DOPE GIRL OF THE DAY: LAUREN RUDIN
After taking a leap of faith and quitting her job last year, 26-year-old Lauren began her business and her new lease on life. An SLC transplant and Cleveland native, Lauren used her love for crafting to create Cardinal Paperworks, a source for handmade greeting cards, journals, menus, paper packs, and wall art.
1. What inspired Cardinal Paperworks?
A total and complete effort to re-structure my life. I had been brought to a crossroad where I had the option to keep living how I was living and suffer, or better myself, create new priorities and try to prosper. I have always considered myself an artist so I decided to take myself back to where I was the happiest, and that was with the freedom to just create straight from my brain.
“I had been brought to a crossroad where I had the option to keep living how I was living and suffer, or better myself, create new priorities and try to prosper”
One day, I looked up papermaking because I remember really liking that when I did it as a child; I think in school, I don’t remember much but that specific craft had an impact on me. I asked my boyfriend to make me a “mold” and “deckle” to try it out. I had my first pieces of paper and I was so hyped! I just remember thinking, “This is a greeting card”.
2. You make your own paper from scratch using recycled materials — where did you learn to do this?
I started Youtubing “making paper” and reading any and all things I could get my hands on. I studied paper where ever I went. I changed my process over 6 times and today I think I finally have a process that is completely my own that really, really works for me!
3. Your work is in 3 different local shops currently, how did you get your products placed in store?
YES! It all happened by putting myself out there and not being afraid to fail. I simply went to shops, asked for the owners, talked to the owners and asked them “Would you be interested in carrying my handmade greeting cards?” I got denied from a few shops in the beginning and was really bummed, but then I continued to get my s**t together with Cardinal and magic happened.
“I got denied from a few shops in the beginning and was really bummed, but then I continued to get my s**t together with Cardinal and magic happened.”
4. What’s the biggest hurdle you faced in starting your own business?
Self-discipline! After being told what to do and how to do it for so many years of my life with parents, then college, the bosses.. I was conditioned to follow a path I sucked at. Now I am the one that makes the rules!
“I was conditioned to follow a path I sucked at.”
It was scary, I wanted someone to explain the steps I needed to take in order to create a successful business. But I want to work for myself so it’s all on me! If I don’t create, cards don’t get made, and I don’t have a product to sell. So the more discipline I have the more gets done and the better Cardinal becomes. I have to plan out each week, and set goals for myself to meet because sometimes sitting on the couch with my cats just sounds so much better than work.
5. What advice would you give to budding small business owners?
Go for it full speed ahead. What you put in you get out. And most importantly make a plan of what you want your business to look like so you have a goal in mind to work towards.
6. You made the leap and quit your job to create Cardinal Paperworks last year. Do you have any regrets about that decision?
Oh my goodness, no, and it’s unbelievable because quitting my job was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I talked about it for 5 months until I just DID IT. I had to change my definition of success. Success to me now is to wake up inspired by the day because I get to choose what I am going to do with my time! Having my own business is not always predictable like the job I had before teaching preschool five days a week. That can cause some stress, but no regrets ever.
7. What would you tell a woman who is wanting to start her own business?
JUST DO IT! You can always go back to the life you were living before, it will be there waiting for you. And if you don’t try you will never know what could have been!
8. What does it mean to be a “Dope Girl” to you?
To use all your might and put 120% into anything that will better you as a person every day of your life.
To support this #Dopegirl, you can shop and request custom work from Cardinal Paperworks by clicking here. You can also find Lauren’s work in store at The Stockist, Atelier, and Signed and Numbered retailers.
Follow Cardinal Paperworks on IG: @cardinalslc
Follow Lauren on IG: @themadcatt3r
Delaney All Day