You might have heard of Milwaukee-based Chasing Paper’s genius removable wallpaper. But now, a new partnership with Creative Enterprises gives you another affordable way to spruce up your space with original, framed for under $200. The Print Shop offers a collection of 25 custom-framed posters (16 x 20” or 24 x 26”) available to purchase online or locally.
I connected with Chasing Paper’s founder Elizabeth Rees to learn more about this new addition to her Milwaukee-based, family business.
How did you connect with the folks at Creative Enterprises?
I actually found them through a Google search. Luckily they were one of the first ones I called and immediately, even over the phone, felt an excitement to work together. My brother and I walked out of our first meeting with the CE team, smiling and said at the same time, “They get it.”
Creative Enterprises was started by a husband-wife team and was recently sold to John + Adrianne, also a husband-wife team. My brother and I immediately loved this dynamic and jump at the opportunity to work with other family businesses.
How has the response to the Print Shop been since you launched in November?
Good! We have gotten fantastic press (Martha Stewart Living, Domino, Lonny and many more) and have had the chance to learn during the process. Like anything new, there is a learning curve in finding out what your customer likes, what changes they would like to see and what they want more of, so we are certainly tweaking and continuing to grow the collection as we go.
Which prints are the best sellers?
The black and white peace sign (pictured below) is the obvious winner with “Come Together” a close second. I think this is such a sign of the times. People are looking for hopeful messaging in the art that they bring into their homes.
How often will you be offering new designs?
We just shot 20 new prints that will be coming to the Print Shop soon!
How do you select artists for the Print Shop?
We work with artists and designers from all over the world, same as we do with our wallpaper collections. We believe in having lots of different perspectives and points of view on the Chasing Paper site — we create cohesion through the style in which we shoot the paper or prints.
Are the prints/wallpaper available at any local shops?
We are currently in Cream City Restoration in the Third Ward and will hopefully be in a shop in Bay View and Brewers Hill soon.
You’ve lived in many other cities, but why do you think your biz has been successful here in Milwaukee?
I lived in NYC for 9 years and was able to ideate and launch Chasing Paper successfully there. As the company grew in sales and community I was traveling back to Milwaukee more and more often as Kubin-Nicholson (our family printing business) has produced the paper since day one. My brother Michael and I are committed to growing Chasing Paper and we both felt Milwaukee was the right place to do that. I loved the time and experience I got living in DC, Paris and New York, but coming home has felt like my most exciting move yet in many ways.
What is the hardest part about running a family-owned business?
Getting to work with my brother and dad is such a special experience for me. While it can have its unique challenges, my dad and I have had a working relationship for nearly 10 years. We have learned how to break from work talk on the weekends and trust each other’s strengths. My brother and I have only been working together about six months and already we have found a great work groove. He excels in areas I do not, so it’s been a welcomed balance.
How do you stay on top of running an international company from Milwaukee?
It’s difficult and requires a lot of travel. It will always be part of my schedule and responsibility to keep Chasing Paper at the front of editors’ and buyers’ minds. This means traveling to NYC every four to six weeks, speaking at conferences and creating content with brand partners. But I am learning to find work-life balance and I try to be home on the weekends and enjoy time with my fantastic partner Brian and our pup Lucy.