I'm founder and CEO of Chelsea Paper in New York City. Our core business is ChelseaPaper.com, an online retailer of personalized stationery, invitations, and gifts. So if you've just had a baby and don't want to venture out to the shops to choose birth announcement cards, you can just go online to www.chelseapaper.com, choose a design, pick your own typestyle and wording, and have the cards delivered to your door within a few working days.
VISIONARY ROLE I founded the company in January of 2000, and we've experienced solid growth every year. Although we're currently below $10 million in revenue, we've been able to hire effective managers. Recently, I've been able to extract myself from day-to-day operations, focusing instead on long-term strategy issues such as how do we continue to grow at 40% or more per year, what related markets or products should we consider, how do we better serve our current customers, and so on.
My business development director and I are now completing a business plan for the pending launch of our wholesale division, Chelsea Notes brand stationery, which will premier at the National Stationery Show this May in Manhattan.
TYPICAL WORK DAY:
7:30 a.m. -- After getting my two children off to school, I head to my office in midtown Manhattan, right in the heart of one of the world's most renowned shopping districts -- no accident, since our Chelsea Notes brand stationery is inspired by the latest fashion trends. On the way, I'm usually firming up the day's appointments via cell phone and BlackBerry.
8 a.m. -- I get through as many e-mails and voice mails as possible and check my to-do list for what needs to get accomplished today. I delve into one particular issue in our strategic plan -- how do we get more value out of our studio (face-to-face) business -- that I've been meaning to flesh out in more detail. I get intermittent visits from employees. My marketing manager wants my input for a new customer-retention idea she has, my general manager is trying to improve operations, and I sign the lease for our new, bigger office space downstairs -- finally, enough offices for everyone! Thank goodness we had such a good holiday season.
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