We had the good fortune of connecting with Julie & Jeff and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Julie & Jeff, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
After working corporate jobs for years, we increasingly felt the urge to be creative and to have something of our own. We would dabble in design here and there for years, constantly chatting about it on our free time, and eventually that itch turned into a “real” business. We started as a design studio, creating graphics for all sorts of things, taking on projects when they came up. Chunky Paper was a result of our design work after a few years, and originated as a red envelope project. From there, thanks to social media & our friends and family, it’s become what it is today. And we’re just getting started!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We get asked this a lot, but we in fact didn’t go to school for art or design. We’ve always just loved great design. Our artwork comes from our own personal interests, and we often find inspiration in the art that we’ve immersed ourselves in. Growing up Asian American in the 90s really inspires a lot of what we do.
When we feel creative blocks, we’ve had a lot of success when we kind of just let go and have fun. Easier said than done of course, but when we realize that we’re doing something we’ve dreamed about for so many years, picking up a pencil (or stylus) isn’t so hard. We continue to remind ourselves to enjoy the journey!
We created Chunky Paper as an outlet for Asian American design and art, and we hope we’re able to use our platform to promote other AAPI artists and creators!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Come to Chinatown LA of course! There’s so much history here, and while there’s a lot of work to be done, there’s so many hidden gems. Visit our shop in the historical Golden Pagoda (aka Hop Louie) building in historical Central Plaza, check out the famous Bruce Lee statue while you’re here as well as the buildings that have been here since 1938! Our friends over at Paper Please and Thank You Coffee are right around the corner, so check them out! From there head down Broadway and eventually you’ll find the Far East Plaza, a great plaza to feed your tummies. Pearl River Deli serves traditional-inspired Cantonese dishes, or maybe Laroolou on weekends, serving small batch pies and thiccies (thick cookies). You’ll find over 15 different food vendors to choose from here, many featured in numerous publications for their deliciousness.
Check our neighboring Little Tokyo once you’re full, and explore MORE food choices. Maybe some matcha soft serve or ramen from Daikokuya! Then check out the Arts District next door for some ice cream and a beer at Angel Brewery!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We wouldn’t be doing what we’re doing without the support of our friends & family. Their encouragement and support meant (and still means) the world to us. They were who we sent our first samples & products to and gave us our first words of encouragement as well as feedback. In fact, our first batch of red envelopes, our flagship product, was designed and created with the sole intention of giving to our love ones. So truly, it not for them we wouldn’t be here. We want to shoutout everyone who purchased, commented, or liked anything we have produced. As a small team, we see it all.