Amanda Cameron has turned what began as a pastime with her young children — making cutout paper items — into Paper Supply Station, a rapidly growing e-commerce business offering wedding and party decor.
When Cameron first began selling her handcrafted products, she simply hoped to earn back the money she had spent on a paper-cutting machine.
Barely two years later, she’s made enough to buy a laser and a big computer-controlled cutting machine to ramp up production.
“There were some other people who were making these party banners and paper products, but a lot of them were wholesaling things directly from China,” Cameron said. “There weren’t a lot of things that were being made with quality, with a quick turnaround, customer service and handmade in the U.S. I had a hunch that people would appreciate that and I was right.”
The company has seven employees, including her husband, Chris. It currently operates out of the family basement and a couple of storage units, but plans to move into a 4,000-square-foot office and warehouse this month in Brooklyn Park, said Cameron, whose new products include wooden and acrylic signs and large backdrop signs for weddings.
Cameron attributes much of her growth to selling merchandise on Amazon Handmade, the online retailer’s site for artisans.
Amazon now accounts for 70 percent of her revenue, said Cameron, who previously worked as a hair colorist. Much of that comes from using Fulfillment by Amazon, which ships products and makes them eligible for Amazon Prime shipping.
Q: Who are your target customers?
A: We sell all over the world, but a lot of traffic comes from California and the East Coast. Our target market is women between the ages of 20 and 35 who are in the middle of those milestones — the bridal showers, the bachelorette parties, the weddings, the birthdays that are important.
Q: How do you and your husband divide responsibilities?
A: Before he worked for Paper Supply Station, he was a carpenter. All of the heavier machinery that we use he is in charge of. I’m the visionary. I love coming up with new ideas and taking on new projects. I do a lot of the design of the products.
Q: What has made you successful on Amazon Handmade?
A: There weren’t any other sellers like me and I developed a way quickly to be able to produce a lot and never let my items go out of stock. Then I started using Fulfillment by Amazon and that was the largest piece that I saw really boost my traffic. So many customers filter their search by what’s available for Prime and as a third-party seller that now I can make my items available for Prime.