Friday, November 11, 2011

Shop Girl Focus: Alma of That Absolutely Fabulous Paper Emporium

That Absolutely Fabulous Paper Emporium: Houston, TX

Welcome to Bella Ink Designs' first Shop Girl Focus feature on the new blog! We're very excited to have Alma of That Absolutely Fabulous Paper Emporium participating this month.  She's a wonderfully eloquent and passionate woman with a beautiful new store in Houston.  Her favorite, and best-selling, Bella Ink Designs invitation is PT-57, My Chihuahua. Luckily for Alma and her customers we have tweaked PT-57 for Spring 2012 to fit a half-sheet invitation and a fill-in invitation.  (Which we haven't done in years!)  Sneak peek coming soon.  Now Alma...

Q: What inspired you to open your stationery business?
A: I got to a place in life where I realized that I was giving my best energy and focus to realize someone else's vision instead of realizing my own dreams and visions.  When I came to that conclusion, I knew immediately that one of those dreams was having my own store.  At that time I had two passions: doll collecting and paper, but I felt that paper had a larger following, and my area of Northwest Houston was well in need of their own stationery/invitation store.  And thus was born That Absolutely Fabulous Paper Emporium!

Q: The key to running a successful business is...
A: ... loving what you do. Being in business for yourself, your business becomes your life.  And if you don't love what you're doing, you won't stick with it when the going gets tough.  As you'll hear over and over again, success comes from persistence... from sticking with it.  Loving it makes sticking with it easier.

Q: What are you thankful for?
A: a) The little things, the uneventful days.  An uneventful day means that all is well.  b) The beautiful days like today where I can roll down the windows on the way to work.  c) My ride through tree-lined streets where the sun shines at the perfect angle.  d) My customers who share their happy events with me.  e) The beautiful new lifestyle center we recently moved into and the great community it supports.  f) And so much more!

Q: What is your favorite method of communication?
A: Absolutely, positively email!  There's just no way way I can communicate over the phone when a customer's in the store. And sometimes the information I have to relay is too detailed for a phone call, but I can compose a detailed email a little at a time as traffic allows.

Q: If you could move your business anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: Miami.  It's a world I already know and love.

Q: When should children begin writing Thank You notes?
A: As soon as they're able to write words.  My niece is 4 and already composing sentences by asking, "Daddy how do you spell..."  Graciousness is a character trait that should be instilled as early as possible.

Q: What is your fantasy purchase?
A: I'm not picky about the combination of numbers, but so long as it says "Mercedes" or "BMW" in front of them...

Q: Where do you turn for the most up-to-date news in the stationery industry?
A: My vendors.  We get several trade magazines in hard copy and online, but considering that most placement is purchased or rehashed, I put most stock in what I see and garner directly from my vendor's communications with us.

Q: Do you have any hidden talents?
A: If I do, they're hidden from me too...

Q: What design is on your personal stationery?
A: A light blue damask background on a white shimmer stock.

Q: What was the best movie you've seen in the past month?
A: Zookeeper.  Family movies are pretty much my speed.  I knew it would be silly, but it turned out a lot funnier and much better than I expected.

Q: When it's pot-luck, what's your go-to dish?
A: Lasagna.  A full meal in a casserole dish.

126-C Vintage Park Boulevard
Houston, TX
P: 281-257-0009

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