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Lemons to lemonade feature: Karen Bullard

Saturday, November 15, 2008
Today begins our 30 day "lemons to lemonade" marathon. Karen Bullard of karen cole paper and karen cole design started her business in 2004 while staying at home with her two children, a daughter who is 10 and a 6 year old son.

Karen cole paper is a lifestyle collection of stationery and paper products. Perceiving a void in the marketplace for sophisticated yet fun invitations, Karen wanted to create stylish but whimsical paper products for all occasions. In designing, Karen draws inspiration from her favorite things; beautiful fabrics, nature and her family. She relies on such style influences as art, vintage textiles, her interior design background and many others.

Her images are all hand-drawn, original colored pencil illustrations and professionally printed onto the highest quality paper. They retail for $12.00 for a box of 10 notecards and $13.00 for a box of 10 imprintables. Karen's products have been featured in many publications and catalogs, including Giftware News, Party & Paper, Baby & Kids and Greetings etc. Her clients include Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts. Here is her story...

How has this economy affected you, your business and your family?
Our stock portfolio has definitely suffered and my business has slowed down a lot. I’m continuing to plug away and find ways to cut back on over spending.

How are you making lemonade from lemons?

I decided to grow the karen cole brand by licensing my artwork to other manufacturers; home d├ęcor companies, rubber stamp companies, textile companies, etc. in order to make more revenue for the business and make ‘karen cole’ a stronger brand. I am also exhibiting at the Atlanta AmericasMart in January 2009 for the first time.

Any encouraging words you would like to offer mom entrepreneurs?

Right now is a very hard time for most businesses. Just hang in there, look straight ahead at your goal, try not to get sidetracked by what your competition is doing and keep doing what you love. Also, I have found that being flexible is key.

For more information about Karen, her company or her products, visit http://www.karencolepaper.com/, http://www.karencoledesign.com/ or http://www.karencolepaper.blogspot.com/.