by Erin Napier
I’ve been really excited about today for a couple of weeks since we were finally able to find a day we could get up to Jackson for a visit with Kristen Ley of Thimblepress. You’ve probably seen her beautiful work before all around the world (on Good Morning America just last week!) and if you did, it probably made you smile because it’s all such sunny, happy stationery she’s making. As we’re preparing to launch our own retail line this fall, I thought it might be wise to visit Thimblepress to see how she’s managing her 600 wholesale accounts right there in the backrooms of her storefront (not that I have ANY intention of wholesaling OR expectations of that much success quickly!) and it was fascinating. I learned so much that I never would have without seeing it in person.
Most of all, I’m thankful Kristen was so gracious with her time today. She spent all morning and early afternoon showing us her processes and introducing us to her talented and lovely team, having a long lunch. I’m learning, the longer I’m a business owner, how important it is to reach out and talk to other folks who are in your industry, to learn their struggles, to talk about how they’re coming up with solutions, to learn things you never considered. Her Christian faith is such an important part of her business and her life, and she shines that love on everyone around her—which is inspiring to be around. It’s no wonder her company has taken the paper world over.
Maybe my favorite thing we talked about today is how much better entrepreneurship is when you stop thinking of the other people in your industry as competition, and start thinking of yourselves as brothers and sisters all figuring this thing out. It reminded me of that quote I’ve seen before:
I’m not interested in competing with anyone.
I hope we all make it.
If we all learn from one another and pass along the things we learn along the way, the rising tide lifts all our ships, right?
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I’m Erin Napier, co-owner of Laurel Mercantile Co. and Scotsman Co. with my husband, Ben. I’m an artist and he’s a craftsman and we help people moving to our town find and restore old houses on HGTV’s Home Town. In an effort to count my blessings, this journal has documented only the good things that happen on each and every day of my life since January 1, 2010. I am a wife, a daughter, a homebody, a bubble bath lover, a book reader, a sentimental, stressed out, slightly obsessive southerner. Welcome!