No idea what it is? I don't blame you. It's a company I started a few years ago when I started selling my hand made greeting cards at art fairs (like this one, the Millbrae Art and Wine Festival in 2002).
It was a huge deal for me. Ever since I was a kid, I've always thought that I'm all left brain and have no artistic talents whatsoever. The last art class I took was probably when I was in 6th grade, where I had to beg my mom to make me something so I wouldn't fail.
So when I discovered by chance a few years ago that the creative part of my brain was alive and well, and I've got this inexplicable affinity (addiction) to paper, which inspires me to create beautiful things that people would actually pay money to buy (what a novel concept), it was like a long-dormant light bulb suddenly went on inside me. I was full of passion and dreams to pursue a life in the arts. I thought I was done being a ho-hum pharmacist.
Let's just say that I'm glad I didn't quit my day job. Reality was I had no idea how to run a business, I didn't know where to go from there, and most of all, I didn't realize it would be so hard to take criticism for my work that I thought represented who I was.
In time, difficulties accumulated, my "real life" took over, and Paper Elixir sadly devolved in neglect. I still remember the day I had to turn in my resale license since I wasn't doing business anymore, I was in tears.
But as Forrest Gump would say, life is like a box of chocolate- you never know what you're gonna get...
Just as Paper Elixir is fading away as a long-forgotten dream, my friend Rita (Picasso's mommy) glanced over at my craft table one day and said, "Wow, you made all these cards? I'd be interested to see what you can make for my store."
What?! Selling Paper Elixir cards in a real store? (Rita owns a beautiful boutique home store in Oakland called Make My Day) It would be beyond my wildest dream! And it couldn't have been a better match- her store exudes warmth and beauty in their choices of furnishings and accessories made out of rich woods and exotic natural elements, all with a hand made quality to them. Plus, Bryson loves hanging out there so he can play with Picasso, or mess with his toys and eat all his treats when he's not around.
And from this initial discussion and tons of support and encouragement (mucho gracias to Rita and Brian), born the first Paper Elixir Holiday Line, now commercially available exclusively at Make My Day! Yippee!
It is a very small collection, just to try out the market, plus I've been so overwhelmed with my day job I hardly had time to make these cards (and for that, I have to thank my husband for burning the midnight oil with me being my trusty paper-cutter-and-folder).
But it represents a brand new beginning that has rekindled a very small flame in a long-lost passion. I can't deny, there's still fear, and there's still uncertainty. Honestly, I still don't know where I'll take Paper Elixir yet (or rather, where it'll take me), but for now, I'm just full of excitement and anticipation as I deliver my first batch of cards to Make My Day. They'll hit shelves the day after Thanksgiving. Wish me luck.