Paper Chain Stationery

Pushing the Envelope

Rebecca Dimock’s business approach is pretty straightforward: “Anything that’s made of paper, I can make it for you.”

The services provided by her business, Paper Chain Stationery, include designing and producing wedding invitations, save-the-dates, and other day-of paper products such as menus, place-cards and programs for her clients’ special days.

While a lot of her customers are based in Nova Scotia, many are from New Brunswick, Ontario, Western Canada, and even the United States. Even though her clientele is mostly looking for wedding stationery, Rebecca’s ‘anything that’s made of paper’ outlook adds variety to her services, such as business branding and freelance work for PR companies.

“I do any kind of event that you would need stationery for,” Rebecca explains. Weddings, though, are “the bread and butter.”

Paper Chain Stationery has been operating since January 2020, and Rebecca launched her business with several years’ experience in the wedding and paper industries under her belt.

Having grown up in the Valley, Rebecca studied graphic design at NSCC before starting a work term at a stationery store downtown. This turned into a permanent job, and Rebecca made wedding invitations there for seven years. Given her educational background, she was able to get creative with the designs.

“Wedding invitations is kind of a niche market,” she says. “It was perfect for me. I loved it.”

From there, Rebecca began working for a wedding planning company in a social media marketing role, and started a stationery company of her own on the side.

Paper Chain Stationery looked a little different when it first started, with Rebecca selling greeting cards locally. Once she decided to transition to full time self-employment, “It made more sense to use my current business and just rebrand it into wedding invitations.”

Opening on the cusp of the COVID-19 pandemic was not ideal, but Rebecca made the most with her acquired skills.

“Because I have a graphic design background, I was able to fall back on that in times when it wasn’t super busy with wedding stationery. It gave me a lot of time to develop Paper Chain and my offerings, and all the different elements that I include on my website.”

It also gave Rebecca time to create semi-custom invitations which come in pre-designed suites. Having these suites on her website allows her customers to quickly order invitations without going through the entire design process.

Her hard work paid off, and Rebecca’s business doubled financially in its second year.

“That felt really good. Especially when you’re starting something by yourself and you’re a creative, it’s hard to know if that’s going to translate to any kind of income. Thankfully, it did for me. I think I can give credit to a lot of local vendors and industry friends that helped guide people towards me.”

Operating as a local business has its perks, Rebecca explains. “The wedding industry here is really small, and all the vendors know each other. We work on a lot of referrals here, which is really great. We all have each other’s backs.”

Paper Chain often joins other local vendors in what Rebecca describes as ‘faux-weddings.’ This usually involves a photographer capturing the collaborative efforts of vendors specializing in everything from wedding dresses, makeup, hair, decorations, stationery, floral arrangements and more. Vendors can then share photos of  the event and, of course, reference one another to increase online engagement.

“That’s usually where you can really showcase all of your extra abilities and create something that you want your clients to have. We all come together and create something really beautiful.”

As a small business owner, Rebecca understands the importance of a ‘wow’ banking experience, so she decided to open her business account with CUA.

“I have heard everywhere that they’re the best for small business. So, it was like a no-brainer for me. I’ve heard a lot of success stories from people who have opened bank accounts through CUA, and I wanted to be one.”

Rebecca says the ease of banking with CUA has allowed her to focus on her business without worrying.

 “I feel like CUA treats people like people more than a number. I’ve seen that even through applying for a mortgage.”

Rebecca explains that when she applied for a mortgage through another organization, what she was offered didn’t reflect where she was financially. She turned to CUA instead.

“Because I own a small business, that was the difference,” Rebecca says. Factoring in Rebecca’s income and the financial growth Paper Chain experienced in its second year, CUA was able to offer Rebecca a mortgage that more accurately reflected how much she was earning, which was much closer to what she was looking for.

“CUA made me feel like a human being and not just a number.”

Going forward, Rebecca is hoping to expand Paper Chain’s workspace.

“I would love to have a studio outside my home,” Rebecca says. She also hopes to expand her semi-custom suites and digital offerings.

Rebecca shares advice for other small business owners: “Be organized. Make sure that you have things written down and that you have yourself on track. You want to make sure your finances and taxes are in order. Being organized and having a process for everything is really the thing that has helped me.”

Thanks to Rebecca’s skill, years of experience and a strong network of local vendors, it’s safe to say that Paper Chain’s success is only beginning. CUA will be there every step of the way.

“I’m just really happy that I’m able to bank with a place like CUA because it feels like a community,” Rebecca says. “I feel like I’m a part of something.”

We’re proud of the work we do to support businesses starting, growing, or adapting in any environment. Learn more about our flexible commercial banking services, including account and financing options. Are you a CUA small business with a story to share? Email to connect with a member of our team. 


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