Want to learn more about our whimsical and fun window displays? Meet the Maker and behind-the-scenes creator of our eye-catching displays in the month’s feature. Colleen is not only crafting her career at Paper Source, but also shares her heartfelt hobby with us here: 

Paper Source window displays draw our customers in and welcome their creative ingenuity with curiosity and wonder.  Who is the star behind these beautiful assets and the imagination that sparks these elaborate art installments? Colleen, our Director of Visual Merchandising. We wanted to know more about Colleen’s creative foundation and personal story. We asked Colleen to tell us a little about herself.

Where are you from and how long have you been with Paper Source?

  • I grew up in Libertyville, IL. A suburb outside of Chicago and close by to our corporate HQ. I then attended Savannah College of Art and Design with a focus in Illustration and Printmaking. This is how I ended up working at Paper Source, it was a passion for art and paper. 
  • I have been with Paper Source for over 12 years! My career started at the store level. My first job was as Assistant Store Manager. In a short time, I worked my way up to Store Manager and oversaw Midwest Visuals for the company. My path has brought me to the Store Operations team in leading Visual Merchandising and Store Communication.


What’s your favorite Paper Source colorscope color and why?

There are too many that I love and have changed over the years like Fuchsia, Mint, Spruce, Royal, and Peacock.

The first thing our customers see is our welcoming and fun window displays! We love the colorful accents, the magical creatures, the bold shapes and the capturing of seasonality with each changing display. What’s the process of creating the Paper Source Window Display?

  • The first step of creating the window display is to determine what the theme is for the season.  Once the theme is determined, we then review the product assortment to seek inspiration for the window that fits within the selected theme. I also seek inspiration from my paper source peers, artwork, and paper crafts.
  • I traditionally present 2-3 options for the window to our leadership team to determine which direction we should take. Once I receive approval I then start to create a sketch and work through the logistics on how the window will be made. I also partner with our marketing team on the signage that is incorporated with the window. 
  • Once the sketch is approved, I then create the window myself to ensure that the window is easy to create and stall. We also create a step-by-step guide to provide to the store teams so they are able to construct and install the windows themselves for our customers get to see the final product!


Where do you get your inspiration for creativity?

I spend a lot of time looking at art books, looking online (Instagram, Pinterest, etc…) and just being out in the world’ to gather ideas and prompt my creative displays. 


Colleen’s artistic endeavors are more than a 9-5 commitment. She makes exceptionally realistic resemblances of people, places, and things with Paper Dolls and mixed media. When did you start your hobby of Paper Doll Making?

I have been mixing paper with illustrations since college, however, I didn’t start creating paper dolls until I was in Paper Source stores. As a creative outlet in stores, I would create paper dolls for our store team members using our Paper Source Paper Doll Kit. By creating these dolls, I realized that I have a knack for creating people’s likeness by honing in on their clothing style, and what makes them unique. That then lead me to create my own style of paper dolls. 

Take a look at some of the fantastic examples on Instagram!


When you are not inspiring creativity in and out of work, what else do you like to do in your spare time?

I spend a lot of my time with my family and English Bulldog Emma, reading and creating art. Most of the weekends that I am out of the office, I capture some fresh air at my family cabin in Wisconsin. 


We know our readers are interested, what advice would you give others looking to follow a creative career?

I never thought that my creative background would lead me to a career in retail, so I would say keep an open mind when looking for a creative career


At the end of the day, you never know what paper ladder door will open…