Papier founder Taymoor Atighetchi’s business advice is simple but powerful - "Do something better than everyone else.” Wise words from a man who can be likened to Mark Zuckerberg thanks to his diverse and disruptive digital career, albeit a slightly more creative and artistic version...
Specialising in personalised paper products, children’s books and photo books, Papier is bringing back the art of communication in its most traditional form with the ease and sophistication of a prestigious digital product. “Personalisation offers you the chance to make a design or product your own – I think that’s increasingly more important. In a world where everyone can end up having the same thing, being able to put your unique mark on something is an appealing factor for any modern mum buying a children’s book, teen investing in a notebook for school or bride choosing her wedding invitations.” Taymoor’s approach to business has been honed and refined since he was a 17-year-old selling antiques at London’s Portobello Markets, and his insights into the importance of building relationships and making connections are still as relevant today. The recent Australian launch of the brand sees local designers Romance Was Born lend their skills to an eclectic mix of designs that take everyday stationery items to the next level, a collaboration that follows in the footsteps of international designers such as Matthew Williamson and Mother of Pearl, to name a few. In short? Papier is the answer to all your family paper needs with a much-needed focus on modern designs and fuss-free service. A lifesaver when you’re dealing with an endless need for birthday invites, calendar-updating and photo book printing… We quizzed Taymoor on his business smarts and how Papier stands out from the crowd and know you’ll love his tale of success and dedication as much as we do. Go to www.papier.com
You were once the youngest antique dealer on the Portobello Road market – you’ve said 'My Portobello Market stall was the most valuable business experience that I’ve had”. Why is this? What did the experience teach you about business?
At 17, it was a steep learning curve. Weekends working on the market taught me about the importance of making connections and building relationships and most importantly, how to sell. It also cemented a sense of confidence which led me to set up online student media platform The Tab with two friends while I was studying at university.
In September 2015, you launched Papier. Where did the idea come from and why was your offering so unique in the market?
The concept for Papier as a site where users can order personalised, design-led invitations and greeting cards came from a lack of choice in the marketplace. I felt that there was an opportunity to focus on quality, both in terms of design and materials, without compromising on speed of delivery or the shopping experience. Papier has grown in its product offering since then and we now offer custom stationery, including notebooks and diaries, as well as a personalised kids’ book and most recently, photobooks.
You’ve delivered more than one million products to 35 countries – how has the business achieved such phenomenal growth?
I think our technology has enabled us to deliver a great shopping experience – whether you are customising beautiful wedding invitations or personal stationery the process is simple and easy. Our diverse but curated offering has also enabled the business to grow so quickly by attracting new audiences. Instagram has also been a player in our early growth – for a really visual brand it’s the perfect medium to connect with our customers and reach new ones.
What’s your strategy with customer acquisition?
As an online business, we’ve naturally focussed on digital marketing for customer acquisition. In Australia, we’ve had great success in using Facebook and Instagram advertising to promote our brand and especially our kids’ book. Looking ahead, we’re keen to increase our brand awareness through more diverse acquisition channels, both online and offline.