There aren't many new paper designs being introduced into the market every year. Lots of reasons for that. The cost of paper has risen, printing has gotten a little pricy and the profit is getting squeezed by the number of people involved in the selling part. Now what does that have to do with me?
The reality for me as a retailer is that my choices are then more limited. Sometimes a "universal appeal" type design doesn't make our criteria as strong design. That doesn't mean its bad- it just means we may not chose it. I can't blame the manufacturers. They look for the Safe Bet- that has the best chance of a broad appeal.
But that doesn't always solve my yearning for a strong design.
So we went a step farther and created our own paper. Custom designs by local designers. Then found a local printer so we could get the price we needed and can stand behind the quality.
In addition to boasting of our own line of paper we also have some ulterior motives.
We are committed to local designers and artists who wouldn’t otherwise have exposure or an opportunity to launch a retail product. We also want to “export” the unique designs of the region and found a unique way to do that no one else had: custom wrapping paper products.
Wrapping paper has its own design parameters and none of our designers had ever taken up this design challenge. We think it brings a fresh approach.
To date our designers include a breast cancer survivor just reentering the workforce; an African American automotive designer looking to branch into a new industry, and most recently a local jewelry and fashion designer and entrepreneur- Denise Ilitch.
As we look ahead we see many ways to continue highlighting and supporting the creativity of our region. Additional designers could include students from the many educational organizations with roots in automotive design (College for Creative Studies) or architecture (Cranbrook) or the fine arts community. Other designs might feature Detroit’s historical roots such as architecture, Motown, some of the earliest car designs, or a cityscape with different Detroit landmarks, and something to identify the region as an international border.
But always we will look first and foremost for good design that will translate into great paper. The end result is something that you won't find any where else.
I guarantee that.
Lisa’s Gift Wrappers is located at 28834 Woodward Avenue (1 block south of 12 Mile), Royal Oak., MI 48067. More info at 248-547-9094 and at www.lisasgiftwrappers.com