Case Study #1: Pressed Paper's (seemingly) Overnight 5-figure-month Success

All of these things are equally important in her story:

1. She 10x her revenue in three months, and had a five-figure month two months after that.

2. She has never had more fun creating and serving the customers she loves every day.

3. Her family is at the heart of it all.

When Sharon first reached out to me, I have to admit I was a little skeptical. She told me she loved calligraphy and invitations and design and pretty things, and when I scrolled through her feed...well, I wondered if we were the right fit! It looked like this:

Really different from my aesthetic!

But she was SO excited to work together that of course I jumped on a call with her. Her voice was--this is the perfect word to describe it--jovial. So jolly and happy and friendly.

We were cracking up the whole time and I knew we'd be able to create something incredible together.

And we started having calls. Sharon told me about how she quit her nursing career because she just didn't feel like the environment was right anymore. She got into nursing to take care of patients...and she didn't like how the focus was shifting away from that. Plus, she could feel that all of the overtime hours and expectations put on her were cutting into the time she wanted to be with her kids.

I felt my eyes well up with tears when she told me about a time where she had let her daughter down because she said she'd pick her up but she forgot because she was so busy at work and her daughter had been waiting for hours.

After that story, I knew that one of my biggest priorities for her right away was just time. I knew how much time I had put into building my own shop, Pilgrim & Co, and I kept thinking about how I would feel if my mom was putting in those kind of hours to building a business instead of spending time with her kids and grandkids.

"No," I said immediately in my mind. "That's not the way Sharon's going to spend her retirement."

Because I know that paper-making is seriously a LOT of labor. It's not necessarily difficult...although it is precise, it's just...time. So I knew that if Sharon was going to be successful, we needed to put systems in place that would allow her to grow quickly and support her. 

I encouraged her to seek out support and help right away. She made it happen.

We talked strategy to make sure that whatever she spent her time on was moving the needle forward.

But at the heart of it all was the storytelling for her brand.

And I knew what that needed to be. But I heard Sharon on the other side of the phone, "no one wants to see or hear me! I'm an old grandma. No one wants that."

And then me, "but Sharon. Do you know how many people need the heart and the love that you give? How many people scroll through their Instagram and feel like they're not enough? They need someone like you. Someone who is generous, kind, and honest. Instagram needs more people like you." 

 

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And so she started showing up more. And she started fine-tuning her products and services. Everyone was falling in love with her paper. So soft, pillowy, and wonderful. She got her products into the right hands. 

And we told her warm-hearted beautiful story in images.

But most of all, by embracing her voice, Sharon is soul running (that's my term for when what you truly feel and believe on your inside matches what you're putting out into the world on your outside. When there's no obscurity between what you do and why you do it. No obscurity between what you wish you could do and the confidence that you are on the path to get there.).

By the end of working together, Sharon had 10x her revenue. Then on the phone the other day, she told me she had had her first five-figure month.

And she is unstoppable.

Read her side of things here.

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Photography by Christine Gosch

Featured design work by Mishku Studios