Card Designer Spotlight x Yeppie Paper

The Card Designer Spotlight is a series featuring independent makers whose greeting cards you can find in Paper Source stores.  Meet and be inspired by a new designer every month on our blog!

Jim & Jen are the brother-sister duo of Yeppie Paper that took an entrepreneurial leap into the greeting card world. Taking the word ‘Yeppie’ from their South Korean heritage, the brand translates to “cutie paper” which perfectly pairs with their playful card collection.

 

How did you begin your card-making career?

In 2013, I had recently left my job in interior design and felt the itch to do something creative where I could apply my love of painting and drawing. Having always been a fan of stationery and paper goods, I soon realized that greeting cards would be the perfect way to share my illustrations on a product that people could actually use. I discussed my idea with my oldest brother, Jim, and to my delight and surprise, he was interested in partnering up. Together, we launched Yeppie Paper in 2014 with a healthy dose of fearless optimism and a lot of hard work as we tried to navigate the greeting card world and small business ownership for the first time.

 

 

Where do you draw inspiration from? Food? Pop Culture? Timeless Motifs? Playful Puns?

I’m inspired by so many things. As a life-long animal lover, I like to depict animals in our products doing things that come naturally to them, but that humans can relate to as well. For example, a hamster stuffing its cheeks with a birthday cupcake, or a pair of beavers building a dam like newlyweds starting a new life together. My kids and their revolving interests inspire me as well. Because of them, I’ve made cards with unicorns, rainbows, caterpillars, butterflies, planets, leopards and cheetahs, just to name a few! I’m also inspired by my friends and family because they have good taste – haha – and I strive to create cards that are playful in a sophisticated way.

 

 

What does your day look like as a cardmaker?

No two days are the same – besides my morning coffee! My brother and I don’t have any official employees, which means we both wear ALL the hats in running our business. He handles the inventory, packaging and order fulfillment side of things, as well as sales rep relations and bookkeeping. That allows me the space to develop new products (we have three new releases per year that add about 40-60 new designs in total), maintain and update our product listings on our websites, and handle ongoing marketing and outreach efforts. My to-do list changes depending on the time of year.

 

Currently, I’m deep in “production mode”, which means I’m painting and working on Photoshop and Illustrator everyday. I binge podcasts (usually true-crime) and listen to music as I work. In the late afternoon, I shift gears and pick up my kids from school and ask them a million questions about how their days were. We eat dinner together, slowly get ready for bedtime, and after they’re asleep, my husband and I will relax on the couch and ideally watch a show together.

 

 

What is your preferred medium?

All of our products start with a hand-painted illustration. I use gouache on paper. Gouache is an opaque watercolor with strong pigment and is great for layering and fine detail. I also use ink pens to hand-letter a lot of the text on our cards and stickers.

 

 

What does your creative process look like?

I have a big sketchbook where I keep running lists of ideas for new cards and stickers. Each new release includes a variety of “everyday” categories (birthdays, congratulations, thank you, sympathy, etc), as well as seasonal holidays depending on the time of year. I sketch out certain ideas that I’d like to develop further, and from there I fine tune the illustrations and paint. I scan the final artwork onto my computer and do a little bit of clean up and color correction on Photoshop, then I’ll finish up the design on Illustrator and get it print-ready. At various points along the way, I realize I need to get out of my own head, so I’ll show my brother what I’m working on to get his feedback. He’s a really creative and clever person with great ideas and will often help me out when I’m feeling stuck.

 

 

What are you most proud of as a creator and card designer?

My brother and I had zero business experience prior to starting our company, and we managed to figure things out through sheer determination. The fact that over 500 stores domestically and abroad have embraced Yeppie Paper still blows my mind. Oftentimes, it can feel pretty isolating to sit in my home studio, making something that I’m not sure people will like. But for almost ten years, customers and shop owners have consistently ordered products from us and I feel so grateful for the opportunity to share my art with them.

We’re also proud that, since 2020, we’ve donated 100% of proceeds from our Surprise Packs and Abortion Rights stickers to causes that are important to us, like Direct Relief, Everytown for Gun Safety, and The National Network of Abortion Funds. This year, we are donating to Our House Grief Support Center, an LA-based non-profit that provides grief support to adults, teens, and children.

 

 

Any fun facts? Interesting hobbies outside of card designing?

A fun fact about Yeppie Paper is that we’re truly a family business! Our parents moved down to Los Angeles from the Bay Area to be closer to us after they retired. They package thousands of our cards in the comfort of their home and we would be drowning without their help. Jim and I live only minutes apart from each other and his converted garage doubles as our warehouse and fulfillment center. We have a brother in between us named Bobby, who lives with his wife and kids in Orange County… and as the honorary third (silent) partner of Yeppie Paper, he’s always one of the first to “like” our social media posts!

On the weekends, my husband and I love to explore different parts of Los Angeles and Southern California with our kids, such as scenic hikes, local beaches and parks. We have a 13-year-old dog named Royce (that I love to refer to as my first child) who joins us on our little adventures.

 

 

Find Yeppie Paper’s Porcupine Balloons Birthday Card, Building Your New Life Wedding Card, and Ring of Fire Encouragement Card at your local store or online at papersource.com. For more inspiration and behind-the-scenes action, follow yeppiepaperjen on IG.

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