EmDashPaperCo., Custom Designs from Winston-Salem

EmDashPaperCo. has been kind enough to participate in our Spring Box. We were lucky enough to sit down the letter and calligraphy artist to see where her inspirations come from when she brings pen to paper.
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What sparked the idea?
The idea for this particular mug came from asking myself “what do I need to hear in the morning while I’m drinking my coffee and sometimes dreading the start of my work day?” Often there will be one particular task that’s especially daunting, that I end up putting off throughout the day instead of attacking first thing, and if I had just taken care of it right away, I would’ve been much better off. This design is a reminder, to myself and to whomever else needs it, to just do the damn thing, whatever that thing is.
Can you elaborate on anything in your history that led to this brand or product?
My hand-lettered paper goods brand, originally called Sparrow Nest Script, was originally launched in 2011 to fill a void I noticed in the greeting card industry. Modern calligraphy was starting to become popular, but at the time there was hardly anyone using this kind of technique for any-occasion correspondence—it was mostly being employed for wedding invitations and addressing. So I created a small collection of cards featuring simple hand-calligraphed inscriptions and started an Etsy shop to sell them. Since then, I’ve further developed my lettering skills and expanded my brand to include notebooks, mugs, t-shirts, and other goods.
What inspires you or what influences come to mind in terms of your creativity?

I have a background in literature in music, and have always found inspiration in both of those things. I also started practicing and studying yoga in 2014, which has gradually brought a new attitude of mindfulness into my work as well.
How big is your current operation (employees, etc)?
Em Dash Paper Co. is just me. I work from home and have two co-workers, if you count my pet cat and rabbit.
Please describe some of your inventory / best sellers.
Online, a best seller of mine has been a customizable card that says “today I have loved you for ___ days,” where the customer can specify the number of days to go in the blank. However, in the hopes of developing some new ideas and allowing myself to keep growing and changing, I have chosen to retire that card when my current stock is depleted. On a more local level, my line of Winston-Salem postcards has been a hit, especially the one that features the Wells Fargo tower and says “hello from WSNC (just the tip).” The “ugh” t-shirt has also been well-received in the past year or so since its creation.
Do you ever work events? Is this mainly online or in shops?
I’ve led Q&A sessions in a “Marketing Your Art Online” class at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art in the past, but I mainly just work at home to run my online shop and my local Design Archives retail space.
Any new products coming out?

I’m always working on something new! Currently I’m designing a new t-shirt with a Winston-Salem theme, and I’m very excited to make it available locally at Design Archives within the next month or so. There are also a few new postcards and greeting cards in the works.
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Visit EmDashPaperCo.’s Instagram page here.

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