Thursday, November 19, 2009

Elizabeth Kole - The PaperDoll Store

Today Gigs at Startups is interviewing

Elizabeth Kole - founder of The PaperDoll Store.

Elizabeth Kole
The PaperDoll Store
Founder & CEO

What is The PaperDoll Store?

The PaperDoll Store is a Chicago-based personalized stationery and invitation company. We create stationery, invitations, and personalized gifts for women of all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities. We are currently selling our products directly online at, as well as through vendors nationwide such as Babies R Us and Costco.

We celebrate the ability to customize figure and fashion by giving our customers the choice to participate in the magical creation of their product. Any of our illustrations can be placed on stationery, invitations, notepads...etc.

Why did you start The PaperDoll Store?
I started my company through my thesis at Boston University. The PaperDoll Store was built on my ideas about the customization of figure and fashion. My idea for an invitation and stationery company where people can customize their own products by using my illustrations materialized into The PaperDoll Store.

As a strong-minded Chicago gal- I was determined to directly turn my masters program into a vehicle for success. I am proud to be the founder of The PaperDoll Store because it is something that I created and something that I really believe in. Designed by a woman and run by a woman—we strive to empower all different types of women through fashion.

I noticed that in the stationery and invitation world, there were very few, if any, products geared towards women that were not Caucasian. This, as we know, is not a fair representation of our society. These designers and store-owners needed to get with the times!

Not only did I want to start-up a company that was fun and interactive for the consumer, I wanted to start something that MEANT something.

What is the best thing about working at The PaperDoll Store?
I have the freedom to do what I do best---be creative!

What kind of people do you think are best suited to work at startups?
It has to be the type of person who is not afraid to get their hands dirty. When working at a start-up you have to be familiar with every process of the company, whether you enjoy the task at hand or not! It takes people with patience and perseverance - who can withstand the stresses that come along with starting a new company. With that said--working at a startup can be one of the most fulfilling jobs there are. You get the chance to really see what it takes to grow a company from the bottom-up.

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