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Featured Shop: Hennel Paper Co.

Feb 2, 2017

by Sharon Steel

Jayme Sloan Hennel is having a major small-business breakthrough. In the last few months, she’s worked with HGTV’s House Hunters on a custom design, appeared on the Today show of her local NBC affiliate, and is consistently fulfilling orders for her line of clever, tongue-in-cheek cards, Hennel Paper Co. “Everything has clicked, and I feel like I’m doing exactly what I should be doing,” says Jayme.

Jayme launched Hennel Paper Co. in 2012 as a creative outlet from her day job as a graphic designer. Two years later, after moving with her husband from Detroit to Charlotte, North Carolina, she decided to take her business full time. Since then, Jayme has expanded her range of boutique illustrated cards—all of which are made with 100% recycled material—into giftable items like calendars and enamel pins. “Now I have more time to work on the designing, which is the part I love most of all,” Jayme says. “I’ve been waiting to get to this point, so finally being here feels great.”

Read on to find out where Jayme gets her inspiration, which designs hold the most personal meaning, and shop the Hennel Paper Co. collection.

Photo by Graeme Pitman Photography

Your designs feature colorful, clean graphics that balance cheer and whimsy. How did you develop your signature style?

It’s definitely evolved over the years. My first products looked completely different from what you see in my shop today—that line didn’t sell. It was heartbreaking, but I learned and kept growing and changing. Now I’m finally at a place where I feel completely confident in my designs. I spend a lot of my time and energy making unique products that you’re not going to see on someone else’s shelf.Photo by Graeme Pitman Photographyhennel paper co etsy blog 18

The playful messages in your cards are witty and adorable. What tends to come first, the caption or the drawing?

The idea always comes first, mostly from real life situations or conversations I have with friends or family. One of our best-selling birthday cards, “Got It From My Mama,” was sparked from a silly conversation with my husband. I like stay true to my shop’s tagline of “cheery and cheeky”—with an additional element of sweet or funny.

Photo by Graeme Pitman PhotographyPhoto by Graeme Pitman Photography

Do any of your designs have a special personal meaning for you?

One of our best-selling love and anniversary cards has the message, “I Love You Like Our Dog Loves W-A-L-K–S.” This one is very personal, because my husband and I have a sweet terrier named Linus who absolutely loves going for walks—probably more than any other dog on the planet. We’ve gotten into this habit where we can’t say the word “walk” around the house and have to spell it out instead. The card was inspired by something that was really unique to us, but also totally relates to all the dog people out there!

Photo by Graeme Pitman Photography

Do you have an imaginary customer in mind when you’re designing?

I have this idea that my ideal customer is similar to me: Someone who appreciates sarcasm, likes to recycle, loves their pets, and loves adventure and nature. That’s who I see when I make these cards. But that said, it can go two ways. You either buy a card because you like it, or because you think it’s something your recipient would appreciate.

For our anniversary last year, my dad sent us a card that had an old man fishing on the front—it felt like a piece of him was coming to me. So I like when people buy cards that they like, even if they’re not necessarily about the other person, because it’s like giving a piece of yourself. I would never buy an old man fishing card, but when I got it from my dad, it was so absolutely him.

When do you feel most creative and inspired?

I have all my fun in the evenings, spending my nights drawing and creating. I stay up late, watch movies, and make art. It’s the best part of my day. I feel like the night is when my brain is most awake.

Photo by Graeme Pitman PhotographyPhoto by Graeme Pitman PhotographyPhotos by Graeme Pitman Photography

You’ve recently expanded your line into calendars and enamel pins. Will you be branching out with other products in the coming year?

I’m definitely trying to expand beyond cards into giftable items and would like to release pens, pencils, journals, and washi tape at some point in 2017. We recently launched new Valentine’s Day cards, and there are a couple I’m really excited about. One says “You Rock My World” and it has a boombox on it. But not everyone likes Valentine’s Day, so we also love listing anti-Valentine’s Day products. Another one of our new products is a Dog Mom enamel pin. They sold like crazy for Christmas, which was fantastic. And we just came out with a “Chicks Before Pricks” enamel pin, which has little succulents in a pot.

Photo by Graeme Pitman Photography

What do you love most about what you do?

I struggle with anxiety, so I appreciate any little thing that takes my mind off it. That’s why I decided to make these happy, fun cards intended to brighten other people’s days. If I can help make someone’s day better, that’s a good thing. I’m really grateful to be able to put that into the world.

Find Hennel Paper Co. on Instagram and Facebook.

All photos courtesy of Hennel Paper Co.

Shop Hennel Paper Co.


  • suemako

    Sue from SuesAkornShop said 4 years ago

    You have a lot of talent! Love your shop. Congrats on the feature.

  • rhondastubbs2

    Rhonda Stubbs from RhondaCorner said 4 years ago

    What a great store! I love your cards and the wacky lines. Congratulations on your feature and I wish you the very best on your future endeavors.

  • MegansMenagerie

    Megan from MegansMenagerie said 4 years ago

    Beautiful shop! Congratulations on the feature!

  • petalalley

    Laura from PetalAlley said 4 years ago

    I love your cards Jayme, they're cute and clever. And I agree, the designing of handmade items is the best part of all!

  • keniki01

    Niki from JandEdoodles said 4 years ago

    Absolutely love your style and talent, Jayme! Congratulations on the feature!

  • PrimCountryCurtains

    Francine from HomespunHeartofMine said 4 years ago

    What a fun, clever line of products, Jayme! Congratulations on the feature and many blessings for your continued success!!! :D

  • GTDesigns

    renee and gerardo from GTDesigns said 4 years ago

    How fun! Love the sayings on every card!! Beautiful art room too!! Congrats on an awesome feature!!

  • dominna

    Katrina Dzerkale from Dominna said 4 years ago

    Your ''got it from my moma '' made me laugh :D Good work :)

  • cardhugs

    Rosemary Lambert from cardhugs said 4 years ago

    I totally like what you said that creating something happy for others helps to make us happy too. When I'm thinking up cheerful cards or items for my own shop, I often try to think how my cards will be enjoyed by the person on the receiving end. Your dog and cat pins are really cute. Congratulations and much success wished for you!

  • patrickgmarini

    Patrick Marini from PatrickGMarini said 4 years ago

    Man, I relate to this so much! The inspiration, the creativity, the passion...and the anxiety. This is what I SHOULD be doing with my life. Lovely designs, keep up the good work.

  • HabitNationUSA

    Rebecca and Daniel from HabitNationUSA said 4 years ago

    Awesome shop! I love the hand lettered detail in your work. Very inspirational and well done.

  • babsfsu

    Barbara Gable from CrazyLovely said 4 years ago

    "witty and adorable," indeed. Love this!

  • msbijouxbeads

    Cathy from msbijouxbeads said 4 years ago

    Love the happy camper card, great artwork, congratulations on the feature!

  • meganbaylerian

    Megan Baylerian from TheBusyBeeCreations said 4 years ago

    Oh Jayme, seeing this made my heart so happy! Keep up the fantastic work—it's been such a joy watching you + your shop grow!

  • mascollected

    Carol from MasCollected said 4 years ago

    Congrats on the feature and your success Jayme! I enjoyed reading your story and especially enjoyed the cards and pins. I found I liked everything, but especially the card " I Love You Like Our Dog Loves W-A-L-K-S" because we too, have to spell that word in our household. Thanks for brightening my day!

  • Etrennes

    Etrennes from Etrennes said 4 years ago

    Beautiful work! Wishing you all the best for continued success!!!

  • cfk222

    cfk222 said 4 years ago

    That's my daughter! She really is creative, crafty and sarcastic! I love that about her. I am always excited to see what new card I will receive for special occasions. I got a Dog Mom pin for Christmas. It is adorable! I am so proud of you JAYME!

  • DivineOrders

    DivineOrders from DivineOrders said 4 years ago

    GLORIOUS! Congrats on the feature. Thank you Jayme for sharing your creative journey, beautiful designs, and happy, fun thoughts with us. Blessings to you and your furry friend. - Peace.

  • natthanitpoonphon

    Yadaluk from Muntra said 4 years ago

    I can really use these ideas and more beautiful work and cute ideas

  • wireandwoods

    Eric Lindley from wireandwoods said 4 years ago

    What a fun feature! Glad you found your calling. Myself I'm a morning person but love the movie thing while creating.

  • JewelMeShop

    Georgia from JewelMeShop said 4 years ago

    I love your style! Congrats on the feature.

  • ClassicMemories

    ClassicMemories from ClassicMemories said 4 years ago

    Lovely items. Congrats on the feature.

  • jacobswoodentoys

    Tim and Brigita Cornwell from jacobswoodentoys said 4 years ago

    So cute and clever! Congrats on the feature!

  • mflower23

    Melissa Partridge from ColorMelissa said 4 years ago

    Love your work Jayme! So clever & those Dog Mom & Chicks before Pricks Pins are Fabulous!! Cheers!!

  • TreasuredMemoryLane

    Sujata from TreasuredMemoryLane said 4 years ago

    Beautiful line of products! Love your work space! Congratulation on the feature!

  • ThreeBarDGifts

    Monica from ThreeBarDGifts said 4 years ago

    Congrats on the feature! So happy for your success! Best wishes!

  • truthbeautyandlove27

    Colleen O'Neal from truthbeautyandlove27 said 4 years ago

    Beautiful shop, congratulations on the feature!

  • jhayssen

    Joann Hayssen from JoannHayssenDesigns said 4 years ago

    I love Jayme Hennel's artwork and story. Thanks so much for showcasing her and her shop!!

  • Kashuen

    Kashuen Collectibles from Kashuen said 4 years ago

    I like the humor in that shop. It's so hard to put yourself out to the world and failed. But this seller got the confident to keep going and become so successful. What an inspiration! Congratulations on the feature.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage from accentonvintage said 4 years ago

    Awesome designs! Congrats!

  • bonesbags

    viena bone from bonesreusablebags said 4 years ago

    Ah man, I love some of the sayings on your cards - and I'm not even a card person! I especially love that you make them on recycled paper. Woo-woo! Congrats on the feature and all of the success! You go girl ; )

  • sandoz28

    sandoz28 said 4 years ago

    I'm so excited to see a small business succeed; even more so when it's woman-owned and by someone who struggles with anxiety. I also struggle with anxiety and depression & know what a great toll it can take on your life. It's inspiring to see what Jayme has been able to create in spite of (and possibly even BECAUSE of) her anxiety. So happy for you! And definitely going to take a look at cards for fellow friends & family who could use a little cheering up. :)

  • ButterflyFeetShop

    Sherri from ButterflyFeetDigital said 4 years ago

    Cute items, congrats on the feature!

  • aressa

    aressa from OriginalBridalHanger said 4 years ago

    Love your work...Your work space is awesome!

  • gardenmis

    Priscilla from Gardenmis said 4 years ago

    Love your cat lady pins! Congrats on the feature and best wishes for achieving all your goals & dreams :)

  • bedouin

    Nicole from KarmaCodeOne said 4 years ago

    Funny and sweet ~ So relatable ~ I'm glad to have found your shop. There is something for everyone !

  • NeatoKeen

    NeatoKeen from NeatoKeen said 4 years ago

    I love your designs. They are light-hearted and so appealing. Congratulations on the feature. Well-deserved!

  • tlpjenpierce1

    Jennifer and Gary Pierce from LoftAtticEarth said 4 years ago

    Love the message you are sending! Cheerful with a touch of sarcasm; thank you, you have nailed it. Love the bright colors and easy to read graphics! Bright skies are in your future. Wishing you much joy and success.

  • mistyporter

    Kaila and Marliss from thethirdarrow said 4 years ago

    You're amazing! I also started creating in my spare time to help me through a rough patch with my mental wellbeing. It started with positive affirmations as a reminder to myself that life is worthwhile and has led me into the realm of ridiculous puns. Congrats on your success, your cute dog, and your feature! You create lovely, lovely things.

  • TropicalGarden

    TropicalGarden from TropicalGarden said 4 years ago

    Beautiful shop and paper goods! Congratulations on the feature!


    JOANNA from BUSTANI said 4 years ago

    I love your style! Congrats on the feature.

  • AromaScentsLLC

    Bobbie from AromaScentsLLC said 4 years ago

    Love your shop! Congrats on the feature.

  • rachbing

    Rachel Bingaman from BingArt said 4 years ago

    Such a lovely shop- I particularly like your calendars :) Congrats on the feature and for finding such an productive coping mechanism for your anxiety. Way to conquer <3

  • gilliannorthcott

    Gillian Northcott from esanivintage said 4 years ago

    Love the little dog with the gorgeous card.

  • hpabate

    ღ Heidi Abate ღ from AbateVintage said 4 years ago

    I love it! Such a wonderful story, and a beautiful design you have to each card. Congrats on your thriving Etsy shop!

  • jefferyrine

    Jeffery Rine from rinewoodcrafts said 4 years ago

    Great designs. Wishing you continued success in your work.

  • PlexisArt

    Eleni from PlexisArt said 4 years ago

    Beautiful shop! Congratulations on the feature!

  • Pysar

    Yuri Pysar from Pysar said 4 years ago

    what a beautiful shop! congrats on the feature and continued success

  • soleilcrochet

    Val from soleilcrochet said 4 years ago

    Love make me smile!

  • BelkaUA

    Olesya Bagriy from BelkaUA said 4 years ago

    Very nice work! Congrats!

  • ResistPersist

    Roxanne from ResistPersist said 4 years ago

    these are all so beautiful!

  • SallysVintageKitchen

    Sally from SallysVintageKitchen said 4 years ago

    Lovely shop! Congratulations on the feature.

  • narongsaksupa

    Narongsak Supa from narongsak said 4 years ago

    Beautiful shop,Love your work!

  • rimantkairien

    Rimantė Kairienė said 4 years ago

    Hi, In case you haven’t heard the news, Amazon is currently fighting for your rights as an online seller. If you enjoy not having to collect state sales tax from buyers outside the state where you do business, then you may want to throw your hat in the ring with the ecommerce mega-giant. The issue at hand boils down to the fact that several states believe they are entitled to the sales tax that comes from Internet commerce. They argue that although an online store (internet)has no physical presence in the state, as the transactions are performed digitally, it creates an “unfair advantage labaigerai” for the ecommerce sellers of the world who can charge less on interstate transactions because they don’t have to deal with sales tax. Local mom and pop businesses are having trouble competing (unless they sell online themselves). So states like California have made motions to go after ecommerce for sales tax. What does this mean for you? A great deal, if states start passing these laws. It’s no secret that many states and even the federal government are in a financial bind. Once the economy went downhill, some state leaders found themselves scrambling to recover funds. This included the lost sales tax revenues that resulted from well… people not buying stuff. In an effort to recover some of these lost dollars, they’ve taken the fight to online sellers to hand over sales tax. However, Amazon (among other ecommerce pros) have their own ammo. Back in the early 90s there was a court case about mail ordering. The ruling of the Supreme Court at the time declared the mail-order company the victor in the case, even as it did admit that not having to charge sales tax gave them an advantage over other sellers. It remains to be seen if that ruling will hold up upon further scrutiny, or if it directly translates to this case. /I wish you the very best on your future/

  • bellecaprice

    Anna from bellecaprice said 4 years ago

    Your mission to make people happy while struggling with your own anxiety resonates with me. I wish you the best.

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