20 Stationery Business Success Stories

Updated: November 19th, 2023
Start A Stationery Business

A stationery business sells stationery products such as paper goods, notebooks, greeting cards, and envelopes.

The best part about starting a stationery business is that it's relatively easy and inexpensive to get started.

Since there are so many different types of products available in this industry, there are endless opportunities for creativity, customization, and expansion.

You could even start out small by selling your products on Etsy or eBay before opening up an actual storefront.

Here are some real life success stories of starting a stationery business:

1. Seniman Calligraphy ($156K/year)

Ruth had a passion for creating things with her hands, especially during the holidays when she loved to give gifts. She picked up modern calligraphy as a hobby and soon discovered that making bespoke custom wedding invitations allowed her to combine all the things she loved. After three months of regular practice, she decided that her skills were good enough to do calligraphy work for others, so she started the business.

How much they make: $156K/year
Current team size: 0

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How I Started My Own $13K/Month Custom Stationery Design Studio

An inspiring case study of how one woman turned her passion for calligraphy and bespoke wedding invitations into a successful business that now grosses an average of $13,000 a month, using Instagram as the main driver for attracting and retaining customers.

About
Ruth started Seniman Calligraphy about 9 years ago
Revenue
Ruth grew the business to $13K/month
Read by 11,899 founders

2. Raghaus ($300K/year)

Markus Hartel, the founder of Raghaus Studios, came up with the idea for his business after moving to a new town and wanting to get back into the printing industry. He purchased vintage letterpress machines and started creating unique stationery products, such as custom wedding invitations and artist's books. Through word-of-mouth and organic growth, his business has steadily grown, allowing him to expand his product line and attract new customers.

How much they make: $300K/year
How much did it cost to start: $25K
Current team size: 2

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How I Started A $15K/Month Business Making Bold Stationery

A specialized letterpress printing business started by Markus Hartel, whose micro-batches have caused his monthly sales to soar above $15k, discusses his experience creating custom invites and expanding his product line.

About
Markus started Raghaus about 9 years ago
Revenue
Markus grew the business to $25K/month
Costs
It cost Markus $25000 to start the business
Read by 7,699 founders

So... can you actually make money with a stationery business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

3. Jordyn Alison Designs ($48K/year)

Jordyn came up with the idea for her business after making hand-lettered greeting cards during her boyfriend's boot camp. With a background in graphic design, she started Jordyn Alison Designs in 2016, but it wasn't until three years later that she saw significant growth and began expanding her product offerings. Now averaging $3,000 a month, Jordyn focuses on wholesale and the digital side of her business, with plans to get her products into over 100 stores nationwide and start licensing her artwork.

How much they make: $48K/year
Current team size: 0

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How I Started A $3K/Month Hand Lettered Stationery Products Ecommerce

Jordyn Alison Designs owner Jordyn, has grown her hand-lettered stationary business to average $3,000 a month by expanding her product line to include greeting cards, vinyl stickers, notepads, apparel and more, while also using social media to promote her launches and gauging customer interest.

About
Jordyn started Jordyn Alison Designs almost 6 years ago
Revenue
Jordyn grew the business to $4K/month
Read by 8,289 founders

4. Sheedo Paper ($480K/year)

Gonzalo and Gala, founders of Sheedo, came up with the idea for their sustainable paper business while researching plantable tags for an espadrilles brand. They realized that no one was producing printable plantable paper in Spain, so they took it upon themselves to create it. Now, Sheedo has grown into a successful business, generating around 40K€ per month and working with big brands like Coca-Cola and Sony.

How much they make: $480K/year
How much did it cost to start: $0
Current team size: 5

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How Our Sustainable Corporate Merchandising Became a $40K/Month Business

Spanish-based startup Sheedo is making waves in the traditional merchandising industry with its seed-infused, tree-free and non-toxic paper concept and pulling in €40k in monthly revenue, supplying customers including Coca-Cola, Inditex, Sony, Deloitte, and Air France.

About
Gonzalo started Sheedo Paper over 6 years ago
Revenue
Gonzalo grew the business to $40K/month
Read by 5,564 founders

So... can you actually make money with a stationery business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

5. Ferrotype Ltd ($240K/year)

Dominic and his sister Jo launched Ferrotype after being asked to start again by one of their suppliers. With a ready-made customer base and a focus on premium stationery, the company has worked with major tech companies like Google and Microsoft. In their first year, they have achieved flexibility, a solid base with $150,000 in revenue, and are now focusing on attracting new customers through PPC advertising.

How much they make: $240K/year
How much did it cost to start: $5K
Current team size: 2

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How We Started A $30K/Month Business Selling Branded Corporate Stationeries

Learn how a new branded stationery business achieved a profitable first year with almost no office costs and flexible work arrangements, focusing on premium stationery for corporate clients, and plans to expand into sustainability and offline marketing strategies in 2020.

About
Dominic started Ferrotype Ltd about 5 years ago
Revenue
Dominic grew the business to $20K/month
Costs
It cost Dominic $5000 to start the business
Read by 5,381 founders

6. Cinquanta Cox-Smith ($120K/year)

Cinquanta Cox-Smith, a Multipreneur from South Carolina, stumbled upon the Print On Demand industry 12 years ago when she wanted to create a unique shirt and discovered Spreadshirt.com. Through her creativity and networking skills, she found success in designing and selling catchy, conversation-starting shirts. This eventually led her to create multiple POD brands on various platforms, generating an impressive $120k per year in revenue.

How much they make: $120K/year
How much did it cost to start: $100
Current team size: 1

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I Make $120K/Year With My Print On Demand T-Shirt Side Hustle

A multipreneur shares how she built a successful print on demand side hustle, generating $120,000 per year through multiple brands spread over various platforms.

About
Cinquanta started Cinquanta Cox-Smith over 14 years ago
Revenue
Cinquanta grew the business to $10K/month
Costs
It cost Cinquanta $100 to start the business
Read by 10,743 founders

So... can you actually make money with a stationery business?

Of course. There are millions to be made in this industry.

But how?

  1. Research real, profitable businesses and see exactly how much money they make.
  2. Study exactly what works, and what doesn’t.
  3. Take action, because now you have the roadmap.

Join Starter Story and build your next big thing:

Start Now

7. Bookblock ($3.12M/year)

Tom Strickland, co-founder of Bookblock, came up with the idea for his gifting business while manufacturing notebooks. He saw the success of Moleskine and decided to launch a real leather notebook brand, Monsieur Notebook, at a similar price point. While the notebook business ultimately failed, it led Tom to discover a market for corporate notebooks, which eventually paved the way for Bookblock's growth and expansion into the consumer market.

How much they make: $3.12M/year
Current team size: 30

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How We Grew Our Corporate Gifting Platform To $2M/Year

Bookblock co-founder shares how they grew their corporate gifting platform to a £2m annual turnover, and their plans to expand to the consumer market through their new gifting platform.

About
Tom started Bookblock over 9 years ago
Revenue
Tom grew the business to $260K/month
Read by 8,839 founders

8. Chirps & Cricket Design Studio ($13.2K/year)

Abigail Butler, the founder of Chirps & Cricket Design Studio, originally launched as a freelance graphic design business. After five years in a corporate job, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a freelance artist. Combining her love for graphic design and stationery, she developed her own line of handcrafted paper goods and bespoke invitations. She launched her business using Wix and created her website and e-commerce shop on a small budget, doing everything herself.

How much they make: $13.2K/year
How much did it cost to start: $500
Current team size: 0

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Leaving My Corporate Career To Start My Own Design Business

Chirps & Cricket Design Studio is a small, Denver, Colorado-based design studio specializing in graphic design services, custom illustration, handcrafted paper goods and bespoke invitations, with notable achievements including illustrating New Mexico State University’s Campus Map, while providing freelance services for small and large businesses, startups, engaged couples and a freelance writer.

About
Abigail started Chirps & Cricket Design Studio about 9 years ago
Revenue
Abigail grew the business to $1.1K/month
Costs
It cost Abigail $500 to start the business
Read by 7,048 founders

9. Planner Peace ($270K/year)

Jess, the founder of Chasing Planner Peace, initially started her business on Etsy, selling planner inserts. As an avid planner user herself, she saw a gap in the market for colorful inserts, great quality paper, and a wide range of options in Australia. Over time, she expanded her product range to include dividers, notepads, and her own brand of planners. Through word of mouth and good reviews, she has been able to attract and retain a loyal customer base, with a 39.9% return customer rate.

How much they make: $270K/year
Current team size: 1

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How I Started A $12K/Month Business Selling Productivity Planners Online

Chasing Planner Peace is a planner company that has expanded from selling planner inserts on Etsy, to offering a one-stop shop customizable planner experience with over 300 inserts, a planner line, and various other related products, gaining a monthly revenue of around $25,000 at its busiest time of year.

About
Jess started Planner Peace over 8 years ago
Revenue
Jess grew the business to $22.5K/month
Read by 61,679 founders

10. The Food Diary ($9K/year)

Laura, the founder of The Food Diary Co., came up with the idea for her business after her own struggles with chronic illnesses. Frustrated by the lack of food diaries designed for people with digestive and autoimmune issues, she created her own journal to track her symptoms and triggers. Seeing the positive impact it had on her health, she decided to create a beautiful diary for others facing similar challenges.

How much they make: $9K/year
Current team size: 0

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How I Started A Food Diary After My Autoimmune Disorder Diagnosis

The Food Diary Co. founder Laura created a beautifully designed food diary to help people with digestive and autoimmune disorders better understand their trigger foods, and has grown her business with organic marketing, influencer partnerships, and the goal of beefing up SEO, email newsletters, and affiliate marketing.

About
Laura started The Food Diary about 6 years ago
Revenue
Laura grew the business to $750/month
Read by 6,639 founders

11. Penny Portrait ($15K/year)

Maury McCoy came up with the idea for the Penny Portrait Kit after seeing a story about a father and son who created a giant portrait of Abraham Lincoln out of pennies. As a graphic designer/animator, McCoy quickly created a proof of concept in Photoshop and after several iterations, developed a version that he was happy with. The Penny Portrait Kit has since sold over 6,800 kits and is on display at prominent institutions like the U.S. Mint and Lincoln's Presidential Library.

How much they make: $15K/year
How much did it cost to start: $2K
Current team size: 1

article

Starting A Business Selling Portraits Made of Pennies

This case study is about a graphic designer who created a fun and unique product called Penny Portrait Kit that allows customers to create a portrait of Abraham Lincoln out of 846 pennies, which has sold over 6,800 kits and brought in approximately $10K of profit per year.

About
Maury started Penny Portrait almost 16 years ago
Revenue
Maury grew the business to $1.25K/month
Costs
It cost Maury $2000 to start the business
Read by 7,382 founders

12. Seph Crafts ($2.4K/year)

Sephora, the owner of Seph Crafts, started her business after struggling to find a planner that met her needs. Frustrated with using sticky notes that would fall out of her planner, she decided to create her own that prioritized goals, schedule, and motivation. Since launching during the pandemic, Seph Crafts has expanded its target audience beyond mothers and now serves teachers, event planners, college students, and entrepreneurs.

How much they make: $2.4K/year
How much did it cost to start: $100
Current team size: 0

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How I Turned My Hobby Making Planners And Journals Into A Full-Time Business

Sephora turned her hobby of designing planners into a full-time business during the pandemic, offering handmade and customizable planners and journals with a flagship design that encourages time management by aligning daily tasks with annual goals.

About
Sephora started Seph Crafts over 3 years ago
Revenue
Sephora grew the business to $200/month
Costs
It cost Sephora $100 to start the business
Read by 4,076 founders

13. Fernaco ($120K/year)

Ricardo Fernandez, the founder of Fernaco, came up with the idea for his business after realizing there was a market for improved, stylish, and highly durable office accessories. He specifically focused on designing and manufacturing Grade A silicone pen/pencil holders that could be used for multiple purposes. Since launching in 2017, Fernaco has consistently brought in between 9 to 11 thousand dollars per month in revenue and plans to expand into other office-supply categories in the future.

How much they make: $120K/year
Current team size: 1

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How I Started A $10K/Month Amazon FBA Business Selling Pencil Holders

This case study follows Ricardo Fernandez, the founder of Fernaco, who started an Amazon FBA private-label brand with a line of Grade A silicone pen/pencil holders and has grown his revenue to consistently bring in between $9,000 to $11,000 per month.

About
Ricardo started Fernaco over 5 years ago
Revenue
Ricardo grew the business to $10K/month
Read by 8,204 founders

14. The Goulet Pen Company ($12M/year)

How much they make: $12M/year
Current team size: 24

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Online retail niche store that focuses on fountain pens, ink, and paper for writing

The Goulet Pen Company grew from a hobby to a global retailing firm providing high-quality items with exceptional customer service, all via an internet platform which had never been done before in the writing industry.

About
They started The Goulet Pen Company almost 15 years ago
Revenue
They grew the business to $1M/month
Read by 628 founders

15. StickerJunkie ($1M/year)

How much they make: $1M/year
Current team size: 10

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How StickerJunkie Is Selling Over 20 Million Stickers Per Year

"Founder turns sticker-making hobby into $1M/year online business" - Learn how Andrea Lake transformed her passion for sticker design into a profitable venture that offers customizable stickers on various materials and sizes.

About
They started StickerJunkie over 14 years ago
Revenue
They grew the business to $83.3K/month
Read by 622 founders

16. Paper Saver ($72K/year)

Jon Yong, an architect, came up with the idea for the Paper Saver after constantly printing off draft designs that became obsolete moments later. He devised a handmade "Paper Saver" out of cardboard with a pocket inside, which allowed him to insert used paper and access the blank sides as pages of a notebook. Intrigued by the interest it generated from colleagues and clients, Jon and his partner launched the Paper Saver in 2015, and it has since grown year-on-year by an average of 20%.

How much they make: $72K/year
Current team size: 1

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How We Invented And Launched A Notebook That Saves Paper

The Paper Saver is a sustainable notebook that reduces paper waste by utilizing used paper as pages, and has grown YOY on an average of 20% since its 2015 launch, with an expanded range including the Leather Paper Saver and the Sparkle Paper Saver for Kids.

About
Michelle started Paper Saver almost 9 years ago
Revenue
Michelle grew the business to $6K/month
Read by 6,697 founders