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Community Highlights: Meet Chelsea Shukov of Sugar Paper

Today we’d like to introduce you to Chelsea Shukov.

Hi Chelsea, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
During college at UCLA, I met Jamie Grobeckher (my co-founder). At the time, neither one of us were planning on starting a business and we both had such different career paths in mind. I was planning to work in entertainment and she was making plans to work in philanthropy.

I began working in a talent management agency and quickly realized that entertainment wasn’t the path for me. Jamie was having a hard time finding the right job for her which led us to explore creative outlets together. We quickly found letterpress printing and fell in love!

Our friends and loved ones heard through the grapevine that we had begun making beautiful paper goods and started to inquire about our printing services. This led to the start of Sugar Paper, which now has three retail stores in California in Brentwood Country Mart, in Newport Beach at Lido Marina, in San Francisco at the Marin Country Mart. We also have hundreds of wholesale accounts and partnerships with companies such as Paperless Post and Target.

We credit our success to our first clients because they became such champions of our brand, sharing Sugar Paper and referring us to influential people who helped get our message out into the world.

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
When it became clear we were being asked to close our stores for two weeks, we thought it was an impossible task and when it became several months, it seemed untenable. We learned how to make it work, setting up Curbside using our Dutch Door and offering curbside services. More than that, we watched the world embrace real in-person experiences once we reopened and we learned that the curation of products and environments are important to people’s wellbeing and happiness.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Sugar Paper?
Sugar Paper founders Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker were taught from a young age to appreciate the value of the hand-written note and the emotion it can evoke.

In 2003, they started tinkering with a letterpress and helping their friends put beautiful paper in the mail. As each bespoke piece was sent, more and more people inquired. So more and more stationery was made. At a time when the world was steadfastly headed online, they took a risk and stayed focused on building our business offline, making beautiful, tangible things by hand that would far outweigh anything in the digital space.

Today, Sugar Paper is found in thousands of stores in the United States and around the world, in shops big and small. Sugar Paper shops can be found in the historic Brentwood Country Mart beautiful Newport Beach, and Marin.

As they grow and branch out and expand the brand, the bespoke commitment that was put in place with those very first orders remains the foundation of their business.

We capture noteworthy moments so they can be tucked away and saved forever.

Do you have recommendations for books, apps, blogs, etc?
Books: Purple Cow by Seth Godin, Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown, Hug Your Customers by Jack Mitchell, How to Write a Letter by myself and my co-founder Jamie Grobecker

Podcasts: The Second Life by Hilary Kerr, Goop Podcast, Super Soul (Oprah), The E Myth, Hug Your Customers

Apps: Instagram, Color Story, Marco Polo

Contact Info:

Image Credits:

In house photographer: Joelle LeMercier

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