Natalia from Papel & Co | Small Business Series
As seen on Style Me Pretty Living
You know when you meet someone for the first time and feel like you've known them forever? Well, this is how I felt when I met Natalia from Papel & CO. This true boss lady is one to admire - not only becuase she runs a successful business, but because of her contagious positiveness, passion and ability to create unique and beautiful paper goods.
Natalia, or Nat, started as a product designer at a small agency. After a few years and sleepless nights, Nat decided to open her own graphic design business with a few of her friends. They all worked full time from 9 - 5 and then met every night to work on their business. Yes, they soon realized that they could not keep up with two jobs and decided to let go of their small start-up. Nat, however, wasn't ready to go quit her dream of owning a business, so she decided to quit her day job and open Papel & Co. I can speak for everyone when I say we are all so happy she decided this!
Offering modern calligraphy & branding services, Nat has made her own path and created a pretty large following with her unique style and personality. Whether you're looking for the perfect wedding suite or logo, Nat is the person you want, no, the person you need to hire. I'm really excited to share with you her perfect work space as well as her tips for owing a business! Read below.
1. What made you want to get started in your own business?
I’ve always been really independent and working under someone’s supervision made me feel a little trapped and my creativity was getting affected. As a way to escape from it I opened a Design Studio with a couple friends and I loved having the freedom to make creative decisions. While the Studio lasted only 1 year due to our physical and mental exhaustion of having a full time job and many other projects to finish at the Studio, I learned I was ready to make the leap working on my own as soon as I had the opportunity.
2. What was one of the biggest moments (as of now) that your business had?
Many good things have happened to my business and me ever since I founded Papel & Co. But, the one moment I remember the most was when the first Wedding Planner I admired reached out to me to work together. I won’t forget the excitement and happiness I felt when I was reading that e-mail. I think biggest things in terms of growing my business have happened but I will always remember that moment.
3. What would you recommend to a person who is having doubts of opening a business?
When I started my business I didn’t really have a plan. I was bored with the full time job I had and out of desperation I just decided to quit and to see where the future would take me. Looking back I think I would’ve saved myself a lot of headaches for the first months if I had an action plan. I think specially because my creativity felt like it was finally freed I just wanted to create stuff but didn’t really take it anywhere (and most of it is still in my sketchbooks). So, it took me a while to have a routine and a focus for my company. So, definitely have a plan A and even a plan B.
4. What is the biggest lesson you learned as a business owner?
I think it would be kindness and staying humble. As a business owner, designer and customer service representative (because you do it all with a small business) I’ve learned that being kind, fair and patient with your clients would take you far. There have been a few situations where I’ve let myself believe that my company is bigger than it actually is and it has made me loose some opportunities that I would have probably enjoyed working on. So, definitely be kind and stay humble.
5. If you could describe your business in three words, what would they be?
Feminine, Aesthetic, Poetic
6. One fun fact about you.
80% of the time I photoshop my hands in pictures I post on my social media.
I do Crossfit and against my mom’s constant requests I DO NOT want to use gloves.
7. Favorite quote for motivation?
“We need to accept that we won’t always make the right decisions, that we’ll screw up royally sometimes -- understanding that failure is not the opposite of success, it’s part of success.” - Arianna Huffington
8. Any other tips you can offer to fellow entrepreneurs?
I think specially for people that are taking that leap and going on their own I would say don’t overthink and go for your ideas. When I started I asked too many people for their thoughts on the look of my brand, and what they thought the best services would be etc. And after a few months of having my branding, my services and products up on the website I ended up going back to what I initially wanted. So, in other words don’t doubt yourself too much. Your company is a little branch of you so it should reflect exactly what you want.