Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Little Paper Planes...

After making an order for an art print from Little Paper Planes, I decided to e-mail kelly and ask her to do a q&a interview about her business Little Paper Planes for me. She graciously agreed. Here are the questions that I asked kelly...

What was your inspiration to start your site Little Paper Planes?
I started the site as a place for me to sell stuff my friends and I make to help support us while pursuing painting and art making.
Describe the style of your site...
Its a site that features young and emerging artists that tends to be on the illustrative style. I specialize mainly in art prints and artist type books and zines but also carry bags, jewelry and t shirts.
How has your business changed/grown since December 2004?
ha, its grown a lot. It went from a few orders and a few artists to lots of orders and lots of artists. It went from everything being hand written to all computerized, no standing in lines at the post office, I expanded by having a blog telling about art shows, new products and artists and now I will be doing a line of exclusive letterpress prints with the artists as well having the first little paper planes art show which will be in September here in LA.
Internet businesses can be a love/hate relationship...what issues have you ran into as far as site maintenance, customer service, shipping?
All of the above. I can say I hate shipping with a passion. I have been doing it once a week for three years so needless to say it is not fun. I will be getting an intern at some point to start helping me with the shipping since its time to let go of that and trust other people to package my orders. (I am super anal in packaging so I want to make sure the person makes sure the packages are perfectly packaged.) There are always technical problems, server issues etc. which is never fun but my boyfriend is good with that stuff so he helps me out. I am actually in the process of getting the site completely redone so it will function and navigate way better. I am a big fan of customer service, thats probably the thing I do the most on the site, I always try to keep it personal with all my customers, at least as much as I can.
Where do you see Little Paper Planes in 5 years?
I really don't know, its really hard to say. I never had a plan to begin with so everything has been a pleasant surprise and I feel completely grateful to sell some great work and send art to so many different people all over the world. I hope it will be running like a proper business with a warehouse and I will have people working for me, more exclusives, artist books, and more shows.
What category(ies) do your top 5 products fall into?
art prints
How do you package your products...do you include a handwritten note? cute paper?...
They are packaged in all sorts of stuff, mainly flat mailers, tubes, and bubble mailers. I used to try to do the cute stuff but I just don't have the time when you are packaging 75-100 orders at a time and 1-10 items per order it is just too hard to be all cute. I used to write on the packing slips but that again just takes to much time. I always include a LPP postcard, sometimes stickers and sometimes tea. I ship once a week on Thursdays and it usually is an almost 11 hour day.
What advice would you give artists who want to consign with Little Paper Planes?
Make sure you really look at the other art on the site and see if your work compliments it. You want to make sure you have a similar aesthetic to the other artists. If you feel like it could work you can email me and show me your art.
If your shop could be featured on any website, magazine, art show, etc. for free--what would you choose?
Well, my favorite magazine is Nylon and it IS going to be featured in May! So exciting! Though I welcome all press, its always a good thing.

Prints that are featured in the main picture above are (from left to right)...Healing Crystals Print by Ryan Jacob Smith, Migration Print by Traci Edwards, Bear Jumper Print by Brooke Bobridge, Butterflies Print Cole Gerst/Option-g, and Big City Girl Print by Rachell

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