Inspiring Business: Paper Chase Press

Paper Chase Press is an inspiring business for many reasons so I’m just going to start listing them now: it’s a family business, a local business, a job creator, a purveyor of good taste and a promotor of great design. And at the helm of this beacon of ideas is Nicole Katz who runs the printing studio with her husband. In addition to printing high quality materials for some of LA’s most notable creative institutions, including museums like LACMA and the Hammer and design firms like Commune and Kelly Wearstler, Katz and her team are committed to working with the creative community in an even broader sense. Last week they launched Paper Cuts, an ongoing series of stationary collaborations with a diverse group of brands. They kicked off the series with a Frenchie chic postcard notebook from Clare V and sets of heavy stock notecards from Jean Stories and Jay Carroll. Customers can purchase and customize (!) the limited edition (runs of 1,000) items directly from the Paper Chase site. They’ll roll out several new collabs per month (stay tuned for Paper Chase x Heather Taylor coming this fall!). In the meantime, I chatted with Nicole about the biz.

Heather Taylor: What is the concept behind Paper Chase Press and how did it begin?

Nicole Katz: When my parents started Paper Chase almost 40 years ago they set out to be a resource for high quality printing. They developed a business that catered to creative industries and worked with exciting clients in the worlds of art, fashion, and film. Now that my husband and I run the company we’ve sought to carry on this tradition and to also bring this same level of craftsmanship and service to the general public.

HT: How can an average person work with PCP?

NK: I can’t think of a single type of business that wouldn’t benefit from having access to beautifully printed media and the same goes for our own personal projects. Who wouldn’t want their wedding invitations or photo books to be exquisitely printed and bound by hand? If you don’t have access to a graphic designer or to professional design software, that doesn’t mean you have to settle for mediocre materials. You can make any of our signature products by building them directly on the Paper Chase website with our new design platform.

HT: What are some LA-based brands that you work with?

NK: Citizens of Humanity, MOCA, LACMA, The Hammer, Commune, Kelly Wearstler, Smashbox, J Brand, Focus Features

HT: What are some of your favorite projects you have worked on?

NK: Sometimes it’s not just about the project itself, but the people you get to work with. We did a suite of retail goods for Bookmarc last year that were really fun because of the great folks involved.Another fun project we do is MOCA’s annual gala invitations. Each year the design and format is really different from the year prior, so it’s always exciting and new. And for this year’s invites we debuted our new colored-edge finishing, so they ended up being a great showcase for this new service we’re offering.

HT: Let’s talk about Paper Cuts. How did you come up with the idea and how did you decide who to collaborate with?

NK: Over the years we’ve been really lucky to work with some remarkable clients and organizations. We wanted to find a way to create fun collaborations with them that would showcase the best of their brand alongside the work that we do.

HT: Do you have a dream fantasy project for PCP?

NK: Yes, stash books! I’ve been thinking a lot about making books with their centers cutout for secret storage of your unmentionables.

HT: Favorites of the moment…

Magazine? Alla Carta
Book? Diary of a Sea Captain’s Wife by Margaret Holden Eaton
Movie? Since my son was born last year I think I’ve gone to one movie and I cant even remember what it was!
City to visit? Mexico City
Local restaurant? Izaka-ya by Katsu-ya, the best Japanese junk food in town.
Piece of business advice? Always be the best at what you do.