We talk to Sangeeta Kumar, founder of Paper Couture, to find out why she started her own stationary company and how she juggles motherhood and a thriving business
You are a graphic designer by profession. Can you give us a bit of background on yourself?
I was born in Dubai and lived between here and India until I was 21. I then moved to Toronto for 8 years and returned to Dubai in 2005, as I knew Dubai was home. Once I moved back, the pieces of my life started to fall into place. I met my knight in shining armour, got married, secured a job as a senior designer at a reputed publishing house that I loved and began to live la dolce vita!
Why did you decide to start Paper Couture?
I’ve always had a love for the fine arts and creativity and I have over 17 years of design experience. Although design has always been a passion for me, be it interiors, art or fashion - it was only after I had my little girl that I realised classy, stylish and fun designs were thin on the ground in the UAE. I’ve been designing for friends for years so I thought why not go ahead and offer this to a wider audience? It was time for me to create something that was my own and so Paper Couture was born.
How do you juggle running your own business and having a family?
I knew it would be hard but I was up for the challenge. There are days when my little ray of sunshine isn’t miss sunshine, meetings get cancelled and printing doesn’t go according to plan, but despite these hiccups I wouldn’t change this for the world. It fulfills my goal of doing what I love as opposed to having to love what I do.
You have a blog also. Can you tell us about that?
My blog is an extension of the work that I do. Each piece tells a story of how my designs were conceptualized and came to life. For example, with personalized stationery, I designed a logo for siblings Arianna and Amara. I have known them since they were born and although words like chic and classy aren’t typically associated with babies and toddlers, with these girls it fits the bill perfectly. The reason I have a blog as opposed to a website, is to show people how personal and customized every piece is.
What makes you stand out from other stationary companies in Dubai?
A personalized touch delivered to your doorstep. Everybody has their own style and tastes, so while I have a catalogue of designs to choose from there are clients that want bespoke stationery and this includes a personal meeting at the clients’ choice of venue. With birthday party stationery a lot of people want the individuality of their children to be reflected and that’s where I come in. I customise everything from invites, welcome signs, water bottle wrappers and cup cake flags to stickers and gift tags.
Tell us about the different types of services you offer?
I do bespoke personalized stationery for children and families. Children’s stationery is always personalised with their name on every item and they can be used when they attend birthday parties. This includes stickers for gift bags and presents and gift tags and small note cards with a little note for the birthday girl/boy. The idea of adult stationery sets came from my love for having everything personalized. I create sets that encompass family crests or monograms and consist of letterheads, thank you notes, note cards, rubber stamps, bottle tags and stickers. I also do themed birthday parties and other events including baby showers, weddings, and corporate events. This includes personalising the entire party theme with a package based on the clients’ requirement. From invites to welcome signs, water bottle wrappers, cup cake flags, stickers and gift tags, I do it all!
What are parent’s usual requirements when they approach you for party stationary?
There is so much choice in Dubai for parties so every parent who comes to me wants to do something ‘different and unique’. If a parent is on a budget then I offer a printable set; I email them customized high resolution files that have everything needed to personalize the party. All they need to do is print, cut and stick! If they have no time to print and cut everything they’re still on a budget, then I always suggest water bottle tags, thank you tags and stickers that you can use as you wish to give that personalized touch. The client can order the entire set from design to print, which I deliver to their doorstep.
To find out more, go to www.papercouturedubai.blogspot.com or call 055 956 2789