To get a sense of how much Jennifer Palfi of Paper Protégé loves her work, you need look no further than her Instagram. It is chock full of her beautiful card designs, inspirational quotes, and plenty of cute animals for smiles. Since the launch of her first greeting card line in 2016 at Olivia Rose in Milton, Ontario, Jennifer has developed a popping colour style and catchy puns that capture the sentiment of her designs. Her Valentine’s Day and love cards are particularly sweet. We’re thrilled to add her to our roster of fantastic creatives, here at the Paper Hearts Post Office!
What is your favourite part of getting a letter or card?
Probably opening it and seeing the card they chose. I feel like a card says so much- if it’s a funny card I think to myself, “Oh they must have smiled or chuckled when they bought this card!”. Overall, just the idea that the person picked this card especially for me makes me so happy.What’s your creative business’s origin story?
In grade 12 I got my first job at a boutique. Little did I know it would lead me to start what is now known as Paper Protégé.
One day a customer came in to purchase a gift and asked me where she could buy a greeting card nearby. After she left I thought to myself, “Why don’t I make cards and sell them here?”. After my shift I drove straight to the craft store and bought a pack of blank white cards. I was a seventeen-year-old student with minimal design experience, a new inkjet printer, and an old hand-me-down laptop.
The name was born from the realization that I, myself, was in fact a protégé. I had been guided by many people in my life and gained much of my knowledge and business know-how from my mentor(s). Paper Protégé was named after my high school business teacher, who was my biggest cheerleader for every single business competition I ever entered.
What was the reaction of your friends and family to you starting a business?
My friends and family have been super supportive since day one. When it’s a “peak season” like Christmas or Valentine’s day, my parents will set up the kitchen table in an assembly line fashion and help me package cards just because they want to be involved and help. My friends on the other hand are always throwing out new card ideas, or ways to expand my business. Overall, everyone in my life has been super supportive. What is one thing you’d tell someone that’s looking to start a creative business?
Start before you’re ready. There’s this idea that you have to be ready, or that when you reach a certain point you can then pursue your business, school, or whatever it is. False. Obviously, educate yourself about what you’re getting into beforehand so you’re not just diving in blindly. However, those days you procrastinate your goal even further, maybe just ask yourself: “Is this fear talking or am I actually
Where do you find support for your endeavours?
Friends! My friends have been cheering me on since day one. There are definitely hard days as an entrepreneur; it can get super overwhelming, but my friends have really supported me and helped to lift me up when I feel like quitting. Honestly, Paper Protégé would not be here today if it wasn’t for my friends pushing me to keep going when I wanted to quit. (You know who you are.)
Want to be friends with Jennifer online? You can find her on your favourite social platforms right here:
Joyfully written by our friend Meaghan Steeves of Choice Words Editing.