If you enjoy surprising people with beautiful cards and you're an animal lover, then you should check out Holly Havnaer's Etsy shop A Paper Affaire.
Holly crafts cards for any occasion from her home studio in Seattle, Washington. She's been on Etsy since 2011 and I was thrilled to discover her cards in 2014.
I've purchased all kinds of cards from her: Christmas, Hanukkah, Anniversary, Thank You, and any occasion blank cards. Her cards cost the same as cards you'd buy at Target or the grocery store or pharmacy, but hers are unique and handmade with love.
Many of my recipients have commented on how charming and whimsical my card selections are. Holly makes me look like amazingly thoughtful.
Halloween Cards and Treat Bags
I buy cards a few times a year. I truly appreciate being able to sit at home in my PJs, coffee mug in hand, and shop for birthday cards, holiday cards, and thank you notes all at once. The fact that I can usually find everything I'm looking for from one Etsy shop is a testament to Holly's creativity.
She's constantly updating her inventory. She'll put together different color and paper combinations, add a bit of ribbon or baker's twine, and stamp thoughtfully. If you see paper or colors you like and want them combined in different ways, or you have a special request, she'll do custom orders too.
Holiday Cards Featuring Pets
All of the cards I've received over the years have been packaged with care. Nothing has ever gotten bent or damaged. A sentiment I cannot extend to every Etsy shop I've ever purchased from.
When I first discovered Etsy in 2014, I bought cards from several different shops. I found one other shop where the cards had the same quality as Holly's. Good quality paper. Handmade with attention to detail. Shipped carefully. While I enjoy the cards from that other shop, the owner rarely changes up her inventory. I don't want to give the same birthday card to friends year after year.
Whenever I visit A Paper Affaire, there are new designs because Holly has a true passion for what she creates.
Holly keeps her cards organized with various categories, so quickly finding what you want is easy. And many people find what they want. She's closing in on 5,000 sales. And she boasts 2,089 reviews with an average five-star rating. Woot!
Thank You Cards for Pet Sitters or Dog Walkers
And I love Holly's story about starting and naming her shop.
A friend made the suggestion to Holly that she should sell her cards on Etsy. While she resisted the idea for a bit, she ultimately discussed the idea with her husband, who gave her the inspiration and push to open her own small business.
Another friend of hers made the comment that Holly was "having an affair with paper" and the name stuck.
Pet Sympathy Cards
In her Etsy shop description, Holly refers to their two dalmatians Dee Dee and Dexter as her muses and assistants. She has a picture of the two pups curled up together in their dog bed in her studio as she works. They're the sweetest looking duo!
Sadly, Dee Dee and Dexter, who were siblings, and Luna, their cat for 16 years, passed away last year within ten and a half months of one another. I cannot even imagine losing three pets within a year. Holly says she's doing better even though she still misses them. As someone who has lost beloved pets and companions, I completely empathize.
I asked her if she could share any pet anecdotes.
Her response, "My little girl was crafty, too."
Dee Dee got into Holly's stash of ribbons. Holly figured it out when she saw Dee Dee throwing up something bright green. Over the next few days, Dee Dee's doggy doo contained some colorful patterns. Her husband would ask "Are you missing something orange with polka dots?" or "Are you missing something with red stripes?" They figured that Dee Dee had eaten six spools of ribbon!
Anniversary or I Love You Cards
Holly does make cards without pets or cute critters. Her stamp and punch collection is vast, so you can find cards with leaves, flowers, campers, bicycles, coffee cups, martinis, and so much more. I'm just loving her doggy cards right now. I'll have to see what she else creates this year for Christmas and Hanukkah.