By Ryan Waldrep, Assistant Director for Entrepreneur and Small Business Development
Small Business Spotlight | Douglas County | Region 3
When was the last time you went to the mailbox and there was a card from your best friend? Remember the excitement as you saw a hand-addressed envelope intermingled with the junk mail and bills. Did your hands tremble with excitement as you tore through the envelope?
Technology has afforded us the ability to instantly communicate in a plethora of ways, from emails, text messages and social media. But there is nothing that can replicate the touch, feel and excitement of a carefully addressed letter.
Reyn Paper Company began out of Kristen Reynolds’ desire to design and create a brand. Kristen, who has a background in art and design, started in business with the creation of an art supply store and later moved into the graphic and web design.
However, she sorely missed the ability to touch her work and physically connect with her creations. She longed to design and create a brand, and on April 1, 2014, Reyn Paper Company was born.
In early 2015, Reyn Paper Company attended their first trade show. But they didn’t go into it blindly. They talked with other exhibitors and attended a Trade Show Boot Camp, where they learned what to do, how to design an exhibit booth and other must-know tips. The show was a success and business picked up.
In addition to trade shows, a major component of their business is social media, especially Instagram and Etsy. Kristen mentioned that Instagram provides an opportunity to see the product in the wild as they get to see someone else use the products.
Etsy also offers feedback and allows the company to see firsthand through customer comments what products people are longing for.
When the Reyn team got into manufacturing, they discovered it was an entirely different beast than just design. They now are involved in every aspect of production, including packaging, printing and more.
As Reyn Paper Company originally debuted their line of coasters, they were packaged in a cardboard box, but sales were stagnant. They shifted to a clear box, and the product began flying off the shelves. The refinement cycle is never-ending.
Reyn Paper Company has had a lot of help along the way, and they try to “pay it forward” with other entrepreneurs, as well as work to create a strategic community within the printing industry to connect different providers.
For instance, when looking for printers to print their designs, the company began talking to printers in the Atlanta area. As these discussions continued, they were introduced to paper companies. Unintentionally, a creative ecosystem was being developed that allowed the close collaboration of designer, printer and paper supplier to create the best product imaginable.
Pam offers some excellent advice to other entrepreneurs and encouraged them to find their own road.
“Don’t judge your beginning with someone else’s middle or end.” -Pam Reynolds, Owner/VP of Operations, Reyn Paper Company
Sometimes it feels like you are standing still. But stay true to your brand.
Reyn Paper Company feels that they have advanced not only their business but the industry as well. New product lines are always in the works, including product lines with nature parks and national history. The trio is also working on designs for calendars and agendas, as well as plans for their first flagship store.
They are located in Douglasville’s historic downtown area as they wanted to be more than just another business — they wanted to be part of the community.
Got a Small Business question? Start the conversation! Contact Ryan Waldrep, Assistant Director for Entrepreneur and Small Business Development, at (229) 868-3428 or [email protected].