Paper Company Expands To 17,000 SF Facility

Jul 27, 2016 No Comments by

By taking on a 17,000-square-foot warehouse and office in the Fern Park area, the growing Rifle Paper Co. will soon be expanding its retail store and design studio in downtown Winter Park.

The company, founded by Anna and Nathan Bond in 2008, specializes in quality stationery invitations, cards, books and other gift items — all emblazoned with Anna’s unique colorful artwork. It’s become an employer to more than 200 people.

 

“Because of our welcome growing pains, we’ve never had a large break room, or extra meeting space, and now we do,” said Bobby Morrison, director of supply chain and logistics for Rifle. “This has also centralized our storage, which allows us to perfect specific skills, and get things to our customers faster.”

It’s also making room for one of Rifle’s newest moves — into fabrics, as a designer for California-based Cotton + Steel, which will be coordinated at the warehouse in August, Mestdagh said.

In recent years, Rifle Paper has had a small army of employees, a mix of full-time and part-time workers who assemble and package orders.

They were once crowded into the space behind the retail store on New England Avenue, but now 140 of them work in the new location a few miles away on Atlantic Boulevard. The new space includes a roomy office area and break room, decked out in muted gray and white, with Anna’s colorful artwork hanging on walls.

In the back, the new warehouse is stacked to the ceiling with boxes of the whimsically decorated inventory. Dozens of employees, who box up greeting cards and books, regularly compete in speed and accuracy challenges, with gift cards for the winners.

The space was occupied by a beer distributor many years ago. It’s been completely renovated and repurposed. New skylights were added in the warehouse to bring in natural light, along with new air conditioning and utilities.

The company moved into the new space in February, without fanfare or announcements to its many fans. Plans for the New England Avenue location are still jelling.

 

“We’re still growing, rolling out 50 to 60 new products per year,” said Amanda Mestdagh, director of communications.

The company is built almost entirely on Anna Bond’s vision as a graphic artist. She once designed band posters for her husband’s band that were always snapped up immediately, Nathan said. Then Anna began designing wedding invitations for friends, which were an instant hit.

The Bonds said their annual sales in 2015 were more than $18 million, up from just $3.3 million in 2012.

Rifle is riding a comeback in popularity for quality, unique stationery that began around 2010. Oddly enough, the comeback is tied to the rise of technology such as texting and email. National publications, including the Wall Street Journal in 2011, noted that “paper has a particular appeal for those who spend hours at a time in front of a screen …to designate a friendship as significant.”

 

Source:  OS

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Industrial, Industry News, NA, Office, Retail
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