Tell us a little about you…
Brooke grew up in Southern California and recalls spending most of her teenage years in art supply and stationery stores. Brooke started her career in graphic arts, designing and then managing an in-house creative team at an entertainment company in Los Angeles.
She moved to New York in 2006 for a change of pace and landed the perfect job as a sales executive at a luxury wedding invitation and stationery studio. Brooke met the love of her life and now hubby, Michael, in the Big Apple. Their equal passion for music, design, and good food—along with their entrepreneurial spirits—immediately connected the two.
If you could have one character trait of your partner’s which would it be and why?
From Michael: I would love to have Brooke’s organization skills. I’ve picked up a few tricks over the years, but I know she is the queen of coordination. Nothing falls through the cracks with her, and she won’t quit until things are done right. This is usually a rare trait in creative people, but Brooke is solid both creatively and administratively.
From Brooke: My husband has a natural ability to communicate and connect with anybody in any setting. He also has a way of being cordially assertive―meaning he can nicely tell anyone exactly how he feels. Overall, he’s a great conversationalist, and I admire that.
Tell us about your company, Paper and Home?
Paper and Home is a graphic design studio and retail boutique specializing in ready-to-order and couture invitations, announcements, fine stationery items, and gifts for all occasions. We provide beautiful keepsake pieces for life’s most celebrated moments. Paper and Home was founded in 2010 by husband and wife duo, Michael Coxen and Brooke Coxen. Together with their phenomenal team, they aim to spread cheer—every day, every year.
One of the main paper product for any wedding is the invitation itself. What else do you advice a new bride-to-be to include in their paper product purchase?
If you have a good amount of guests travelling, it’s best to send a save the date. This gives them a formal “heads up” that they should begin making travel arrangements. Additionally, we always encourage our clients to accessorize their wedding day with stationery—ceremony programs, escort cards, and menu cards. These items are going to be in your photos and video forever, so you’ll want them to look beautiful and professional. Lastly, be sure to order nice thank you notes. A very popular idea is doing a thank you note that incorporates a wedding photo and design elements from your invitations and accessories. At Paper and Home, we offer our clients savings if they sign up for their accessories along with their invitations. It cuts down our design time and pass those savings along to our clients. Plus, they can check those little details off their list early, and not have to worry about it as the wedding day approaches.
What made your product really take off?
Service. Yes, we believe we have some of the most beautiful designs available, but our success boils down to our exceptional service. Everyone on our team loves what they do and it shows. Our clients come to us to create something special, and our team recognizes that. We deliver exactly what the client desires, we never say no, and we always make the design process fun and collaborative.
Hopes for future? (business and life)
We will be expanding our team this year to make our process more efficient—meaning faster turnaround times for our clients. We’re also adding a “ready-to-order” album to our offerings, which is a curated collection of our most popular custom designs. Clients will be able to mix and match elements from the album to create their invitations. It’s a very affordable way to get a luxurious invitation.
There are many aspiring entrepreneurs out there who are trying to take it their passion and ideas to the next level. What is one piece of advice you would give to them based on your own experiences and successes?
Focus on service. It’s the second time we’ve emphasized that, but that just goes to show how important it is. No idea is original, and you don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel to be successful. The best way to stand out is to go above and beyond what your clients ask of you. To quote Tony Hseih, CEO of Zappos, “wow is a verb.” Do whatever it takes to wow your clients and they’ll remember it forever.
4555 S. Fort Apache Road
Spread Cheer… Every Day, Every Year
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