Today I'm excited to finally catch up on a personal project documenting creative makers in their spaces! I started this project last year and then I got married...and well it was put on the back burner. I photographed Anna V, owner and creator at Paper Anniversary, in her space in SOMA. I had her answer some questions about her business so I could give you a peek inside her business and the why behind it. I love how she describes her business:
"At Paper Anniversary by Anna V, we help couples commemorate their love stories in custom-designed jewelry and gifts. We help people who want to surprise their spouse with a meaningful gift they can cherish forever. Most of our customers are shopping for an anniversary gift or a wedding-day gift for their partner."
Why did you decide to start your business?
I was obsessed with making origami figures since I was a little girl. When I was 19, I started making beautiful paper jewelry in my free time during college. I posted a few photos of the jewelry online, and I started receiving emails from all around the world- husbands telling me they wanted to buy my paper jewelry as a first wedding anniversary gift for their wife (I didn’t know at the time, but the traditional first wedding anniversary gift is paper). I received such positive feedback from their wives- they were so surprised and touched by the meaning behind the gift. I got such a thrill from knowing I helped make their anniversary special. That’s when I decided to open an online store, with the goal to help spouses find perfect anniversary gifts.
What’s your favorite thing about your business?
I love that I get to work directly with customers on a really intimate level; they call me and tell me how they fell in love with their spouse, so I can design a gift that tells their love story. I feel honored to listen and learn from their experiences. There is something inspiring and uplifting about hearing these stories.
Day-to-day, I love the balance of creativity and challenge that running a business brings to me. I’m always learning, growing, pushing the outer limits of my comfort zone.
What makes you different from other jewelers?
From Day 1 I knew I wanted to offer a level of customer service that would leave customers saying “WOW.” We answer every phone call, email and text. We write handwritten notes to each customer. We remember details about them, and follow up year after year. We offer overnight shipping, fast turnaround times, free shipping, and custom designs. These things are simple but they have set us apart!
When do you feel like you’re doing your best work?
I’m doing my best work when I’m inspired. When I’m back from a trip, when I’ve met someone fascinating, when I’ve seen something beautiful I can’t erase from my mind.
I LOVE how you described feeling that you're doing your best work when you feel inspired. I think a lot of creative people can relate to that--myself included! Thank you so much to Anna for allowing me behind the scenes to photograph you and for giving us all an inside look at your business!