Poplar Paper Co.’s Terri Buckland started out as a self-taught artist before following her heart and pursuing the call to create greeting cards. Fast-forward to 2021, and she has a full line of beautifully curated cards for every occasion, as well as calendars and custom digital portrait commissions! Her watercolour-esque style is very pastel and dreamy, her concepts cute and clever. Terri’s enthusiasm for chasing your dreams and daring to live the life you want is catching, and makes us proud to introduce her as the newest addition to the Paper Hearts Pen Pal family!
What are five fun facts about you?
- I had a premonition that I would marry my wife before we ever formally met. She was standing in front of an elevator, a virtual stranger, and the thought came into my mind, “you will marry her one day.” How freaky is that?
- Whilst on the topic of freaky things: we don’t necessarily believe in ghosts, but our current 88-year-old home has ghosts (LOL). We’ve had a lamp fly across the kitchen, a door slam shut and then stick shut right in front of us (twice), and we’ve seen footprints appear and then vanish right before our eyes in the basement (that sounds absofreakinglutely crazy in writing). But I kid you not! Oh, and, on occasion the lights flick off after we enter a room. Yeah.
- Our dog Walter is a character -like, he might as well speak English- and he has his own TikTok channel called Walty Does TikTok.
- My sister and I are crazy competitive at board games, and our respective partners will not play Cranium with us after “the incident.”
- I can recite every episode of Friends. I consider it one of my talents.
How did you get started with your business?
I was a full time RN, working crazy hours, and quite unfulfilled. In trying to become the best version of myself, I started to act on ideas that might bring me joy. The idea of being an entrepreneur hadn’t crossed my mind! I started out painting furniture. Five years ago, I didn’t know things like Pinterest, the DIY community, blogs, and creative small business existed. Crazy, right? I had an enormous amount of success in that arena with my DIY blog and several features on pretty big platforms! At that time, I had no idea it was a big deal. From there, I picked up clay and started my first “real” business. All along, I had been creating watercolour art and greeting cards. My other biz naturally called for the addition of greeting cards, and I realized using my art is what I wanted to do more than anything. My love for greeting cards (and other paper products) sparked an idea that just wouldn’t let go -and I decided to go for it! Poplar Paper Co. was born in October 2020.
What are some of the challenges you face in your business? How do you overcome them?
I am self-taught everything. Like, alllll the things: accounting, marketing, painting, digital art-ing, printing, photography, website-making. Running a business and having wholesale clients. The paper industry is a whole big, new journey entirely! So basically, I am perpetually learning and “overcoming” obstacles.
Here’s what I’ve learned about myself: if I’m super passionate, figuring things out seems more like an adventure than an issue. I find when I’m truly working in flow or alignment the answers to the biggies seem to show up at the right time in some form or another. Secondly, I’m a “if I can dream it, I can do it” kind of girl. I’ll take on ideas no matter how impossible they might seem, and I figure out the “how” of it after. And, I’m not afraid of hard work.
What is your favourite part of being an entrepreneur?
Being an entrepreneur is the best thing that ever happened to me. My favorite thing is creating something from scratch and bringing it into fruition, then sharing it. That feeling of having an idea I can’t shake, a bright idea if you will, excites me to no end. Then embarking on the sacred journey of bringing it to life -there’s nothing like it! I also cherish all of the self-development and personal growth that happens along the way. The vulnerability that goes along with *trying*. You definitely get to see what you’re made of, and you come face to face with your true character. For me, it’s incredibly satisfying to make a living this way.
What is the best piece of advice you ever got? Who was it from? Why was it so important?
One thing that comes to mind is when I learned about intuition. I believe the teacher was Vernon Howard. Basically, the lesson was this: “The inner voice that answers first is your intuition, the one that follows is fear.”
If you think about it, the last time you had a strong urge to do something, your initial reaction was probably “yes!” accompanied by feelings of lightness and excitement. Then, the voice that follows tends to be all the reasons why you shouldn’t do the thing. It’s true for the reverse, too. You may be asked to do something and your initial reaction is “no” ...then the voice that follows might be all the reasons you should do it anyway. Vernon Howard’s philosophy is that when we work up the courage to follow our intuition it will never steer us wrong. We’ll stay on the path of alignment.
This was such an important lesson because it started me on the path of looking within for answers, and trusting my gut. It was also a helpful tip to discern when the fear was doing the talking, rather than the truth.
Want to be friends with Terri online? You can find her on your favourite social platforms right here:
Joyfully written by our friend Meaghan Steeves of Choice Words Editing.