I’m so excited to introduce you to Rachel Baldwin of Appetite Paper for this week’s Need it Now! Small Business Series! I discovered Appetite Paper via Instagram. Her feed is so inspirational and pretty! Rachel creates the most amazing, intricate paper flowers. My personal favorites are her peonies (of course!) The detail in her work is absolutely phenomenal. I want a bouquet in every room of my house already! I am excited for you to hear her story about how Appetite Paper came to life.
How did the idea for Appetite Paper come about? How did you get started?
Honestly, Appetite Paper started by simply exercising my love for design. My vision was never clear. I was constantly getting into watercolor, calligraphy, invitations and paper flowers after work, eventually leading to Appetite Paper. Paper flowers naturally became a obsession of mine and Im just so grateful people love them just as much as I love making them!
What does a day at the Appetite Paper office like?
Busy. I still work full-time, so a lot of grace is involved for the simple fact that I can not get everything done! There are only so many hours in a day. Its a constant balancing act and I fall short on the TO-DO list 99% of the time. This used to be a total bummer, but eventually I learned that doing my best is all that’s required of me. The rest will just have to wait.
Oh, but the ideal day in the Appetite Paper office …. Early rise, coffee, quiet time, yoga, work, rest, repeat – and not working on the weekends – now that I could get used to!
What is your favorite part of being an entrepreneur?
The constant challenges. You are always growing, always learning, always exploring new things. Its a creative’s dream to wonder through new projects with out the limitations from your typical 9-5. At Appetite Paper, I get to move where I feel inspired and create work that both challenges and excites me.
What piece of advice would you give others looking to start up their own business?
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
Pure truth. When you first start out, your work just isnt good, but it will be. Just keep working, practicing, be patient and your ambition will eventually bring your dreams to life. Don’t quit.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced being a small business owner so far?
Believing I have something to offer this world. As passionate as I am about design and all things paper, we are all fighting the lies in our head that we are not good enough, strong enough, smart enough or talented enough to make this dream career of ours a reality. Well we are, not by proof of any found success, but because we are simply put on this earth to serve others with our unique talents and strengths.
We are all different for a reason, and by denying our talents and saying we are not good enough only forfeits others from the opportunity to receive your help. People need us, they need what we have to offer, just as much as we need them. So go let your light shine, be you and keep on creating, you’ll change someones life for the better!
What goals do you have for your business? What can we look forward to in in the future from Appetite Paper?
Come to think of it, I don’t really have any goals (Tisk, tisk!) I just run my business with one goal in mind, I suppose. I am simply here to serve others.
Loving my clients and readers through my creativity, strengths and customer service is so important to me. Id say, if this is ever lost, then Appetite Paper will sadly no longer serve a purpose – this mission statement sorts of guides my every move.
I am really excited about our new venture of education at Appetite Paper this past spring. Teaching my readers how to make our Appetite Paper – Paper flowers, instead of just purchasing them, has been a blast to say the least. I hope this section of my business continues to grow. Whether your artsy or consider yourself lacking the creative bone, paper flowers are a great DIY adventure for your next event, cozy home décor or even a wedding! Especially if your on a tighter budget. I want our paper flowers to be accessible to everyone and most importantly foster my readers creativity. Its been an incredible blessing and learning experience – I am so eager to see where this new chapter is headed!
Rachel Baldwin, Appetite Paper
All photos c/o Appetite Paper