Bonnie Marcus Makes Life Pretty Through Her Paper Collection

Bonnie Marcus
Bonnie Marcus makes life prettier. The stationery designer takes ordinary items and turns them into fancy (and functional) things that busy parents need—and love. We spoke with Bonnie Marcus about the Bonnie Marcus Collection, how her business is like a baby girl to her, and how this busy mom of three young boys balances it all — beautifully.

Bonnie, let’s talk about the Bonnie Marcus Collection. You originally started out in paper but the business has grown into other areas, too.

In addition to designing stationery products, our designs are on so many other products, from iPhone covers and chargers. It’s fun to put our designs on other things besides stationery. We have mugs for busy moms on the go, and we signed a book deal and have 10 books coming out that we are doing the designs for. We are also doing a mom planner, which I wrote, because I am the closest to that. We also have puzzle books with our patterns on them. And we have these amazing pajamas coming out, and underwear and bras with our designs on them. We even signed a deal with Destination Maternity to do t-shirts with them. By thinking outside the box, it has enabled us to grow. Our notebooks and greeting cards are in Target, and we have a line of Post-Its with 3M, too.

I am a huge paper person. How do you feel personally that paper is slowly being replaced by technology?

I find that we are so reliant on technology. As a working mom, it definitely helps you to be efficient, but there are pluses and minuses to these advancements. I think what’s old is new again, and because people don’t get so much pretty mail these days, that to get a special invitation would be something that they will treasure. Like you, I will always love paper!

Let’s talk about the design process.

When I started the company ten years ago, I was doing all the designing. Now I have three full-time designers, so I can build the business. I realized how important it is to be involved in all aspects of the business. I can think about how the designs can move forward, as well as the business.

Bonnie Marcus

From one business owner to another, having a business is like having another child.

This business is like my baby girl, with my three boys at home! [laughs] And you are right; I have to nurture this baby too. It requires a lot of time, but I am lucky because I have a great support system. My three boys, Benjamin, Josh and Asher, are great. Asher is my five-year-old, and I say that he is my “fun” one. We call him “Smasher” and “Crasher”! I thought that I was a boy expert until he came along! People tell me, “Now you have a boy!” [laughs]

So how do you balance it all?

The most important thing is to not stop and think about it. When I think about the moms in my area being on the tennis team, and that I can’t do that because I am a business owner, I realize that there are things I have to miss. But if I think too much about it, it could drive me crazy. So I choose to be happy with wherever I am and whatever I am doing. If I am in the office, I love being here, and then when I go home, I am happy and present there, too.

Sometimes, I find myself in the supermarket, and there will be a woman next to me with a shopping list that is from the Bonnie Marcus Collection, and that makes me so happy. I am always trying to find ways to make my life—and other people’s lives—easier. I just want people to have solutions that work for them—and are a pretty way to get through your day, too!

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