Miss A Columnist

Anne Blessing is a communications professional and recent NYC transplant. She previously served as Miss A City Editor in Nashville, where she lived for more than two years working full-time as a publicist. Anne hails from Virginia, and received a bachelor's degree in Media Arts and Design and Studio Art from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va. In her spare time Anne enjoys working as a stylist at LOFT, traveling, exploring the Big Apple, and taking Pilates and Zumba fitness classes. She is passionate about giving back, fashion and the arts, and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Interview With Erin Pfister, Founder Of Eco-Friendly Paper Company Arboreal

With handmade, customized invitations and stationary becoming a super hot commodity for every hostess, it’s exciting to see up-and-coming paper companies who are doing something different and bringing a whole new vibe to the paper and stationary industry.

Villa Collection notecards from Arboreal paper company (Photo Credit: Pfister)

Nashville-based Arboreal is just that. Headed by local designer and founder Erin Pfister, Arboreal is committed to producing fine quality paper products in an ecologically sustainable manner. The reason? She’s passionate about doing her part to make the world better and give back what she can.

Using her passion and talent for creating, Erin combines her love of globetrotting and traveling into unique, stylish designs that you truly won’t find anywhere else. The name itself is unique–Arboreal–which is defined as “relating to, or resembling a tree.” When Erin launched her invitation and stationary company, she wanted a name that stood out but represented her eco-friendly products. Arboreal seemed the perfect fit and now, the paper company is making a name for itself nationally, with Erin’s products available for purchase at retailers nationwide and her exclusive ETSY store.

Arboreal’s newest collection, RECOLETA, is inspired by a trip she took to Buenos Aires, Argentina and everything she saw there.

Intrigued, I caught up with Erin in this exclusive interview to learn more about her designs, love of Nashville and what inspires her.

Aboreal founder and designer, Erin Pfister (Photo Credit: Pfister)

Q: When did you first discover your love for design and figure out it was the career for you?

A: Although I was always drawing and doodling as a child, I never dreamed that I would make a living with my art. I went to college to study architecture and after just one class I knew it was too structured for me. Eventually, I decided to take a break from school and figure out what I really wanted to pursue. After encountering a graphic designer and seeing firsthand everything she did, I knew I too wanted to pursue graphic design. I made the switch immediately and haven’t looked back since!

Q: How did you launch your own business?

A: After spending a couple of years as a manager and buyer of a local stationery and gift shop, I began working on my own designs as Arboreal in my spare time. With my background in graphic design, I decided to take the plunge in December of 2009 to grow my freelance business in order to have more time to create and produce my first collection for Arboreal. Most of my business is from word of mouth – the best future clients come from my current clients. I also spend a lot of time with different networking organizations around Nashville, which is also beneficial.

Q: What kinds of items do you design and how can people order them?

A: I have created a paper goods line that includes flat and folded notes, wrapping paper and gift tags. They are all sold in retail stores across the country as well as on my Etsy site (etsy.com/shop/erinnpfister). I offer custom graphic design as well and often create wedding suites, baby announcements, stationery, and party invitations.

Arboreal Vicarello Collection wrapping paper, inspired by Italy (Photo Credit: Mandy Johnson Photography)

Q: So many of your designs are inspired by your worldwide travels. Tell us, what has been your favorite place to visit?

A: When I get to travel and experience other cultures, I am like a kid in a candy store. I am drawn to architectural elements of buildings I find when roaming the streets of another country…the textures, patterns, and colors found in local markets…the inspiring landscapes. I have been to Italy, Switzerland, Argentina and Uruguay. There is so much to love about each country, it’s hard to choose a favorite, but I would go back to Italy or Argentina tomorrow if I had the chance!

Q: What has been your most favorite project to complete? Most unique?

A: My favorite project was probably a wedding suite I completed for a Brentwood farm wedding. I worked with the couple for more than nine months on everything from the save the date card, down to the menu cards for the reception. They are both in the creative field and really appreciated good design. I love that they had so many great ideas to incorporate and how they wanted the design elements carried throughout everything that day. The most unique project I’ve done was a circus-themed wedding invitation that has turned out to be quite a big hit with many brides lately. The final piece was such a fun package to open with mixtures of patterns and a kissing booth ticket was an added, personal touch.

Arboreal Roma Collection notecards (Photo Credit: Pfister)

Q: What brought you here to Nashville and what do you love most about the city?

A: I have had my eye on Nashville since I graduated from college, and I just knew one day I would live here. I searched for a job and moved here almost five years ago, and I love it! I love that Nashville has the perks of a big city with a small town feel. One thing I noticed when I first moved here is how everyone I met was always willing to offer in helping me get settled into the city–people to meet, places to go, a way to feel connected. Since creating my own business, I’ve felt that over and over again, and I truly appreciate that southern charm. The willingness the Nashville community has to be supportive and help my business grow, has been amazing.

Q: Tell us: favorite place to hang out in the city? Grab coffee or a bite to eat? 

A: I love to hang out in the great parks in the city, including Sevier Park on 12th, Centennial Park by the Parthenon, and Percy Warner Park, where I love to run. My new favorite place to eat is an Italian eatery Bella Napoli in Edgehill Village. You can’t beat sitting outside in the charming courtyard with authentic Italian pizza and a glass of red wine. I often hang out at Edgehill Café or Frothy Monkey for coffee and a little blog writing (or reading).

Q: Currently playing on your iPod?

A: I love all types of music, but am mostly a fan of singer and songwriters like Ernie Halter, Josh Rouse, Florence + the Machine, Band of Horses and The Civil Wars.

Q: What fuels your inspiration?

A: I am inspired by interiors and fashion, as well as traveling. I adore patterns, texture and good typography and am often found spending too much time reading through blogs and searching Pinterest. 

Q: Where can people buy your products locally in the Nashville area?

A: Social Graces in Hillsboro Village, You’re Invited in Bellemeade and Prim & Paper in Franklin.

Q: What do you want people to know about you? About Arboreal?

A: My passions are design, interiors, paper stores, flea market finds, cooking and running. I have a ridiculous about of blogs in Google Reader and then ‘pin’ my favorites on my newest addiction, Pinterest.

I founded Arboreal to reflect great design, inspire creativity, and doing my part by using recyclable materials along the way. I strive to separate my work from the rest of the design field through careful attention to patterns, textures, fonts, and other details.

Medallion gift wrap from Arboreal (Photo Credit: Pfister)

CONNECT: Arboreal Paper

Request a custom quote from Arboreal by emailing custom@arborealpaper.com

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