As a working mother of two boys, Kristin Mika launched Hampton Paper Designs on a whim on Memorial Day Weekend of 2007. After being unable to find the cards she was looking for that was charming and classic for her son Jackson, she decided to create her own line. Hampton Paper Designs combines her lifelong love of paper & letter writing — Beautiful watercolors inspires the stationery line. Hampton Paper Designs has so many great products. with the opportunity to express all human emotions, joy, thanks, sympathy, humor, and love and more. Whether it be with a calendar, invitation, journal, wrapping paper, notepads or stickers. All of the designs on the finest papers are reflective of the effortless style of a summer in the Hamptons: uncluttered, simply elegant, effortless sophistication.
What inspired you and how did you get started with this business?
It happened after the birth of her son Jackson. She wanted to get some new calling cards for him and so she went to a local shop. She did not love what she bought and it was also a bit expensive. Upon her return to home, she started to wonder what would happen if she started to make her own stationery. Her father’s girlfriend who at that time was a water-color artist had recently made cards for Kristin’s older son Thomas for special occasions like Halloween and Valentine’s day. She decided to take those water-color images and make stationary out of it. She called Lucy (her father’s girlfriend) and asked her to paint a few more water-color images. She made notecards and notepads out of those images and got them printed. This is how this business of paper design started for Kristin.
Did you ever think you would love to have a paper company?
Kristin is not sure if she really wanted to own a paper company. However, she has always been a paper person and she has always loved paper. Her parents got divorced when Kristin was quite young and she would write and send a lot of letters to her father. She would spend hours to pick up the right stationery before writing letters. Kristin used to design her own stationery in her childhood.
Do you think we should still rely on conventional methods of communication?
Kristin agrees and believes when it comes to business or personal relations, sometimes it is better to write messages with your own hands and that too on a paper. She writes thank you notes all the time. She just went to a dinner party a few weeks ago and upon her return from the party, she wrote a note to the woman who had hosted that party. The response she gets from people is always overwhelming. They are appreciative of the fact that even in today’s digital world, Kristin is considerate enough to spare some time and write for them.
Can you share how you got on The Today Show for the first time?
Kristin sent her Hershey kit stickers to Hamptons magazines. They got featured and soon she got a call from Jill Martin from The Today Show. She had seen the stickers in the magazines and wanted to feature Kristin’s products on the show. The whole experience to appear on the show was overwhelming for Kristin. Her orders grew soon afterward she appeared on the show.
What is your best selling product?
Her best selling products are calendars. She makes different types of calendars. One of these includes desk calendars which feature one image and glitter the images by hand. This has been her top-selling product for many years. There is a great community of people who love these calendars and give away these calendars as gifts to other people. She also gave away an option in which clients can pick twelve different images of their choice for their calendar. Kristin believes this is a great and unique idea as you get an opportunity to pick up images that can depict the coming events in your life.
How do you suggest your customers to buy products that are best for their need?
Kristin tries to put herself in the shoes of her customers. She tries to find out their likes/dislikes, what it is they like to shop. She herself prefers to give away gifts that are actually of some use to people. This is why calendars are such a great gift because they can be used on daily basis. One of the easiest ways to make a gift special is by personalizing it with the name or a monogram of the person to whom you are giving the gift. It shows that you have put in an extra level of effort for the gift and that it was just created for the person you are giving to.
What advice do you have for someone who has a business idea but is not sure how to start?
It is really not that hard to start your own business if you have a good idea to start with. Kristin never created a business plan for Hampton Paper design, her business was established out of her passion for the work she does. Once you take the initial steps, you learn every day about the dynamics of running a business.
What is your secret to planning a great party?
Kristin’s secret to plan a party is to be prepared for it. Everything boils down to preparation. She usually starts with the plan with weeks in advance. She mainly focuses on the themes for a party. Kristin believes the key to planning a successful party is to be prepared. You can also find many ideas on the Internet in planning a party or an event.
Can you give some examples of themes you have used in past?
She planned ‘The Back to School’ themed party for her son Jackson when he was in kindergarten. She has also planned parties with movie themes. Over the years, the parties Kristin has arranged for her children were usually a depiction of their current interests. Her son Thomas was interested in pirates and she conducted a party with a treasure hunt theme.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice she has ever been given comes from her great-grandmother. She used to tell her to use her best items every day. They are great words to live by.
How can we connect with you?
You can find more about her work through her website. Her website’s URL is