Emma Kim | Founder of Paper Panduh
Q: We'd love to know your story! How did you get started?
How did you get to where you are today? What are you most proud of?
A: Paper Panduh started in 2014 as hobby of posting crafting supplies on Instagram out of pure boredom! I had recently got diagnosed with a chronic illness called Lupus. In short, it’s when your own body attacks itself. It had caused me to get extremely bed ridden. Hence, being bored at home! I started my Instagram account as Paper Panduh and within 6 months it had grown to 10k followers. I eventually created a website due to my followers asking me to sell my items. I had just graduated college and had $300 in my bank account. With the push of my mom, I decided to buy $300 worth of stationery supplies to create my shop! I said to her, “What if I don’t sell anything?” She replied, “Then you have $300 worth of things you love!” The rest is history from there! I currently run Paper Panduh full time with my husband “Mister Panduh”. We now not only have our online shop, but created a planner subscription box called the Panduh Box, and most recently just launched 2 retail shop fronts!
Q: What has been the most rewarding phase of your career?
A: It’s hard for me to pick a specific phase of my career. Our mission at Paper Panduh is to share our business and life through social media to inspire others to live a life they love as well. Whenever we receive messages from our supporters that they started their passion project or went after the life they dreamed of because they they have followed our journey…it reminds me that this is why we do what we do. The reward of reading those messages is more than I ever imagined creating this little business of ours.
Q: What do you do for inspiration? Do you ever hit creative roadblocks and how do you overcome them? A: Of course I hit creative roadblocks! Whenever I hit a creative roadblock, I love getting out of the house to find my inspiration. Sometimes I’ll find my inspiration through nature at the beach or in my favorite retail shops! Anthropology never seems to fail me for inspiration! If I’m feeling a little lazy, I’ll scroll through Pinterest or Instagram.
Q: Who has been the most inspirational person in my life and at what stage?
A: The most inspirational person is my life is definitely my mom! I grew up watching her be the bad ass business woman she is. She had owned her own retail business since before I was born. Growing up alongside her has taught me everything I know about owning my own business. I knew how to use a cash register by the time I was 5! It has been an absolute blessing having such a supportive family.
Q: What advice would you give someone wanting to pursue a career similar to yours?
A: First, I tell my clients to make sure you are truly passionate about stationery because you will be spending A LOT of time building your new business! You have to make sure you really love it! Second, contact someone who has pursued that type of career already and ask for help. It will save you hours of research and time. I personally do small business coaching if you have any questions about launching your stationery shop!
Q: What are your top self care routines?
A: Putting myself first before my business has been a game changer! My morning routine has saved my sanity. I wake up, pray and workout first thing in the morning, spend time with my husband, and cook and nutritious breakfast! Another self care business tip
*Keep your phone on Do Not Disturb and don’t check your emails on your phone until AFTER your morning routine!*
Q: What is the most challenging part about what you do?
A: I would say keeping up with the trends has been pretty challenging. It’s a never ending cycle of making consistent new products. The stationery (specifically the planner community) community launches items at a very fast pace. It gets a little tiresome, but don’t get me wrong I love it!