July 28, 2020
Tenacity Tales #01: Andrea Williams and Paisley Paper Co.

Leslie Youngblood

By Leslie Youngblood

Welcome to the debut of Tenacity Tales, our new series that highlights the grit and determination of owners and entrepreneurs all across America.

This month, we've tapped Andrea Williams, designer and creator of Paisley Paper Co.


What’s the obstacle that you’ve overcome that you’re most proud of?

I had a pop-up in Downtown Detroit for 7 weeks. I’d applied for it, thinking that I’d never get it. When I got the acceptance email, it was definitely an ‘OMG HOW AM I GOING TO DO THIS?!’ moment. I had no idea how I would be able to pull this off financially, inventory wise, employee wise.

Ultimately, I figured it out as I went along. And I’d say that it was still successful!

What do you know now that you wish you’d known then?

So much! I knew nothing about running a store, which is essentially what the pop-up was. If I had to do it again, I would have more defined financial goals. I would have spent more time training my employees. I definitely would have had more marketing campaigns to bring in more customers.


What’s your best advice to other small business owners?

Get your business legally set up in whatever way makes sense for you and your business. Then immediately get an accountant to set up your tax structure.

There’s so many other things you’ll need to do when starting a business, so take care of those foundational things first. That way, you can spend time working on your business instead of worrying about your business.

What’s a typical day like for you?

I work at my full time job from 9ish-5ish. Then I’ll usually go to my office after work to either fulfill orders, work on new product designs, or freelance projects.

Then I’ll go home and try to relax...but sometimes I’ll sketch or shoot off an email or two about work. I used to stay up late and now I’m in bed by 11, hopefully.


What’s next for Paisley Paper Co.?

I just launched a planner called the UNPLANNED PLANNER for people (like me) who are starting their planner journey. I’m really excited about it because it’s my first major product release. Other than that, I’m working on new stationery products to be released at the end of this year/early next year.

Fall/holiday is a busy time for craft shows, so I’m hoping I’ll be a vendor this year!


Want more from Andrea and Paisley Paper Co.?



Check out Andrea in Excelerate America's "Fitting In Is Overrated" panel of experts during National Small Business Week 2018. WATCH THE VIDEO. 

You might also be interested in these
4 Minutes
Tenacity Tales: The Coffee Shop Brewing Up Community Love and Belonging
Nestled in Bad Axe, Michigan, the state’s quiet thumb-area (population of less than 3,000), local favorite Emma’s Coffee House is flourishing like a big city star. In the middle of a pandemic no less.
3 Minutes
Retail Readiness for Christmas
Open since September 2018, Untied was a rare breed of merchant pre-Covid: an independent men’s shop selling lesser-known brands and accessories, its aesthetic more sit-for-a-while than next-in-line. Today, post-lockdown, the store remains a rarity: welcoming familiar – and new – faces, enjoying more good days than bad, and an owner-operator optimistic despite the looming holiday season.
3 Minutes
Stumped on Social Media? Use the ATACC Method
Social media is the most powerful marketing tool of our lifetime. It not only keeps people around the country and the globe connected, it’s also become a marketing machine. Brands everywhere can easily discover their target audience and reach them from the comfort of their own home and preferred platform.
3 minutes
Tenacity Tales: The Designer Inspired by Dogs and Cards Against Humanity
Faye Klein has produced award-winning graphics that span nearly every area of advertising and promotion for over 30 years. And while titles are surely nice, she’s not one to sit back and relish in accolades. In fact, she can’t stop finding new inspiration and side hustles.
Subscribe to our newsletter
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.