Thursday, July 29, 2010

Why We Do What We Do

One of the first questions I ask folks interested in becoming a Paperly Consultant is - logically, “Why are you interested in becoming a Consultant?” Their responses vary from “I’m looking to earn some additional income” to “I need something that better balances work and family”. Interestingly, Consultants never volley my question back to me. Nonetheless, I think it’s important to share with you why I run Paperly.

First, I love stationery. I hope that passion is evident in everything I do. When you love your product, you’re never “selling”. Instead, others are simply swept-up by your passion.

Second, I love helping others. In the past, I’ve owned and operated other businesses, but they were all transactional. Paperly is unique. It’s not about the transaction, it’s about helping others. Paperly’s new Consultants are typically never-before entrepreneurs, who are opening a new business often for their first time, so they can build a better life for themselves, and often their family. Rightly, they’re scared and lack confidence. I love helping new Consultants reach their potential. Inevitably, they blossom as they discover that they truly can be successful!

Lastly, and probably most importantly, I’ll share with you a few words my 9-year old daughter recently wrote (please ignore any errors in grammar or punctuation):

"I admire my dad because: He opened his own business Paperly. Not many of my friends parents have opened their own business. My dad is wonderful in many ways and running and owning Paperly is just one of many."

The lessons my children are learning by watching their dad start and grow a business are immeasurable. Each day, my daughter and son (who is 6 years old) ask about Paperly. They love to provide their opinions on Paperly’s products. They love to visit the office. They love asking about our new Consultants. They simply love being part of the Paperly process.

So why do I run Paperly? Because I want to teach my children, by example, the pleasure of working hard with the hopes of succeeding. That truly is the best reason to do what I do.

Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Environmentally Friendly Products

It goes without saying, the environment matters to Paperly.  We try, whenever possible, to use environmentally friendly materials in our products.  Unfortunately, being a paper company, it’s harder than you might think.  True, “green” paper products exist.  But shifting Paperly’s entire product line to those materials is impractical in the short-term for numerous reasons: price, quality, product selection, etc.

Nevertheless, Paperly does currently offer some great, environmentally friendly products:

  • Most all of our Color Collection products (#10240-10247) – both paper and envelope – is composed of at least 30% post-consumer waste.

  • Our Eco Tablets (#10281), which consists of 7 notepads of 100 sheets each (700 sheets total), is composed of 100% post-consumer waste.  Additionally, this product uses a recycled, cardboard holder instead of the more traditional acrylic holder.  Even the name, “Eco Tablet”, is “green”!

  • Paperly’s catalogs are printed on paper approved by the Forest Stewardship Council, a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging the responsible management of the world's forests.  In addition, our catalog paper is composed of at least 10% post-consumer waste.

We know Paperly still has a long way to go to meet our strong desire to use 100% environmentally friendly products, but we feel we’re making good progress.  I can assure you Paperly is committed to making beautifully designed, environmentally friendly stationery.

Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Most Common Gripe

Unlike any other industry I’ve ever been a part of, the direct selling industry is extremely open.  For example, in most industries, if you walked up to Competitor XYZ and asked, “How do you reward your consultants?” the question would be met with stunned silence.  Oppositely, in direct selling, the competitors share.  That same company would say, “Our rewards include A, B and C.  How about your company?”  And I would gladly share Paperly’s program (within reason, of course).

Over time, I have concluded that such openness is caused by, what I’ll affectionately call, “The My Sister-in-Law Can Find Out Syndrome”.  I’ve named it after my sister-in-law, because she’s the one that can call Competitor XYZ and say, “Hello, I’m interested in becoming a consultant for your company.  Can you tell me how you reward your consultants?”  Voila!  It’s that easy!  And because it’s so easy, direct selling companies do not try to hide much.

So where am I headed with all of this?  Well, I’ve spent a decent amount of time talking to other direct sellers – not just folks at headquarters, but consultants in the field.  The consultants, in particular, are amazing!  They are truly passionate about the products they sell, and they have so many incredible ideas as to how to grow their respective businesses.

Yet, the one gripe I’ve heard most consistently – regardless if the consultant is selling jewelry, cosmetics or kitchen products – is:

I wish I had gotten involved from the beginning!

All these consultants appreciate the growth, the income and the prestige tied to being one of the first.  They’re often frustrated by the oversaturation in their community.  In short, they wish they had started before all their neighbors were consultants too.

And that’s the point of this entry!  Paperly is climbing the hill towards what I hope to be amazing success.  Therefore, if you truly are passionate about Paperly’s products, then I implore you to join Paperly sooner than later.  I’d hate to meet you 10 years from now and hear you say, “I wish I had joined
Paperly when I first heard about it!”

Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How I Plan to Grow my Paperly Business

If you were to ask me earlier this year about how I would grow my future business, I would have looked at you sideways!  I had no idea I would be selling Paperly products.  I stumbled onto Paperly because someone approached me about selling a different product line but I was not passionate about the product assortment.  It got me thinking, “What am I passionate about?”  One of the things I am very passionate about is staying in touch with people in a meaningful way.  I love to send birthday cards, thank you notes, anniversary cards, and handwritten notes of any kind.  On that same note, I also keep a personal blog, Facebook page, and chat via AOL Instant Messenger/Gmail Chat/Facebook constantly.  I feel like I do a pretty good job of staying in touch with the people in my life while putting my personal touch on everything.  I stumbled onto Paperly’s website during all of this soul searching and had a "light bulb moment"!  I already use 90% of the items Paperly sells and could easily find a use for the other 10%.  Getting set-up as a Paperly Consultant was very easy and quick.  Paperly’s staff was extremely helpful along the way.  So the next thing I knew I was a Paperly Consultant!

One of the things I spent some time thinking about was how to promote my new business venture.  I have a huge network of family and friends many states away and a medium sized network where I currently live and then a few smaller groups of people in other states.  How was I going to promote my business to my entire network, spread out across the U.S.?  The best way for me to do that is to really promote and push my Paperly online business.  I knew right away that I would be using the personal online website that Paperly offers.  Along with hosting parties, the website offers an alternative to the response, “I don’t have time to throw a party.”  You can now set-up Online Paperly Parties where the Hostess earns credit towards Paperly merchandise for every item sold at her Online Party.  How great is that!?

But I wanted to take that one step further and try to reach beyond my network.  I wanted to reach the masses and communicate my passion for staying connected.  I started a blog,  This blog will give tips, ideas, and product suggestions to help people stay connected and stand out.  Savvy Sentiment features a “Paperly Pick” item to correspond with the most recent blog post and has a “Shop Now” link to direct people to my Paperly website. I also set up a Facebook and Twitter pages for Savvy Sentiment to reach even further beyond my network.  In today’s world of social networking, the sky’s the limit when it comes to promotion of online sales.  I am excited to see where my blog and my Paperly business takes me!

AlanaK, Paperly Consultant (


Alana's current "Paperly Pick"

Monday, July 5, 2010

Lessons Learned from "The Council of Dads"

I’ve been very fortunate to have spent the last little bit traveling.  I love travel, because of the sites, the food and the “down-time”.  One of my favorite down-time activities, which I don’t get to do often enough at home, is read.  I just finished “The Council of Dads” by Bruce Feiler.  It’s a warm, touching and tearful book about a father who discovers he has cancer, and so he asks six close friends to be a “council of dads” to his daughters should he lose his battle with cancer.  I highly recommend you read it.

Below is one of my favorite excepts from the book, especially given my role as chief Paperly evangelist.

From page 119 of “The Council of Dads”: Recently, I was speaking to a friend who had lost her father before her first birthday.  The one thing she most missed from her father, she told me, was letters directly from him… My friend shares with me that every year she takes time to write a letter directly to each of her children telling them how much she loves them.

Bruce’s words hit home for me.  On my child’s next birthday, I’m going to write him a letter, on my personal stationery, in my own handwriting, to tell him how much I you love him.  I’m confident he’ll cherish it a lot longer than all the other toys and games he may receive on that day.

Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly