Marigold Paper was founded due to the lack of representation and accessibility for South Asians in the US wedding market. It combined eastern and western design influences, the specific cultural needs of South Asian couples and an appreciation for stationery to create meaningful and memorable products. Long live snail mail!
My official titles were co-founder and lead designer. However, when you own a small business, I took on any task that helped get the job done. This ranged from arranging pickup and delivery of orders to hand sorting every envelope received from the printer.
I wanted to give South Asians in the US better options when looking for wedding stationery because what I had seen growing up focused on mass production and lacked character and design. In addition, the traditional way for couples to get their wedding invitations was to fly to India, buy and print them there at a low cost per piece, and then fly back and mail them from the US. Beyond the logistical challenges of flying to buy invitations, these also ended up being more expensive to mail because the sizes and weight did not fall within USPS standards. Marigold Paper wanted to give people good design and less stress, all without having to leave home.
Two of our biggest challenges running this business included: trying to balance our pricing against customer expectations and underestimating how much time it takes to manage the production process of an order. For pricing, customers were used to the cost of an invitation from India, which was about $1-2 USD/piece. Since we were committed to doing all our printing in the US for quality control, there was no way we could beat that price. In addition, we were apprehensive to raise our prices too high for fear of scaring off future customers.
For production, I never knew how long it would take to sort through individual printed cards + envelopes, plus packing and shipping orders. Our biggest resource was time, but production tasks made it harder to sustain our momentum.
We designed stationery that gave South Asian couples in the US the look they wanted and made them feel seen in the wedding market. We also learned the ins and out of owning and running a small business. It wasn't easy, but it was worth it.