It’s almost a decade since Michelle Farrington (L) and Lama Perin (R) sat down and created a detailed 10-year business plan for their then fledgling designer stationery and partyware range, Paper Eskimo.
Since then, the talented duo have conquered the world with their sweet range of paper designs, which are now stocked in stores worldwide. The coveted range is loved across the globe by home party-planners to event stylists and cooking professionals alike – from Australia’s own Donna Hay to the Queen’s baker in the United Kingdom.
Despite reaching the heady heights of success, only recently have these paper party princesses come to understand how much people around the world love their whimsical designs and creations. When Lama and Michelle attended the Taste of Sydney show early 2013, the impact of their creations finally hit home.
Among the throng of well-wishers and Paper Eskimo fans was a mum who told how her daughter, now aged nine, has celebrated each birthday milestone from the age of four with a Paper Eskimo-styled party.
“We’re thrilled we get to play a part in creating magical moments in people’s lives, which they then cherish for years to come,” adds Lama. “Paper Eskimo celebrates that warm feeling you get from sharing those special moments with loved ones.”
The pair have come a long way since they first met and began collaborating on a range of designer stationery and partyware, that is now transforming the way people style their own occasions.
Their first collection began with eight varieties of birthday invitations and gift tags, which Lama and Michelle would then collate and pack by hand, and has since grown to establishing production offshore.
In that time, Lama and Michelle have also attended countless trade shows, and in 2007 they attended the New York Stationery Show for the first time and were showcased on the cover of the show’s national magazine.
With Paper Eskimo building enormous momentum, Lama and Michelle stopped working as freelance designers in 2008 to focus full-time on the business, and within two years of committing everything they had, they were turning over a six figure sum.
In 2012, Paper Eskimo was officially launched into the United States at the New York International Gift Fair, and following an overwhelming response, Lama and Michelle cemented their plans to take on the North American market.
While continuing to be stocked in stores across Australia and the world, Lama and Michelle are ramping up Paper Eskimo’s online presence. This creative partnership is looking forward to being able to talk online and face to face with their loyal customers and fans. This year the duo were guest presenters at Kara Allen’s Party Ideas National Australian Tour. Recently branded as the ‘new’ Martha Stewart of the party world, Kara is recognized for her incredible capacity to think outside the box.
Lama and Michelle are now looking forward to taking the next step in their exciting adventure, and are starting to plan another wonderful 10 years of Paper Eskimo. Their pin board includes more innovative designs and products including collaborations with major brand names.
Whatever the future holds for this luxe brand, one thing is certain - what began with their million dollar ideas and just a budget of $5000 has evolved into a paper empire.
And this is just the beginning…