This week’s Black Business feature is the chic and sleek Mae B Paper Boutique created by Bianca-Lambert. She is the mastermind behind this fashion forward stationary business. Her goal is to continuously create positive imagery of Black Women.
What influenced you to get into stationary?
I have always had a love for writing notes and writing my thoughts into journals since I can remember. As I got older, I started to fall in love with stationary that had a fashion element but I found that there were limited options for women that looked like me. So it started from there.
How did this journey begin for you?
The journey started once I decided I had the guts to try to start a business. I can’t tell you how many people said I couldn’t do it or just humored me by listening to my idea. Then, I started looking at brands I admired and also took my own influences and started creating a line from there.
What was your first product and how did it grow from there?
Our first product was our holiday card that represented everyone but then I thought why not devote our line to women of color. It wasn’t because I didn’t love catering to all women because I am a woman for women. But I thought it was important to create a space for women of color where they felt special and beautiful.
Do you think black women are misrepresented in the media?
I do. Truly. But I think it is also important to know that we have the power to change that. I am not a huge fan of reality television because I feel like people are not able to separate us from the personalities that are representing us in the media. People make choices based on money and not seeing the bigger picture. But I also feel like our story in the media is changing. I admire women like Shonda Rhimes, Kerry Washington, Viola Davis, Taraji P., and Mara Brock Akil because they are changing the face of television right before our eyes. I think that this is a great start! Are the women we are watching flawed? Yes. Very! But they are complex women and I love that! We can all relate to some piece of them good or bad. We also know that the women bringing these characters to life are brilliant, talented women that have fought their way through an industry that has historically not been supportive of the black woman.
Who are your muses for the imagery in your products?
I find myself inspired by so much. Many of our products are inspired by people or things that have happened in my own life. The Super Mom is inspired by mom- it’s a long story but she is the best person I know. She is there no matter what with her cape. Another one of popular items is the “You Were Born To Sparkle” notebook. I was having a really tough time in my life and I needed a boost and the quote and imagery was born. So my family, best friends, bad days, good days, and anything that sparks emotion in me drives Mae B. I always want our customers to take a way something positive from our products.
What is your goal?
My goal is to continue to make our customers happy and inspired. I would love to build a brand like Kate Spade. Her story and brand are truly an inspiration.
What is the next thing we can expect from Bianca?
That’s a great question! I can’t give too much away but we have a couple of fun things coming up so just stay tuned!
Below are some of the products you can find at MaeBPaper.com. Her inventory includes mugs, calendars, greeting cards, notebooks and more.
Please support this wonderful business owner and her products! Follow @maebpaper via Instagram!
P.S. Be sure to check out last week’s Black Business Feature with SweetsBySteez here.