Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Custom Cool Rugs

Since purchasing my new house that has hardwood floors I have discovered and become obsessed with beautiful rugs. I have found them to be the foundation for every room and not unlike diamonds, they have a rating and pricing system all their own. If I were to think about a translation of Lucy's vibrant water colors from Hampton Paper into a carpet, then I think Custom Cool Rugs would be a a great match. Located in Quogue, NY I have seen their ad many times in Hamptons Magazine and in my pursuit to find the perfect rug for my kids computer room I jumped on their web site and have ever since become obsessed. I am kicking myself for not stopping by in person when I was up in Quogue in late July. I am already planning my next trip to see these beauties in person. I think I have made my decision. Can you guess my favorite?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Little Company that Could, Just Did, TODAY!

We are jumping up and down (literally) at HPD HQ today. We are thrilled that our new Small Round Stickers have been selected by Jill Martin to be featured in her Fun Finds under $50.00. TODAY is indeed a great day.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Etsy Before and After

As long as I am sharing my before and after photos, I might as well point our some changes I was able to make on our Etsy site. The bottom two "before" and really should be called the "in between photos". (What was listed before was even more dreadful!) I had read my camera manual and started to update the photos with ones taken with out a flash but I hadn't had my lesson yet. I also started moving everything to the same white background to create cohesion and simplicity. The site appears much more relaxing and less busy. What do you think about the changes?

If you havent visited our Etsy store before please take a look! Typically this is where I list new items when they first come out. Also you can find some great deals like our inventory sale.

Etsy site after some of the photos were updated.
Etsy site before photos were updated. Flash photography was used and the ones that didnt have a flash are muddy and grey.

Another Before Shot - so embarrassing. Look at the background on some of these. Uggh.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


 If you read my blog regularly you may have notice I have missed a few days. I apologize. If you
havent ever written a blog, its a ton of work...especially for me because I try to take my own photos  and not use stock ones. There is actually a reason for my absence.... I had a goal of August 31, 2012 to get all my house projects done. Yep, it included more landscaping, having the driveway repaved, music wiring inside and outside, furniture, re-upholstery, lamps, built-ins, carpet, hardwood floors for the basement the list seems to go on and on! We are 2 weeks out from my deadline and its been mass chaos to say the least. On the bright side, a lot it getting done and I am pretty sure I am going to meet my goal! Here is a sneak peak of a few "before" photos.
In my old house I had a beautiful Milling Road by Baker Armour for my TV. I had to get a new TV and the new styles dont fit in the old cabinets anymore. So we temporarily used the bottom of the cabinet for the TV until we completed the built in. They installed it on Saturday -wait till you see the transformation!
I told you we had a Red Room of Pain (LOL!). All kidding aside the previous owners loved this color red. You may remember  it was also the color of my kitchen. They used this room as a movie theater. We used it as a play room but in all honesty without windows, no one really went back there so we decide to tear down the walls. Seriously its not possible to get a good photo with that color!!!

We are loosing 2 good closets that I had elpha shelving in. I am bummed.

I hope you can see the other room from here - Seafoam green. Restoration Harware circa 2000 I think. The carpets are getting ripped up on  Saturday and replaced with 5 inch wide hardwood floors.
 These pics are terrible. I was rushing  bc I almost forgot to take them. Aldo was getting ready to start tearing down the walls.  The exercise bike hasnt been used in 4-5 years. If I could move it, I would get it out to the curb!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Fold Over Note Cards - Added to Inventory Sale!

More items added to our inventory sale including some fold over note cards. The cards are 8 per pack and are on sale for $10.00 on Etsy this week. The cards measure 5 1/2 by 4 1/2. They are blank in side making them great for any occasion. I have a client to puts them on top of birthday gifts as a little something extra! That's a great idea. I use these as hostess gifts too as note cards are always something a good hostess can use!

  • Party Hats with Orange Envelopes
  • Tennis Raquet with Yellow Envelopes
  • Cupcake with Yellow Envelopes
  • Orange Whale with Orange Envelopes
  • Ballet Slippers with Pink Envelopes
  • Pink Bunny with Purple Envelopes
  • Hearts with Pink Envelopes
  • Purple Horse with White Envelopes
  • Pink Cell Phone with Pink Envelopes
  • Tomato with White Envelopes
  • Lemon with White Envelopes
  • Blue Bunny with Blue Envleopes
  • Red Race Car with Red Envelopes

Friday, August 10, 2012

Yes, We Do! Inventory Sale Continues

I received a number of emails yesterday asking if we had any holiday gift enclosures included in the inventory sale. Yes we do! Buy 2 holiday gift enclosures and get the 3rd free.
Images available include:
Small Wreath (top left), Stocking, Menorah, Stars, Large Wreath with Holly, Tree with Lights & Tree with Garland.
Each pack contains 8 flat cards and white envelopes. 3 packs for $20.00
Available on Etsy here or our web site here (please add 2 non personalized holiday gift enclosures to your card and just specify the 3rd image in the notes section.)

Stocking. The detail on the items in the stocking is fabulous!

Large Wreath with Holly - Bestseller!
Tree with Garland (my favorite!)


Small Wreath with Lights

Tree with Lights

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Inventory Sale

We have a lot of changes going on in August one of which is a make over of our Hampton Paper Studio. Take advantage of our inventory sale on Etsy. I just added our best selling gift enclosures. Buy 2 and get the 3rd Free. Packs include 8 cards and white envelopes. Mix and match images. They are great to keep on hand this school year for kids birthday parties. You know once school starts you are going to be on the birthday party circuit again!

Order on Etsy here or on our web site here. On our web site, just add 2 non personalized gift enclosures to your basket and let us know which 3 images from the list below you prefer.  

Note: Buy 2 get the 3rd free only applies to images noted here.

More invenetory sales items avail tomorrow!
Image Options: Party Hats, Whale, Bee, Wagon, Boat, Red Race Car, Cupcake, Blue Carriage, Blue Elephant, Flamingo, Ballet Slippers, Pink Present, Giraffe.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This Is So Embarrassing....

When I founded Hampton Paper in 2007, I had an idea to create a stationery line that offer classic images often in unexpected colors on all the products in our portfolio. It began as an idea when I was trying to find calling cards for my son Jackson. I had no idea what it would lead too.

What I have discovered is that running a small business requires that I wear many hats. Many of the hats I am required to wear are tied to a "job" that I am totally not qualified for. Let me explain...

Through the years, I have hired many consultants to help fill in the gaps, social media, marketing, photography, product placement, branding experts etc. Feedback in one area has always been consistent.. "you need better photos". I do have some professionally taken photos on my site but given the number of products we offer, with potential combinations and the new images we roll out monthly and the new products, keep up with the demand is, well, impossible not to mention expensive.

So I did what any entrepreneur on a small budget would do, I took some photos myself. The were not well received by the above mentioned consultants. They need to be "Styled", "Brighter" "Crisper" etc.
(I was frustrated and crushed - what I had done amounted to hours of work and I really didn't understand what was wrong with them....)

I started doing some research- I watched the Canon Rebel how to video I purchased 5 years ago. Very helpful. I looked at a few web sites and blogs on photography including Etsy. I purchased photography "how to" guides from Etsy vendors. Truth be told it's a lot of information but little content about what to do. (I found it equivalent to trying to lose weight and a recommendation of "eat better". ummm how? please S-P-E-L-L it out?- dumb it down for us amateurs) Mostly, they all say the same thing - "Turn off the Flash". What? I just purchased a $400 new flash for more light. Turn it off? Then what? How do you get photos that are not too dark?

I consulted a few photographer friends. "Turn off the Flash!!" they too exclaimed. They got technical with me.... Take photos in "TV", "AV" or "Manual". HUH? I tried. I took photos. I got better. I started to like the photos. I hired a photographer for a lesson. Priceless money spent. There was only so far I could go on my own. Now, a grey card and two new lenses later I am on my way. Here are a few photos from my lesson. In all honesty, it was a matter of making a few changes to my settings and having the right lenses. The right lenses enabled me to get that "professional" feel including clear crisp close ups and ones that blur the background.

Here is what I purchased:

Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.8 II Auto focus Lens
Canon Telephoto EF 100mm f/2.8 USM Macro Auto focus Lens

I noticed great improvement. Now see what was wrong with my flash photos. I am cringing and am so embarrassed.

If I was writing recommendation on taking better photographs, I would say:
1. Turn off Flash
2. Take photos in "M" manual mode
3. Read your instruction manual
4. Once you get a basic understanding, hire someone to come help you for a few hours. I got a great lesson, 3 hours for only $200.00
5. Invest in a few new lenses include a macro that will let you get that close up shot and one that will enable a "blurred" back ground.
6. Practice

Here are a few photos I took with the photographer.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Mistakes Were Made

Do you remember my Back To School Party last year? Well it was such a huge success I am planning another one for my younger son Jackson who starts kindergarten this year. My theme is "Class of 2025". I made a HUGE mistake last year and waited until August to get the supplies for the party. I had to go from store to store looking for the items on my list as most places were sold out by early Aug. I learned from my mistakes and hit Target in July as soon as these goodies hit the shelves. I scored great prices on them as well. We'll keep you posted on our progress. If you are planning a back to school party - send us a note. We would love to help!

Crayons were .77 each at Target Bargain!

Compositon Notebooks .70 each. I will add a Class of 2025 sticker on the front with the Graduation Cap.

I opted for glue sticks this year - I guess the regular glue is a bit dated!

Markers were only $1.00. I actually buy extra of the markers and crayons at these great prices and keep them around to grab quickly for road trips. 

The Rulers were the most difficult to find last year in Aug. Sold out everywhere! These were only .52 at Target. Totally great price.