Chelsea Shukov and Jamie Grobecker have a passion for creating personal stationery that makes a deep, lasting impression. It works: Their company, Sugar Paper — a name that resonates sweet and simple — has a distinctive style that has caught the attention of celebrities like Jennifer Garner, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zac Efron and Reese Witherspoon. It's also won them an exclusive holiday collection at Target.
Launched in 2003, Sugar Paper is now carried in more than 800 stores worldwide, including Harrods, proving that the art of handwritten notes is still very much alive in the digital age. In fact, according to Global Industry Analysts, the global market for stationery products is expected to exceed $234 billion by 2024, with millennials outnumbering boomers when it comes to buying personal stationery and notebooks.
"Everybody told us, in this age of email, 'How is this going to prosper?' And especially in 2003, it was really the surge of the internet. Most people were saying, 'You're going in the wrong direction. This isn't going to work.' But what we found was the opposite. What we make is valued more in the digital age," said Shukov, who claims that Sugar Paper's luxury feel is what draws clients and drives revenue.
Numbers tell the story: Company-wide revenue has more than doubled over the last five years, and online sales continue to experience double-digit growth rates since the launch of their online site, with 2017 expected to be 25 percent higher than the prior year. The company now has 40 employees and just opened its second brick-and-mortar store, in Newport Beach, California, which exceeded financial projections within the first 90 days.