Franchise Talk: Paper goods store continues expansion in PH

MANILA - To put on pretty words together, one must have a pretty piece of paper. In this modern world where people have to work in dull gray offices everyday, staring at the blank white screens of their computers or smartphones, a splash of color and a flare of art can go a long way towards putting a grin on anybody's lips.

Few years back, Cara L. founded The Paper Stone, a product of love for quality paper goods that feature the liveliest and cheeriest designs and illustrations.

Hailing from Singapore and taking inspiration from the simple but fun game of "paper, rock, scissors," The Paper Stone has captured the hearts and smiles of many, with their line of paper goods such as journals and doodle pads, desk items like pens, and scissors, and even fun knick-knacks like stickers, ink pads, and cups.

Each item is lovingly made and creatively designed, with a set number of items being produced to ensure that each purchase is part of a limited edition and of the highest quality. New designs are made every month, to ensure that The Paper Stone lives up to its motto of “designs that delight, everyday of the year.”

Beyond being top of its class, The Paper Stone products are all environmentally-safe and many of them are made of corporate social responsibility and environmental awareness.

But despite being of the highest quality, having amazing designs and being eco-friendly, The Paper Stone takes pride in serving its customers with affordability in its products. Most often, first time customers are pleasantly surprised to find that the cost of its products is well within the price point for the mass market, a feature that has placed The Paper Stone head and shoulders above other specialty stationery stores with regards to popularity.

When asked why he decided to bring in a franchise of a stationery brand, when the younger generation has shifted to iPads and smartphones now, owner Hans Yao explained, “Writing with a pen and paper is a very different experience than typing an email or a Facebook message, and I wanted to make sure that people remember that, so I wanted to bring a brand that brings back the color and joy of that experience.”

There is no denying that The Paper Stone has all these amazing traits into being a franchise success. In two years, The Paper Stone has bloomed to over nine stores throughout Singapore. The first Philippine store opened last December 2014 in Glorietta, Makati via master franchising. With a strong follow through came the stores in Alabang Town Center, SM North Edsa and UP Town Center. With the strong demand, four more stores are planned to open this year in Uptown BGC, Araneta Gateway Mall, SM Seaside Cebu and Ayala Nuvali.

“I was surprised at the reception of The Paper Stone, I didn’t expect to have over eight stores in just the first year. But what surprised me even more is that one of our fastest moving items are greeting cards,” Yao said. “Surprisingly, a lot of students and young professionals feel that a text or Facebook greeting is no longer enough. They want a unique way of greeting people close to them so our greeting cards have been a surprise hit.”

Now, The Paper Stone wants to tap a wider market of design enthusiasts by expanding through franchising. Aspiring franchisees can get their own The Paper Stone store for as low as P580,000.

More than just continually supplying “new” notebook designs, The Paper Stone is about chasing creativity and printing imagination for every one to enjoy and appreciate good designs. Each notebook thus becomes a thought keeper--thoughts that make you happy, sad or anything under the sun. The Paper Store surely provides products that are more than just paper.

With a lot of good word-of-mouth advertising and endorsements received by its ever-increasing number of new patrons, a professionally developed franchise program and a continuously updated designs, it will only be a matter of time before The Paper Stone pops up in even more locations and achieves its goal of being the household brand for specialty stationery and smiles.

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