how she did it

Case Studies // “Having an online busine...

“Having an online business gives me the flexibility to work when I can and at any hour”

Karen Bullard owns Paper Fancy, an online stationery and gift boutique.  There site is

Read Karen’s story below.

What does your business do?

Paper Fancy is an online stationery and gift boutique, we have the best invitations, announcements and personalized gifts such as serving platters, cell phone cases, clipboards.  Our site is

What made you decide to start your own business?

With an interior design degree and a love of illustration, I wanted to stay in a creative field while raising my children.  Having an online business gives me the flexibility to work when I can and at any hour.

What have been your biggest challenges so far?

Finding a healthy balance between family and work.  I tend to be rather compulsive and want to work on my site and tweak my products a lot.  I also keep finding so many great designers that I have a hard time limiting those that I choose.  So much talent out there!

How did you overcome these challenges?

I have had to make sure the boundary between my office and home life was strong.  I try to keep my laptop in my home studio and stop my work day once my children arrive home from school.  I also work a lot in the carpool line or waiting during gymnastics, etc.  My Verizon hot spot has been a life saver.  I choose designers and lines based on quality of product and customer service.  Having had my own stationery line, Karen Cole paper, for years I tend to know most of the companies personally that I showcase.

What advice or tips would you give to other business owners?

Not that I’m an expert at time management at all but I have found that small business owners and especially those working from home tend to have trouble not just working all the time.  My advice is to find a balance so that we’re not short changing ourselves or our families.  Have set working hours and set family (or you) time.

What’s your favourite quote?

Do what you love, love what you do.

Who inspires you?

My mom –she worked full-time when I was growing up, cooked home made meals every night and cleaned the entire house once a week. Not something I would ever aspire to.   I have household help and a hubby who does almost half of the childcare duties.

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