describe yourself?
Passionate, creative, loyal, silly, friendly.

What was your childhood dream?
To be a photographer, or an interior designer.

What led you down your current path and inspired you to open Papercookie?
When I decided to take a career break from my corporate job, the plan was to take about six months off. My husband encouraged me to use this time to take up a hobby and do something I really enjoyed. This led me to the idea of launching my own business and Papercookie was born. I haven’t been back to my corporate job since.

What do you love most about what you do?
Finding amazing designers and products, and having a creative outlet (my shop) for me to share with like-minded people. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to connect with people who love the same things as you do. It is especially uplifting when these lovely people send us lovely emails. Oh, and the flexibility of running my own gig is pretty awesome too – I love that I can pop away from my desk for a few hours whenever I like to catch up with friends over coffee or head out for a quick 3pm dip in the pool!

What do you stock and how do you source your product range?
We stock paper products, stationery and home accessories from international and local designers. Most of my sourcing is done online via blogs, google and pinterest. I also love discovering new products through international magazines.


Who are some of your favourite stationery + homeware designers?
I love them all! But I could never get sick of our wrapping paper range by Rie Elise Larsen – she’s stylish and she’s fun, which is right up my alley!  We just got in some lovely new postcards from Quill and Fox and I have to say they are my favourite right now! They are from original paint works by Yaz and the postcards join together to form an artwork (kinda like a puzzle) but they also work as individual postcards as well. She’s so clever.

What sets your store apart?
We focus on independent design, which means our products are not mass-produced. This makes owning them extra special. A handful of our products are available in Australia for the first time through Papercookie, which makes our collection here unique. Being an online store we focus heavily on good, detailed product photos and descriptions to make the customers online experience as enjoyable as possible.


What challenges have you had to overcome?
Curating a collection that is special whilst sticking to limited capital.

What's been a 'pinch yourself' moment?
The support that we’ve been getting from the media, press and fellow bloggers over the last six months have all been pretty amazing moments! I never imagined any of this happening when we first launched six months ago.

Do you now have an exceptional stationery collection at home- is purchasing things for yourself a bit of an occupational hazard/perk?
A perk! (I think?) I’m a notebook hoarder. I have a lot of notebooks that are still brand new but I like keeping them like that. It just makes me happy knowing that they’re there. Plus, crisp paper is just the best! I also like to collect bits of paper ephemera from all my travels.

What are your top creative resources?
Non-fiction books by other creative people, international and local magazines, online blogs and visiting creative shops in person always gets me inspired.

What's next?
Oh, lots more to come! We have a couple of international trips planned which means finding and introducing new products to the shop! We’ve had a few customer requests for a pop-up and that is something we’d love to work towards making happen later in the year. Paper products are always more amazing in person! And maybe a new category for the shop – but more on that later!

When the weekend rolls around what do you love to do:
Read – Recipe books and magazines.
Watch - An action film, How I met your Mother or Modern Family.
Cook- A good, spicy, rich casserole with a million levels of flavour!
Create- A bubble bath with salts and soy candles.
Listen to – iTunes or the radio.
Dream about – One day living in a beautiful house with my family, two dogs, and floor to ceiling windows that open out to a green garden.
Look forward to – Skipping through snow on our next overseas trip, eating lots and spending quality time with family and close friends.