Friday, September 24, 2010

Anatomy of a Launch

My apologies for the delay in posting this latest blog entry.  Although it’s not an excuse, we are in the midst of launching 2 new catalogs next week: Everyday Collection 2010-11 and Holiday 2010.  The entire Paperly community – Consultants, Customers, Hostesses and employees – is very excited about the launch.  That said, I thought you might find it interesting to read the basic steps that occur prior to such a massive unveiling.  Please note, I’ve grossly simplified each step below, but I’m hoping to give you an idea as to what occurs “behind the curtain” at Paperly.
  • 6 months prior: Paperly aggregates all the feedback it has received from its Consultants, Customers and Hostesses about its designs.  By mapping strengths and weaknesses, Paperly is able to identify what direction its future designs might head.
  • 5 months prior: Paperly begins to marry its new design ideas with its team of designers.  For example, one designer might be a better illustrator while another might be better at geometric patterns.
  • 4 months prior: Initial design ideas are reviewed and feedback is given to designers.
  • 3 months prior: Final designs are agreed upon, and then, designs are carried through all product types (i.e. gift stickers, address labels, etc.)
  • 2 months prior: The design of the catalog begins.
  • 1 month prior: Loose samples are printed and quality checked.  Photos are taken of the loose samples.
  • 2 weeks prior to launch: Catalogs go to the printer, e-catalogs are created and the website begins to be populated with products.
  • 1 week prior to launch: Boxes are packed full of catalogs/sample sets and shipped.  At times, it’s hard to find a square inch of Paperly’s office that isn’t covered in boxes!
  • Launch!

Of course, this series of events completely skips over the marketing, promotion and training that needs to occur in parallel.  As you can tell, a catalog launch is a Herculean effort.  But boy, is it worth it when the positive feedback starts pouring in from Consultants, Customers and Hostesses.  Of course, by then, we can’t bask in our success, because we are already behind in started on our next catalog!

Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly

Monday, September 6, 2010

Paperly's Co-Founder, Cindy Rudman, Shares her Vision

Cindy Rudman, President and Co-Founder of Paperly (, has been in the stationery industry for 10+ years. She created the following video to share her vision behind Paperly, including:

1. The reasons for creating Paperly

2. Paperly’s core principles

3. The importance of balancing life and career

4. The belief that the handwritten note is alive and well

Enjoy the video, and as always, please contact me if you have any questions.

Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Paperly’s Own Triathlon

Last weekend, I completed my 5th triathlon.  (No, not an Iron Man… I’m not that crazy!)  For the uninitiated, a triathlon combines 3 separate disciplines – swimming, biking and running – into one event.  I love participating in triathlons, because I love the challenge of trying to excel at three things at once.

What do triathlons have to do with Paperly? Perhaps more than you can imagine.

When speaking to Consultants, I often ask, “How do you judge the success of a party?”  Most every Consultant immediately replies, “By how much I sell!”

To me, that answer is analogous to focusing exclusively on the swim portion of a triathlon and completely ignoring biking and running.  A triathlete can never be successful if she only focuses on one discipline.

Instead, like a triathlete, a successful Consultant needs to view a successful party as the combination of 3 disciplines: selling, booking and recruiting.  At Paperly, we suggest our Consultants aim for $600 in sales, 2 bookings (i.e. future parties) and 1 recruit (i.e. future team members).

Without sales, the Consultant earns no commissions.  Without bookings, the Consultant has no future.  And without recruits, the Consultant’s earnings are limited to her own efforts, rather than the collective effort of her team.

Only when a Consultant completes Paperly’s version of a triathlon can she truly say, “I had a successful party!” Go Paperly triathletes, go! I’m rooting for you.

Jay Rudman, CEO * Co-Owner, Paperly