A chic lifestyle brand hell bent on styling your beautiful.
Whatever you do, be your best, be your most.
Our brand is strong, has style, integrity, class, exudes confidence and takes no BS.
We are all beautiful. PaperQueen is passionate about making your beautiful shine bright. We want to enhance it, encourage it and style it by offering quality products that uplift you, inspire you, making you an even better version of you. Be authentic, be yourself, better yourself, educate yourself, be grateful, humble, interesting and interested. We truly believe this is a great mantra to live by.
Annabel St. John
I've chosen to be more transparent about myself than most 'About' pages. Life is real, I am real. As real as you can get really. Life can be great but life can also suck. Sometimes for days, weeks, months or even years. But then miraculously the clouds lift and life gets brighter again. I want people to know it's ok to say they're having a crap time. It's ok to send your friend a "He's a f&*ker" card after she's been dumped. Acknowledge it happened. Writing a card is way better than phoning at a time like that. No one wants to answer the phone when they're bawling. But she will LOVE getting that card in the mail. She will tape it up in her bathroom, and keep it there for months. Trust me, I've seen them in bathrooms. I've been told and emailed about people receiving such cards. As humans we must support, uplift and celebrate one another. This is where I get my inspiration for my cards. This thing called life.
Ask me a question and I'm going to tell you the answer, with not much candy coating. I wish more people were like that. Maybe that's why my cards have become so popular. They say what people are secretly or too afraid to say out loud. I'm just trying to keep the world communicating, one little card at a time.
1984 | My first summer job was in a very high end, posh restaurant in Victoria. I lasted 28 days. Needless to say 1) the #metoo movement has not begun and 2) I was not cut out working for a maniacal chef who screamed and ranted in a blistering hot kitchen. Maybe that's why I've never become a foodie?
1985 | My first "real" full time job after high school graduation. Working in a very high end clothing store, there is a theme here I am seeing for the first time, I was hired to sell really expensive clothing to older people (older meaning thirty and higher. I was eighteen at the time and thought that was old.) On my first day of work a woman asked if she could try on a really ugly mohair sweater (in my opinion) with a removable turtleneck (remember those)? The price tag was $350. "$350!?", I thought to myself. This was in 1985 - a tonne of money back then. She tried it on, looked at herself in the mirror then turned to me and asked "what do you think"?. I try never to lie, so the best I could say was "It's a flattering colour on you". The fact that it made her look two sizes bigger was another matter. She beamed and said "I'll take it!". I was shocked (and on commission). I thought to myself "this is going to be so easy"! I went on to average $30,000 a month in sales that summer.
1986 | Eighteen months of selling beautifully made, high end, European clothing gave me the itch to go to Fashion Design School, attending school in Paris and then followed with more schooling in Fashion Merchandising + Marketing in Southern California.
1988 | Opened the Ralph Lauren store as Assistant Manager
1991 | BC Transit Marketing Asst., Vancouver. This job moved me to Vancouver and peaked my Graphic Design interests
1992 | Met and married husband #1 (no flies on me). Moved on to the Vancouver location of the high end clothing store as Merchandise + Office Manager.
1994 | Had son #1
1995 | Didn't return back to work because I didn't want to work 'full time' with a baby at home, so... I decided buying to buy a small printing business - like that wasn't going to be full time?!
1997 | Had son #2
2003 | End of marriage #1 - (divorce card line is born)
2003-07 | Single Mother + Dating after divorce - (another entire card line right there!)
2008 | Met future husband, step son and step daughter
2010 | Married husband #2, step son and step daughter
And the rest is history | PaperQueen was founded on the success of one hand drawn illustration that really seemed to connect with women. Then a birthday card was designed that was written sent in a way that hadn’t been represented in that flavor in the greeting card world before. This is how our entire line of greeting cards evolved and turned the company into an internationally recognized line of greeting cards and high end stationery.
One of our favorite things to do is to create card designs, finding the right words to match the perfect illustration so it resonates with, and touches people in an unexpected, memorable way. Laughter is key. We want to uplift the industry!
An innovative and creative thinker, fashion illustration and design enthusiast, Annabel St. John is undeniably making her mark. As the founder and Creative Director of PaperQueen, St. John has harnessed her strong business sense, artistic vision and design talents to grow her company and the PaperQueen brand into what she refers to as "a way of life". Named West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce 'Business of the Year' in 2011, St. John is a force of positive energy building a company that promotes communication, empowerment and style. A guiding light and perpetual inspiration, St. John is living proof that anything is possible with positive energy, hard work and a sense of humour.
A few things about PaperQueen:
We get our inspiration from life’s everyday occasions which are an endless source of inspiration. (Some could say the greeting card collection is pretty much a summary of Annabel’s life on a card spinner). We find humour in things that are sometimes not so pretty, and have no problem laughing at ourselves. We are wonderfully gratified whenever customers bursts out laughing at one of our Greeting Cards and ask if we've been reading their mind, because it means we're on the right track to keeping people connected which is basically our daily goal in life.
Our company is successful because we have integrity, work really hard, continually adapt and innovate (and have a wicked sense of humour to get us through the shit days).
We hope you get a kick out of our line as much as we do creating it.
Paperqueen is the only Canadian greeting card company that Neiman Marcus Online has ever offered for sale. We were honoured to be featured on the front cover of the Neiman Marcus catalogue in the Fall of 2003.
We have been featured on the uber trendy "OBJECTS OF DESIRE" page in InStyle magazine, listed as one of the "TOP 10 BABY GIFTS TO GIVE" in People magazine, Vitamin V, The Vicki Gabereau Show as well as in Elle, Flare, Canadian House and Home, Weekly Scoop, Lou Lou and many other North American distributed magazines.
CHARITIES | Annual Giving, Commitee + Director Positions
BC Cancer Foundation
BC Women’s Hospital Foundation
Mums 2 Mums
Taste the World
Face the World
Powell Place Women’s Shelter
Vancouver Sun’s Adopt A School Fund
Boys and Girls Club | Board of Director
FWE | Vancouver
A chic lifestyle brand synonymous with grace set on styling your beautiful.