An artistic friend inspired Daphne Mitchell to create an innovative stationery business. Her friend, Tori Samuel, is an illustrator who created drawings around letters. She was making baby gifts by spelling out the name of the newborn with her drawings of alphabet letters.
When Daphne saw Tori’s creations she had an idea. “Tori’s work was so unique and well-received, I felt there was an opportunity to create our own line of stationery,” said Daphne, who was already selling other lines of stationery products to retail stores.
They decided to team up as the demand for Tori’s designs grew. Tori’s husband scanned the hand-drawn images. Then, Daphne created a book to showcase the letters from A to Z as well as the other icons Tori had created over the years.
Next, Daphne learned a software application needed to print her own cards. The friends called their new venture Whale Island Press, a nod to Nantucket where they met and vacationed as children. After landing orders from several stores in the area, Daphne was ready to scale up.
In addition to offering ready-made cards, the store owners displayed the Whale Island Press sample book of letters so customers could place special orders.
One challenge to their business is the popularity of on-line invitations. Daphne has been watching the stationery business change. Successful companies adapted by adding other products, so now Whale Island offers both custom designs and on-line designs.
When asked what she likes about her venture, Daphne says, “Helping someone create the perfect card or gift and being involved from beginning to end is very satisfying.”
She still believes people love a hand-written note. “It’s the heartfelt hand-written card that people keep and you’ll find it in a box years later because it was so meaningful.” Now, Daphne is teaching her own children, who are 11 and 13 years-old how to write a thoughtful letter whether it is to thank someone, offer congratulations or condolences.
And with her one of-a-kind creations, she is providing the stationery for letter writers to keep the tradition alive in a beautiful way. Contact: http://whaleislandpress.com/