Our new “From a Recruiter” series will give an inside look at what it’s like to interview and work for Paper Source. Written by Cara Pacholski, our Field Recruitment Manager, you’ll get a sneak peek at stories, tips and tricks from our store recruitment team. 


Paper Source has so many inspiring things happening behind the scenes, and we love sharing some of the unique people and processes that go into making our stores such creative spaces.

Store samples. Did you know that every single craft sample you see in stores is hand-crafted at our Paper Source headquarters in Chicago? Our sample makers, Estela and Maria Olga, make 130 samples of each craft design you see at your local store!

Estella (left) and Maria Olga (right)

Samples are made for everything from stationery, gift tags, kits and more. Our goal is for people to walk into any store and get inspired by all of the possibilities our crafting supplies can make. None of this would be possible without Estela and Maria!

Samples are made seasonally and to refresh store displays so we’re featuring the newest and most exciting designs and products. They also start from scratch and create all of the samples we need every time we open a new store (we’re opening 10 this year)!


Some of the samples you see, but might not realize they created, are:

  • Every store rosette
  • Flower samples
  • All rubber stamp samples with embossing
  • All kit samples
  • Everyday invitation/cards/announcement samples with lined envelopes
  • Store window display pieces

And not only do they do all of this, but they do it with a level of perfection that even our most devoted crafters are in awe of! We couldn’t do it without them!


Another thing we do behind-the-scenes that might surprise you… we plan out all of our store window displays! Before the pieces get to Maria and Estela, we have a dedicated team that finds inspiration in our latest products and crafts, and transforms them into large-scale inviting displays.

It’s probably no shock that right now we’re focused on our new Calendars and Planners. Our 2016 line includes new and updated products with design call-outs like:

  • A new Blottercalendar with clean lines and foil detailing
  • A new calendar with a modern aesthetic and foil lettering
  • A new Booklet Planner design with bold colors, modern brushstroke and foil details
  • NEW! Personalized Planners
  • Custom, bold, and exclusive art in the Wall Art and Art Grid calendars


So how do we show all of these great designs off? …. We put them in our store window! Here’s a sneak peek at our upcoming windows, which are currently under construction! We start but laying out design out on the floor, and later hang it up with clear wire in a mock-window. Once our design is finalized, the pieces are sent to Maria and Estela, who prepare all the pieces for the stores.

Stop by our stores for a better look at our intricate samples and engaging windows!




3 Responses

  1. Playa Paper says:

    Loved this behind the scenes article! Have you seen the maps of the U.S. that people put together to show their friends on social media which states they have visited? Well, I’ve been thinking of putting together a map of all the Paper Sources stores I’ve visited across the country – there are a lot of them! In addition, to the feeling of happiness that swells up each time I go into a Paper Source store, I always know that I will be inspired with a consistent beautiful store window and so many pretty papers to start creating. So it’s wonderful to meet and learn more about Estela and Maria Olga, the sample makers extraordinaire. Bravo ladies! Please tell them I said, “Me encanta todas las bellas creaciones que hacen para nosotros – los clientes de Paper Source. El esfuerzo y la dedicación que ponen en cada pétalo, sobrecito, y invitación se aprecia. Muchísimas gracias…” Hugs de Redondo Beach! xx

  2. Kristin Healy says:

    If there ever was a dream job for me, this one is it! I wish there were a Paper Source near me so I could see Estela’s and Maria’s work first hand. Thank you for sharing such an interesting behind-the-scenes story.

  3. Nicole D. says:

    Oh my gosh! Estela’s and Maria’s jobs sound like the coolest thing ever and such a dream come true!