0 ITEMS $0
NOTEWORTHY NEWS
THE BLOG - 
tonya_kauffman
Thank you for stopping by! 
I’m so glad we can chat here because if you popped by my house, at any given time, you might find my monsters and me dancing and singing with Swiffer sticks as microphones in our pj's to old-school pop…because we can’t stop and we won’t stop…for the doorbell or anything else ;)
Wanna walk down memory lane?
Take a Peek at the new designs

New designs have just hit the shop!  Inspired from my days of jelly shoes and friendship bracelets, these items are allowing me to share fun things from when I was a kid with MY kids!  I'll be introducing a few of my faves soon, but if you can't wait...take a peek for yourself. I'd love to hear your thoughts or what memories they bring back for you!
Posted on 9/24/2015 to News & Announcements
It's February! Custom Orders - Update.
It's FEBRUARY! In preparation of my upcoming 'Baby Break' starting sometime in March (hopefully not before!) I have temporarily put a hold on accepting custom orders. I'm so thankful many of you have been open to waiting until after my little break for me to begin your projects...so I have started a waitlist. If you would like to be added to this list please let me know by sending an email to info[at]tolukapaper.com with 'WAITLIST REQUEST' in the subject line and I will be happy to add you and your project! *NOTE: this is only for custom items. It is my intent to continue to fill orders placed online and Etsy until Baby Day arrives...so get those orders in!

February Calendar Pic
Posted on 2/3/2014 to News & Announcements
No Text Tuesday...Ever Wonder Why? How?
Today is No Text Tuesday! …but it is a little different than most Tuesdays. This week I was honored to be invited to ‘Be My Guest’ by Lori at Carde Blanche. I explain the why’s and how’s to my No Text Tuesday routine. So, if you have ever wondered how it started, why I do it and how you can get involved head over to Lori’s blog to find out the 411!
No Text Tuesday - Guest Blogger
Posted on 11/19/2013 to News & Announcements
Stationery Academy! - Recap

So now for all the Stationery Academy goodness.

The event was in August, but I signed up back in February or March.  It seemed so far away at the time, but the anticipation I felt leading up to the event was worth it. I couldn’t wait to meet others in the industry whom I follow on Twitter and Instagram (my new fave social media outlet), read their blogs, etc…  I was a little intimidated, I must admit, but my excitement helped me plow through those feelings to make way for great things and great friendships to happen.

 When the time finally came to leave for Stationery Academy, my family and I were at the end of a pretty crazy and emotional summer.  We had some surprises and big decisions sprinkled into our lives.  This made leaving for 5 days a little tough, but it turns out that the timing couldn’t have been better. Funny how it usually happens that way!

 I arrived a little early so I took advantage of some quiet pool time.  I never knew such a thing existed since I usually have two super-splashers in tow, but I managed to make the best of it.

Pool at Hotel Palomar

[sunning at by the Infinity Pool at Hotel Palomar Dallas]

After a little R&R I went up to my room only to be greeted with the cutest swag ever.

Stationery Academy goodies

The event began with a light-hearted cocktail hour on Thursday evening followed by bags of more fun goodies!  Great night, right?  Well, that light atmosphere gradually progressed into a deep group conversation about our fears, our craziest dreams and our ‘purpose’.  Although these topics were serious and not particularly ‘party conversation’ it was the reason I was there: to dig deep, to learn and to grow.

The next two days were filled with so many thoughts, tips and lessons…my pretty Poppin pen (yes, more swag) couldn’t write fast enough.  My head was constantly abuzz – brainstorming  and trying to wring out the last little bit of energy I had left at the end of each session to finish my homework (yes, tough, detailed homework!). 

 

The workshop is organized by two amazing women: Whitney English and Natalie Chang.  I cannot even begin to tell you the wealth of knowledge and inspiration these two hold.  (NOTE:  Just a little secret between you and me…not only are their brains full…their hearts are too!)  We began by hearing their personal journeys, lessons they learned and how and why they want to share their experiences.

 Natalie, Whitney and Me

[Natalie, Me, Whitney - I am a better person having met these two!]

 Next we moved into the ‘guts’ of the workshop: details about our industry, marketing, contemplating our ideal client, how to best communicate with them and ensure positive experiences.

It didn’t stop there, that was just Friday morning!            

We also learned from more experts (i.e. more inspiration, information and...personality!):

Jennifer Faught of Something Detailed shared her experience at National Stationery Show and information about the wholesale industry.  

Emily McCarthy gave an eye-opening presentation about defining our ‘Signature Style’.  This is something I feel I struggle with, but now definitely have better insight and guidelines.

Rachel Shingleton of Pencil Shavings Studio shared her knowledge and gave wonderful, useful suggestions on blogging, running an online shop and kicking up the visual experience through better photography.

Rachel and I

[Rachel and I at the final dinner].

Sprinkled into this concentrated, but 100% beneficial schedule was a little downtime and delicious dinners…with more swag.

Final Dinner Place setting

 [This was my greeting at the final dinner - I was getting used to pretty place settings and goodies at every meal!]

One evening I managed to break away from the ‘paper party’ to check in on my family.  My husband asked if I ‘was having fun’.  I thought for a moment and responded that, yes, I was having fun, but it was a different kind of fun.  When you are learning about something you love and something you are truly passionate about, all while being surrounded by amazing people…how can you NOT have a great time?  But it was more than that.  I was also gaining valuable (or more like invaluable and priceless) knowledge and confidence... even if I was exhausted and overwhelmed all at the same time.

Noah, Cowboy Bowman, Millie

 [my welcoming committee - good to be home]

I arrived in Dallas as an intimidated woman running her business solo and constantly shooting from the hip while hoping for the best.  I returned to Chicago from Stationery Academy a confident woman who now has a vision, a plan, new goals and rules not only for my business, but also for my 'self'.  Even more than that, I am no longer flying solo, I am a part of an amazing network of supportive women who are all in ‘the same shoes’…each of us similar in so many ways, while still being so different at the same time.

I gained more from this little weekend away than I could have hoped and the amazing thing is, the learning hasn’t stopped since I left.  I have had phone calls, emails, Facebook messages supporting others with knowledge I have learned from my personal experiences… and I continue to receive the same from them in return.  How can you ask for more than that?

The next session of Stationery Academy is in February 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee – in case you can’t tell…I HIGHLY recommend it!  You can learn more here.  I would also be happy to answer any questions you might have as well! Email me at tonya@tolukapaper.com 

Just wanna see more pictures of the swag?  You can check out my instagram page or search #statacad to see all attendees’ photos as well.

Posted on 9/25/2013 to News & Announcements
Looking Back and Looking Forward - Part 2

Before we get started with Part 2, a little confession:

I can’t believe I have strung along the suspense of this post for so long!  It was not intentional. For me blogging is tough to incorporate into my daily routine…(especially the summer ‘routine’…or lack of!).  Managing kids, school, Toluka Paper…life!  It becomes a constant re-assessing and juggling of priorities all while holding your breath and hoping you are making the right choices.  For me, blogging usually takes a back burner, but I’m hoping that now that both my children are in school full-day I will be able to incorporate blogging into a more routine schedule.  Don’t look for them every day…I just know that is too aggressive for me, but more often than every four months or so should be feasible, right?  One can hope.

Ok, now on to the loooong awaited 'Part 2.'

First, a little info on me: I love to learn.  I do not like being in the dark about anything.  I can’t handle not knowing how to do something.  How can anyone make an educated decision about something they know nothing about?

The stationery industry is no exception.  My previous visits to the National Stationery Show were helpful in narrowing some gaps and educating me in many areas, but I still lack that in-depth, and at the same time, the big picture perspective sometimes.  

Enter The Stationery Academy.

Stationery Academy

 I now cannot remember where I heard about Stationery Academy for the first time, but as soon as I heard about it I wanted to learn more!  So after doing a little digging I decided this might be a better place for me in 2013.  I tossed around the idea in my own head for a while then I asked my husband for his thoughts.  His response?  “Absolutely.  Do it.  Now.  Sign-up now.”  His response to this gave me more than the ‘green flag’ to move forward with my plan…it gave me confidence.  In my crazy, hectic day-to-day life, I often question whether Toluka Paper is what I should be doing right now – at a time when my kids are young and I want to savor every moment with them.  I wonder if my efforts are fruitless…and if the time I spend away from my little monsters is worth it or time wasted on a hobby.  When he responded with zero hesitation it not only gave me the confidence to step outside of my comfort, but it also showed me that this little gig is more to him than a hobby and it should be treated as such by me too!  

So I signed up that day and let the anticipation build until August 22, 2013…when the fun and learning would begin!

...Stay tuned...next I will be sharing about my experience at Stationery Academy.  No, really I will!  Promise.

Posted on 9/18/2013 to News & Announcements